Sunday, June 26, 2022

Sunday at 6:06 Freewrite

Water Lilly from our kayaking at Triangle Lake yesterday. I needed this reboot more than I knew.


I have not had a freewrite in a while. I wrote more last month when I was in the throes of that fitness walking class that was so much work. It took me a week to recover from the adrenaline of the intensity of May...really the intensity of April and getting ready and going to Northern Cyprus, coming back and battling jet lag and allergies from the trees in Amsterdam (all worth it IMHO - such a beautiful night walk), and then spending that whole week trying to navigate the mess of a class that I inherited. Then executing and loving the students once again. That is why I was there. I also loved my coworkers, but then I had to deal with not having a goodbye. So, I finally wrote my boss and asked him why I didn't even get a goodbye (let alone a send off which people who work more hours than me would get). I wrote the email and then deleted it, but my boss saw it before I deleted it, and he was so apologetic. It turns out he is also leaving, and there was some unspoken drama with that. 

So, I am glad I left because I would have gotten a boss who would have been a toss-up (although I have a feeling KK will probably apply, and she would be an awesome boss to work for). He was SO COMPLIMENTARY in our talk (he called me right away and kept calling - but I was in Centering Prayer and another obligation). It was a tearful day for me, but I ended up being so affirmed. Then he made a video saying goodbye and telling people he, too, was leaving and sent it to the whole staff. I guess I am glad that I sent it, but it is a little embarrassing to be so vulnerable.

Then I realized that I had not heard from my other job people, and I saw that a new person had been added to the extended team of people, and I wondered if they needed me. I also found out that I had been switched to another partner. This was all done with no communication, and I wondered if something was up. This group is something I had wondered whether I should continue with. All that to say is that there was a little bit of "Do they want me, even? They have a new person (whom I adore). Do they want and need me?" So my boss said, "What do you want? This is about your desire." I realized I really DO want to continue, but I want more communication and more involvement. So, I had a lot of communication back and forth and really am glad I am staying (I was really glad at the close of the last cohort, but then I heard nothing, and my "rejection triad" voice came back at me, "Maybe they don't want me and are just not telling me.")

Then I read in the Enneathought for today that is probably what happened to me:

"The spiritual journey is a process of gradually disidentifying with the personality and identifying with our Essence, our true self" (Understanding the Enneagram, 362).

(I see the "true self" as my true identity in Jesus.) 

"Spiritual progress involves seeing what is right under our noses--really what is right under the layers of our personality. Spiritual work is, therefore, a matter of subtraction, of letting go, rather than of adding anything to what is already present" (The Wisdom of the Enneagram, 377).

That is why I love Centering Prayer. It is about Centering Prayer and only focusing our whole person on God, gazing at Him, and finding our identity only in Him. I love that. 

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Lark Rise to Candleford Map

The real towns were Juniper Hill (Lark Rise) and Cottisford (Candleford), but in the second to last episode, Laura (who is Flora Thompson), mentions all the towns she goes to in the area, and those are real towns. So, being the nerd that I am, made a map of all those towns in the area. We were so close to them when we were in England. It would have been fun to stop by!


Thursday, June 09, 2022

Thursday Freewrite and Pilates Playlist!




Here I go. I am a bit loopy as I walked a speed walk AGAIN without my lift in my shoe. This time, it is because I mistook my OLD SHOES for my new shoes and put them on really quickly and walked into a bright sunshiny day, walking fast, only to see that my shoes were in the study because I didn't want to put them on the floor in the entryway while the cleaner was cleaning that floor.

Big mistake. 

The reason I am loopy is that I took a muscle relaxant to make sure the left side of my back didn't go out. Fun facts to know and tell, I have one leg shorter than the other. For years, I had a huge lift but Margaret Bartlette (DPT and RIP) told me she could adjust my back so that I wouldn't need to wear that lift anymore (given to me originally by Steven Roy, the doctor for the Oregon State Women's Basketball team). Dr. Myers continued to work with me until I could have a lift that was very minuscule, but, let me tell you, if I forget to wear it, I feel it afterward, and if I am not careful, my back goes out BIG TIME! I did it two weeks ago, and it was like an EXPLOSION going on in the left side of my lower back, and only Dr. Myers could put Humpty Dumpty back together again!

So far, no explosion, but I am nursing it and being very careful! We will see, but the muscle relaxant makes me very loopy! 

I have had some direction appointments lately that have been more difficult. I feel so deeply for these directees. I think part of it is that I can give more of my heart now that I have a little more space. I want to be sure to keep that in balance though. It is good for me to be empathetic, but to also let go! 

God is good for that. 

Today, I was to have a Silent Prayer time with Jo, but she got COVID. I am offering to lead it, but she has not gotten back to me right now. So I think I will just sign in and see who is there. I love Silent Prayer time and will be happy to lead it.

I have also been welcoming someone new into the OMS. It worked out that I am his welcomer and his sponsor because the person originally assigned never contacted him, and this is the second time this has happened. So I have been advocating for him now. YAY! He has an incredible life story, and he seems like he will be such an asset to the OMS in so many ways. So YAY again! I love welcoming people to the OMS because I think it is such a great order! 

I don't have a lot on my plate today, and that has not been the case for so many days this year. So I am relishing this day. I have one more directee at 2:30 (and may be leading the Silent Prayer time), but that will be all that I have on my plate. 

I am eating less now that my stress has been reduced big time.

Also, I have been uploading the Pilates videos that I have had stored on my computer since the Fall of 2020 when they furloughed me due to COVID but forgot to take me off the payroll. So I owed them 30 hours of work (20 hours of videos and 10 hours of administration and uploading). I could have paid back the money, and I was able to, but I am REALLY glad I made all these videos that I have used there now, and I have used, but I have never uploaded them to YouTube. So here is the Playlist for all those videos, and I am going to upload Pilates and Prayer ones starting in the late summer. That will be so fun!

