Saturday, November 30, 2013

Family Time.

Family time involves all immediate family members and those who act as family in my lives. The one reason I felt encouraged to post a reflection on this is not about how unusual this topic is, because it isn't. It is more of a fascination with how much time we give to other projects outside of our family.

I had always wondered how people had enough time to do it all, cook and clean and provide for the family while building a business, working a 9 to 5 and keeping fit, etc. I realize that most people give up one part or all of their life that involves them personally. I find that rather interesting, as I have chosen in my life up until this point to make my life about my education and career mostly. This choice has gotten me rather far. I just wonder if it also ended several other relationships for me.

It's not that I go so deep into my career that I can no longer see my family. It's that I give the attention, energy and time to projects that don't always deserve that time, or that I didn't properly organize my time and inadvertently gave away my power. In the end I've noticed that the most important people in my life suffer from this. This could mean that I am too tired to talk when I get home, dinner doesn't get taken care of, the house gets neglected or an important assignment or event gets overlooked.

It wasn't until recently, in the past few years, that I had really begun to make my family life truly important. My mom often complains of not seeing me enough, and being the "different" child, to no one's surprise. Of course, there's nothing wrong with being different. There is also nothing wrong with being the same. That being said, I thought about my desire to be in a healthy relationship. I chose just about the roughest scenario to be in. Well, maybe not the roughest, but definitely a bit difficult. Beautiful minds tend to be complicated to get inside. This comment resembles my relationship. My man requires a bit of attention and time. He really would love my undivided attention until his head hits the pillow. Other things just do not get done during the time we spend together. Then I choose to allow a scorpio child to be born. ...I thought his father and I were enough scorpio!

I simply realized that if I value family and relationships, then I will be there for them, not just in a functional way, but go out of my way to make family life work. There are definitely sacrifices to consider, including school and making extra money, that sometimes go by the wayside when choosing to make family number one, but then what otherwise is the meaning of life? So I've decided beyond the shadow of a doubt, that family comes first.Whether that means spending more money, more time, or more concentrated effort to not multitask, I'll do it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Room with a Forest Lawn View.

If you look out the window of my classroom where I teach at Irving MS, you can see the wide range of hills swaddling the rough city, enclosing it with its greenery and expansive energy. You can also see the hillsides covered with tombstones, and in the distance, at the top of the hill, you'll find a church. Off to its left a bit is the great mausoleum, the burial site of Michael Jackson. Could it get any better than this? Yes. I decided on a whim to take my students to see it up close and personal.

Having a view of a mortuary makes a person think a lot about living life to the fullest. I originally wanted to take my kids there for Day of the Dead, in honor of our loved ones who had passed on. For any young person it is an important conversation to have about the life and death cycle. In science class we talk about the nitrogen cycle and how everything decomposes. Reminds me of what I was raised believing: ashes to ashes and dust to dust...and how death isn't the end of life, but the beginning of a new one.

The kids complained after the first two miles of walking....but once they were on the finishing stretch at the top of the hill overlooking the gorgeous vista into Glendale, I think they began to realize that the climb was worth it, if for no other reason, to be with friends on a beautiful day and have the health to be able to accomplish the task. The lady at the gateway said "woman you are crazy! Are you sure?" She asked me repeatedly. I told her yes, that I am in fact crazy. She asks me, "what, are you a fitness teacher or something?" I told her "yes, in fact I am." It was so much fun to see her expression.

On our way back down, the kids realized that they were about to have lunch for two hours and were just in the presence of MJ. Too bad we didn't get to go to his burial site. That is one reason I would return.

One of the reasons I wanted to be inside Forest Lawn was for the deep reflection it afforded me. Of course it was an unusual trip for the students to take, but the concept of being on the grounds, seeing people grieving over their loved ones, observing death and respecting life, was very important. Most of the students did not remember the last funeral they had gone to. This spoke strongly to their experience of life, living as if they would live forever. But no, they won't live forever, and they had a chance to reflect on this while enjoying the beating of their heart and filling their lungs with fresh air.

Meanwhile, as I took photos of the grounds, a certain super vibrant light shone through the trees and bounced off the church walls. To me, the lights were so bright, it could only have been influenced by the Angels. To me, it always is.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Punching The Air.

I have to say that there are quite a few angry people with commentary about society, but very few who put enough educated thought into their responses. I would think that an educated response would manifest into some form of interaction that didn't end in some emotional tirade about how I should be thinking the way they are, otherwise I'm unintelligent....???

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the ofttimes empty world of FaceBook.

Sometimes FB can consist of some pretty crazy ideas and opinions that are supported by an interesting group of people who don't often support each other..but they will "rise up against the enemy." Now, I don't normally associate myself with people like this, but it seems that the challenge sometimes presents itself to me and I have to ask what in me has attracted this situation, because my conscious mind definitely does not feel like this is a necessary interaction or lesson to take on.

So I end up figuring that it's just another person and situation that needs a bit of prayer and positive energy thrown at it. After all, how else can an angry person who's punching the air, know that they actually have supporters when they are wildly flailing their arms? Doesn't someone have to wait by the sidelines until they can calm down enough to notice the hand you've extended?...that, or let them stop and notice that no one waited. Would that help them, or only serve to reemphasize that no one really cares? It's a tough line to tow.

Then there's the person that, no matter what you say, can't hear you. They have an internal tape playing and it won't stop or slow down to allow any additional information to come in. They've decided to nail you and label you "the enemy." This becomes a labor of love to wait for someone to snap out of their own veil of illusion and see that internal forces are working against them, as opposed to anything external, i.e., me.

Some people treat different perspectives as a crime, a blindness, an emotional and manipulative ploy, a "leftist agenda," or "the enemy," when presented. But truly a perspective is a perspective, not a way to try to manipulate the masses into some form of coercion. It's the invitation to a conversation with a varying degree of levels and thoughts, not some military stratagem targeted at some group to bring them down.

The social constructs we create shackle us. If we were to notice the disparagement we build in our society when we hold ourselves so fast to the same staid concepts and ideas that we feel most comfortable with, we fail. It's not to say that the progressive way of living is a tried and true winning situation, but we at least need to listen to all sides and see if there is a chance to find a way to improve on a human right. We all deserve to feel safe. That's all.