Sunday, January 30, 2011

Oh hai!

Soo... eh hem... hi!! I know, it's been awhile huh? I didn't intend to take off a couple of weeks from blogging, but, it just kinda happened that way. I have come to see how grueling the choice to teach children forty hours a week is. Four days a week I usually go from work at school to work at the studio teaching piano. On three of those days I teach until 6pm- I start my day at 8am. Blargh. To say I get worn out because of that is an understatement.
Teaching kids is draining. I love to do it I really do, but, it does require a lot of focus, patience, and well... energy. I am realizing that I need more down time than I've allowed myself to decompress and recharge my batteries. Initially, I chose to structure my work days in such a way I'd only teach private piano three days a week, but, [students'] schedule conflicts and weird drama at the music studio has caused my schedule to change. I haven't been happy about it and I am tired. Monday-Thursday I have been waking up thinking,' I don't want to do this' ie work so much. So, I've been doing some thinking. I'll work and put up with this schedule for now. I have a trip to Europe to save up for and between both jobs I should be able to make the trip happen barring a major crises.
That said, after my trip I'm going to change my piano teaching schedule to be more conducive to my mental and physical well being when the school year starts back up in August. I'm hoping my living arrangements will be cheaper and I can easily take a pay cut. Fingers crossed. In the meantime, I'm going to trudge through those hard long days and try to be cheery about it. After all, attitude makes all the difference right? ;-)

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I wish I could take credit for this poster, but, I can't. Whoever designed this is a genius though.
A FB friend posted this via a University of Oklahoma publication and I just had to share. Especially since I'm enjoying a glass of wine right now, sitting on a couch with my feet elevated thanks to some bad bruises from dance, watching more 30 Rock than I care to admit. So, very 'exciting'. ;-)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Coping Mechanisms

God Bless those who fry food and make big LITs.
I haven't had the best of weeks. Perhaps this is to balance the great Thursday I had last week. You never know. Anyways, Monday started out awful. I woke up with pink eye (thank goodness I had the anti-biotic eye drops to help!) and my period started (I know tmi, but, it sets the tone for this day). The cold, snowy weather that rolled into Tulsa was enough to nearly get me in a wreck, but, not enough to cancel school. The school I work in was cold in many places as the heaters aren't working as well. Leo wasn't listening, the kids weren't listening, and my body wouldn't stop aching. As if that all wasn't icky enough I discovered I locked my keys in my car. I do NOT have a spare set.
Jon once again came to my rescue. He drove over to my school from work, called a locksmith, got cash and a hot chocolate at Quiktrip, and came in time to pay said locksmith and take Leo off of my hands. That night he treated me out to Bros. Holligan's and I coped by drinking the LIT you see in that picture (to my left), eating fried shrimp, cottage fries and the entire container of God-I-Don't-Wanna-Know-How-Many-Ounces-Of-Amazing-Gravy-Goodness. Not exactly my finest hour, but, it was delicious.
Okay, so this week hasn't been horrible... just blech. I think I'm still adjusting being back to working for forty hours per week. Dance is about to start back up and I'm hoping that I'll get an energy and motivation boost from that. I'm also getting back to some French classes to get me ready for my visit abroad. I am thrilled to get my [foreign language part] brain working again.
So there's hope I won't be a complete lump on the sofa when I get home everyday from work, right? Right?!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What Not to Be

Via Google Images
This morning an interesting article was posted by a fellow, and fabulous, blogger Michelle from Bleeding Espresso. The author of said article compares how Americans view work verses what she was used to from her native country Serbia. Mind you, I'm not here to go on a rant about how horrible the workaholic mentality in America is, or start pointing fingers at how lazy other countries are compared to the US. The article sparked my interest because last night Jon and I were talking exactly about American society's general expectation for us to be career minded hardworking young adults verses the fact that we are just beginning to see what our talents and weakness are in the working world and unsure as to how to utilize these AND find something we would both enjoy doing. So, here I am to muse and discuss my thoughts as doing this adult in the real world thing has brought up many things, like working, to ponder.
I went to college 'late' as a 22 year old, so, I guess maybe I'm a bit delayed in my thinking or maybe going to school later has given me a different perspective on things. I'm not entirely sure. While I want to be productive and I love doing things and helping people I do not want to get stuck in the 'Live to Work' mentality. I don't want to have my career path set, I don't have ambitions (though I can be ambitious) to be 'at the top'. As I've bee rather persistent with this attitude, I've begun finding it difficult to stick to my 'Work to Live' philosophy at times. For example, my brother over Christmas break was miffed when I told him that I was 'figuring it out' as far as what I wanted to do with my life as if that thought was something quite 'irresponsible'. Even though, I wish I could cut my private piano student load in half, I'm biting the bullet to save money for my summer trip to Europe and for the summer income famine (I only get paid for hours worked). A little more free time sounds wonderful. That said, I do not have to deal with nearly 60 hour work weeks and I'm very grateful for that.
Anywho, back to my main idea. I work, I like to work actually. But, I like there to be a limit on how much I have to work. I haven't had a real get away from it all vacation in nine years as being a poor college student with no insurance did not help me to travel around much at all. I think there needs to be a balance struck between work and having a life outside of work and taking time to find a good place/vocation to work. In America we work, a LOT. I like that we have a 'can do', 'work hard' mentality. However, there seems to be an obsession with work, position, pay, and what you have, as if it is tied to our self worth or something. I'm no socialologist, so I'm not going to into any in-depth analysis here. I will say though that I wish I could experience guarantees that some countries do have in terms of work and 'play' (ie vacation). To have an environment that respects that balance. [Keep in mind, I know it's not as simple as that, and there are exceptions]
Wouldn't it be nice to learn how to take a break and enjoy the world around us? I was horrified over Christmas break when I was actually going stir crazy as I didn't have 'anything to do'. I quickly realized how I needed to learn to relax and enjoy not having to do so much. Is there something wrong with wanting that? I know many Americans who wouldn't disagree with me wanting that, yet many of them will turn around and continue to work long hard hours. Sigh.
And wouldn't it be nice to be an adult my age and no one coming down on you for working hard, but, not be so obsessed with a career and making lots of dough? Wouldn't it be great if we could appreciate all thoughts on how to live our lives? I know I'm not the only American out there who thinks this way, but, sometimes I feel rather alone and difficult to keep my head above the water. Because, it seems by the standard society has set (ie being a mother and/or having status in the workplace) I am not succeeding, not by a long shot.
And I just can't wrap my head around that.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Contented Sigh

