mindful

Dreams Are Unfair

Lake Tahoe is my favorite place to go when I need a little break from the Bay Area landscape. Sometimes I just need a bit more of a majestic mountain summit and a beautiful blue lake in my direct view for a mental reset. This is a First World problem, I know. I grew up skiing and snowboarding in Tahoe during the winter, and in the summer, lake time is still my favorite. I just recently discovered the enjoyment and relaxation element of stand up paddleboarding, or SUPing as the cool outdoorsy people would say.

However, due to my brain being on overload lately, and summer coming to a close, my subconscious mind decided to give me the gift of a dreamy blue nightmare. The setting? Just a short 3 mile drive up north to my most happy place.  

The  SUP rental was paid for and ready to go. In a matter of minutes, Lake Tahoe turned into a treacherous, swelling ocean with 100 foot tsunami-grade waves reaching up over everyone. What I was most concerned about wasn’t saving my own life or helping those around me. My daughter was tucked away and safe with someone else. My son was a stuffed animal. I think he was a Tsum Tsum, swaddled and sleeping. My husband? Accounted for, I think.

The waves reached up. Way up. My only concern was being totally bummed out about wasting money on the board rental. I continued watching the Mavericks-style waves, in horror and amazement. Someone, (maybe it was my dad?) suggested that I wear a life vest when I finally decide to go out there on the SUP. Good advice. I never went out on the board though. My hard earned make-believe money was wasted.

I don’t recall much more, but when I woke up, I instantly identified the scene as a stress induced dream. It was kind of cool to watch those waves though.

So what did I learn?

The mind works in ridiculous ways, especially when you’re stressed. It can take you for a ride. It’s beautiful. It’s strange. It’s weird. When you stand up against the 100 foot wave, and you’re not sure what to do, you learn that you are human. You are small in comparison to the rest of the world.

The nerves will bubble up on Monday on my 14th first day of school. I will visualize my stomach as a creamy coated, animated Pepto-Bismol pink after the first bell rings. But I will know that it’s all okay. I will stop, drop, and embrace. Breathing will help too.

Until Then,

I will not wear pink on the first day of school. I will wear blue in honor of my favorite (calm) lake.

sup

mindful

T Minus 7 Days Until

My mind is officially on repeat with school thoughts. They freak me out, but I’ve embraced them. One week from today, I will be navigating through The Teacher’s Edition of the Sunday Scaries.

I started feeling overwhelmed this week, and my angst was soothed over by a meme that I came across on Instagram posted by @Bored_Teachers.

“You can be a loving teacher with a gentle heart and still listen to gangster rap on the way to school”

-Bored Teachers

Yes. Gangster rap. So good. Although it’s not game time yet, I put this notion into action and I proceeded to blast Big Sean’s “I Don’t F* With You” at the start of my Saturday errands in suburbia. Basic. 

Next week, I will return to my workplace. In many ways, it contradicts my beliefs and goals of being present and awake in the moment. Living in the now is hard. It’s nearly impossible while being an an elementary school teacher.

Lesson planning is centered around a place and time that doesn’t even exist yet. I hesitate to plan as far as 1.5 weeks ahead. Teachers also often reminisce about how amazing or how awful the curriculum was a decade ago. They speak of a non-reality. I feel like I should have regular access to a 40 oz of something to pour out for them. May I add it to my teacher wist list?

It’s all very important though. Best teaching practice depends on thoughtful planning and a strong debrief and reflection on the past.

Finding balance during the craziness of the teaching day  requires the swagger, confidence, rhythm, and beat of my best inner gangster rapper. Vulgarity is necessary and acceptable in certain situations. I’m talking to you, sh*tty broke ass f*n copy machine. 

To all of the teachers currently experiencing a Sunday night stomach ache, push on and power through. The energy and hype of  “the now” during your morning commute complete with your favorite rap, punk, country, or NPR doesn’t have to end when you cut the ignition in the school parking lot. Set it on repeat in your mind until you return at 3:30 (or whenever your contracted day ends).

 

Until then,

How do you hype yourself up in the morning? Who are your favorite gangster rappers?

-Jenn