Thursday, January 25, 2018

Joy in the Journey

I am a nerd. Always have been, always will be. One of the things that makes me a nerd is that I love planners and calendars. This started in my middle school days and continues even now. My school issued planner with important dates like finals week, days off, etc. have been replaced over the years with expensive colorful Erin Condren planners, Barnes and Noble planners (that, let's face it, I probably purchased in September for the following year), and now I use a small paper one I can slip in my purse. I keep a printed off calendar on our fridge, but I just need the little one to write down dates on the go.
This weekend I went on a cleaning spree (I feel like I'm nesting make room for all the baby gear!) and I came across 7 years of planners. 7 years. In those years I went from college student, to grad student, to teacher. From girlfriend, to fiancee, to wife. From  resident of Spokane to resident of Chicago to resident of Salt Lake. From pregnant mom, to angel mom, to Hank's mom. In those planners I planned: lessons, a wedding, moving dates, finances, class assignments, paydays, job interviews, coffee dates, workout classes, hair appointments, dentist appointments, lots and lots of maternity appointments, birthdays, holidays, vacations. I curled up one afternoon last week and looked through them all. It was fascinating. A few things jumped out at me as I opened the pages and let the memories flood in.
-We went to therapy a lot after Hadley. Like all the time
-I have no idea how I kept so many balls in the air in college: I worked part time, took a full class load, and my goodness, the social life! It makes this 30 year old me want to put my hair in a bun, put on some sweats, and curl up with a book and mug of tea for approximately 75 years to recover
-I have a handful of friendships that have spanned the expanse of time and are comfortable, familiar and perfect. Those friends have seen me at my best, my worst, all kinds of things in between. You never know when a "dinner with_____" on a random Wednesday in college will turn into a life long friendship that's deep and true.
-Each school I've taught at has had its share of extra responsibilities---For one school I had written down, "Plan Black History Month Program," another "Take on-line literacy program training," and yet another, "Call parent regarding recess incident." My years teaching and even individual students came flashing back as I looked across my scribbled notes and to do's involving life in the classroom.
-AJ and I have made lots of trips to Oregon. I love it there and now consider it my second home. I love visiting with my in laws, walking the gorgeous shoreline of the Oregon Coast, and buying Red Vines and coffee at small town gas stations as we discuss which music or podcast to enjoy on the open road.
-"Make funeral arrangements" and "Call about headstone" are two things that shouldn't be in anyone's planner. Ever.
-Girls Nights have been a constant in my life and always will be. Give me some wine, good food, and wonderful women who have a lot to say and a lot to catch up on. Sanity saver and a hell of a good time.

-"Day off" (yes in quotes) means I'm planning on taking a mental health/sick day and am already planning it in advance (new teachers: yes, this is vital)
-If I ever can't sleep I'll try and calculate how many manicures I've had in my life. Newsflash: lots. But nail salons are a lot like Starbucks, they're basically all the same wherever you go. And I love that.
-I sure am glad I don't have to fly home anymore. There's something great about a 15 minute drive home instead of a whole day of travel and multiple airports
-My faith community has ebbed and flowed. Some seasons I was really plugged into a great church community, volunteering a lot, some times not at all, but seeking spirituality and learning more has always been important to me.

-Holiday, special days, and anniversaries are a big deal for me (classic ENFJ), and I love celebrating milestones ("7 weeks together!", "Last day of teaching summer camp!," "Moved in a year ago!")
-Self-care seems super selfish when you see it condensed like that...My God, how many dentist, eye, lady doc, hair, massage, eyebrow, counseling, dermatologist, etc appointments does one person need? Adulting is hard.

I'm a do-er, a mover, a get things done sorta gal. Planners are my love language. Maybe that's why I enjoy blogging so much: I deeply treasure writing, memory making, reflecting, and recording. As I glanced through these pages, it made me smile to think that girl in 2009 would never ever in a million years have believed she'd be a 1st grade teacher, living in Utah, still working on that balance of being a foodie and being fit, married, have a daughter in heaven, and a baby son in her arms. She'd never believe driving on the freeway isn't actually that scary, that the world won't implode if the bed is unmade some days, that she'd still be friends with those girls, that she'd date some frogs but marry her best friend, have lived there, hung out with them, felt that way, cried over that, laughed over that, and that all those pages, pen scribbles, and dates held her whole journey so far. I am so thankful for every moment, the messy and the breathtaking. The scary and the awesome. The foolish and the inspired. Each decision in one year danced its way into the next, causes had effects, choices had consequences, and they all wove, twisted, and turned to here, now. It's not where I'm going, it's how I'm getting there. You'll never have this day again so....How will you spend it?

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