Today was one of those days. One of those good days that is. I have nearly caught up on the lost sleep I sustained at the beginning of the week and am beginning to settle back into the daily grind. Today I had energy and more mental clarity and kids seemed to respond to me well. Even Leo seemed more settled in, willing to take naps when I didn't need him to do anything. And when I did need him he didn't fail to perform. When I asked him to lay down with the pre-schoolers during an assembly not only did he lay there until I needed him to move, he tolerated frantic four year old pets, kids in his face, and his ears being pulled in all sorts of giggles. Much to the delight of the little ones, of course!
Then, we had the first class at Therapetics of 2011, and thing there went very well. No, Leo is not perfect, but, I'm able to correct and redirect him well and he gets to what he needs to be doing after that. It is so nice to not have him dig in his heels and refuse to do things now. Today, he [mostly] did what he was told, was walking around with a loose leash, laid quietly for long periods of time (hard for him, he likes to do things and whines when he's bored), and just in general listened well. It seems he is FINALLY getting past the obnoxious teenager phase! YAYNESS!
After class I went down the street to the new studio space our dance school is going to be using. Now that we're our own school my teacher found a place for us to dance in and has put in a dance floor. My shins are rejoicing! It's not a huge space, but, it will meet our needs. I don't know why this excites me, but, it does. I came home and practiced more and had a couple of moments where I saw progress. That gave me some serious encouragement.
I guess, in a nutshell, today is one of those days where I saw and felt progress in areas I often get worried I'm not improving in. Work, Leo, and dance all had little signs that told me, "Hey, you're getting somewhere and doing okay!" It's nice to get days like that isn't it?

Monday, January 3, 2011


Oh yes, Leo usually looks like this when he's napping.
Last night in some cruel twist, I woke up from a nightmare that I had discovered illegal drugs at my school. Okay, that was weird. I managed to go back to sleep, but, then... then 4am rolled around I woke up, again. Did I fall back asleep? Oh, no, no no. So here I am, 16 hours of being awake on less than 4 hours of sleep, after a (first day back) 8am-6pm work day. I. am. tired.
Guess what I'm going to try get a lot of tonight? ;-)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year [Party that is]

Alright, as per request of my dear friend Sarah, here's pictures of my New Year celebrations. Last night Jon and I hosted a New Year's Eve party. Our first real one really. I spent two days cleaning and reorganizing the house and Jon ran all over Tulsa getting the proper food and party stuff and wines. I was nervous and stressed as I wanted the food to be great and for people to have a great time, but, it didn't take long to forgot about that as people poured on in.
Technically the first course was baked brie, but, that was annihilated fast and I didn't whip out the camera fast enough. At least the fondue course lasted a bit so I was able to sneak in shots between eating, drinking, hosting and managing dogs.

This distraction only lasted a few minutes I'm afraid.

Semi-food/cheese induced comas didn't stop anyone from eating.

The raclette grill in action during course three. Jon's gift to me for Christmas. This was the first time I've ever used one, and let me tell you it will be used again and again. The handles below are to 'shovels' that hold cheese under the heating coils. Obviously, the coils heat the stone on top and you can cook whatever you want on that. Once the cheese obtains the desired gooeyness you pour it over cooked veggies, meat, charcuterie, potatoes, bread, etc. It is simple and sinful and delicious. How this hasn't caught on in America bewilders me.

A great, albeit dark, picture of how the evening went. People were just happy. We ate, drank, talked, laughed, for hours. No one was in a rush we just enjoyed one another's company and the food.

Of course we had dessert and that was a complete success as well. Yum, yum, and yum. We broke out the champagne soon after this as it was getting close to midnight.
Leo hanging out watching us countdown the last seconds of 2010.

Happy New Year indeed!! The party lasted past two (am) when we all simply couldn't take it anymore. We had been pushed to our limits! But, in such a good way! This is probably going to go down as one the best New Year's Eve parties I've ever attended. Okay, yes, I did help to host it. That said, it was just a wonderful evening filled with loads of good food, drink, and even better great friends who made every bit of sweat and worry poured into this night worth it.