Here is the whole Playlist: 



Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Tuesday Twenty Freewrite FREEDOM!

Done with the teaching portion on Friday!
Done with the paperwork portion on Monday!

Ah, I have a luxurious 20 minutes to freewrite. I plan on doing a lot more of these in the summer since my schedule will be lighter. Actually, my schedule will be a lot lighter in the fall too. 

I am so excited because I am actually DONE, DONE, DONE with the two classes that were my swan song at Oregon State! I finished the last classes on Friday with a fun Stability Ball class followed by a nice final fitness walk with just one of my students who showed up on the last day (most had gotten to just walking it on their own without checking in with me first). We couldn't walk the whole 3.7-mile loop because she only had 50 minutes before her next class, and she walks at a much slower pace than I do, but it was so lovely to walk with her and hear her story. So lovely. That is the thing I will miss, interacting with great young people. I loved the concept of a fitness walking class so I could walk with different people. I got such sweet notes from many of the students about how much they liked me as an instructor. I also got it from several Pilates students. One even got me a gift.

I didn't REALLY finish until yesterday. I had about four hours of work left in grading. I did it throughout the weekend as their final entries came in, but I could not finish until I got reports from the two people who were ill during the term and had to do the Illness and Injury Recovery Pathway. I had never had students need to use this (formerly PAC 100) because I would always work it out with them privately (even the COVID people), but Pilates is something you can do inside during quarantine, but fitness walking is something you cannot do inside. So, I sent three students there, and one student I worked things out with on his own since he was only going to miss the last week of walking because he had worked ahead. I knew he had a previous walk he had done that he had forgotten to upload. So I allowed him to upload that one late, and we called it a day. I had to wait for the final information on one IRP student, and I had to check all his maps and dates, and times. So I entered that all in and was done at 6:27 yesterday (so many things happen that are significant at 27 minutes after the hour for me). 

I am FREE! I had one spiritual direction appointment this morning, but I am free until 1:30 today, and it feels so great to be able to set my schedule rather than having something constantly at the back of my mind that I had to be doing for that job. It seemed like there were more and more things that were pressing on me from it. It was so strange. The work got more and more time-consuming. I calculated that I spend exactly twice as much time grading and teaching the fitness walking class as actually walking with students (the part I most enjoy). It worked out to be 11 dollars an hour, and that didn't include getting there early to class. Pilates was worth it for me though. I had that so streamlined that the paperwork didn't take as much time. 

I know I will teach Pilates again though. I just know it. I love it. I had one student who wanted to know if I had videos, and I have about 20 of them. I just have not uploaded them to YouTube. (Some I cannot for music copyright reasons, but many don't have any music attached to them. So I am uploading them as I type this.)

My desire and directive from seven years ago were to be Salt and Light there. The morning meditation this morning in Pray as You Go was Matthew 5 and being Salt and Light. Then I went to Celtic Morning Prayer, and it was about being Light. I thought that was so cool. 

What this next chapter will hold is so exciting. I am already feeling 100% better. I struggled so much in May, regretting volunteering to take over this class, but I am so glad I did. I learned that I care a lot for students, but sometimes, the most caring thing to do is hold the line so they can learn lessons about responsibility. It was good for me to see this weakness in myself. I grew a ton!

So, Today is a good day. So good. I will go for a nice walk in the sunshine after this freewrite. I will enjoy my books from 1000 Books to Read Before You Die. I will continue to create more content for my spiritual direction ministry. I will dream of what a contemplative cohort would look like with four 30-somethings! I will beef up my "Rule of Life" handout. 

I will just enjoy

Friday, June 03, 2022

Friday Freewrite Fifteen

My classroom at OSU



The day has finally arrived. My final Friday at OSU. Actually, until this term, I never worked on Fridays, but they were kind enough to give me a concentrated class (or two) that met three times a week instead of two times a week, which is what you really need to do to get in shape with Pilates. I resigned my position the last week of January (I think it was the 25th), and I have been counting the days ever since. Now, I am down to zero more days! I have two classes today and one more bike ride to campus and back. I still have about 4 hours more work, and the work is always with the people in the class that put the least amount of time into the class and expect me to work miracles and give them a passing grade when they have not done the work. So, that will be the majority of my time because a student who I have never seen before came up to me the second to last day before class was over with a stack of medical forms dating back to the end of March. Well, sir, you had all this time to tell me you could not come to class, but you waited until today? He tried to blame it on me "not being in the building" when I was there every single beginning of the class period or waiting out in front to send people on their walks or even walk with them if they wanted. So now he wants me to work a miracle so he can pass. This is why I don't want to work there any more. For this particular class, I really have spent twice as much time at a computer grading and fielding people telling me that their grade point average will be ruined if they don't pass this class. I spend a lot of time communicating and grading. The ones who have done the work have been a joy, and I got the sweetest note from one of them the other day telling me how much he enjoyed me as a teacher. 

The student blaming me for "not being there" stuck with me for the last three days. I am not good at being accused of things when I have poured so much time into this class. SO MUCH TIME! 

My Pilates class has been great though. But that is because I don't give the students wiggle room. My expectations are clearly spelled out in the syllabus, and I hold to them. I have a policy for COVID too that works fine for these students. It is great. So, I will rejoice at my last OFFICIAL class this morning.  There is no back up plan for walking every week. If they get COVID for more than two weeks, they have to go into a special system, and according to the administrator of that system, one of my students in it has not completed the things expected there. 

All that to say is that I am leaving, and I am happy about that. But I hold memories of great students and coworkers. I realize that I hold a lot of brain and heart space for the problem ones though, and I don't need to do that anymore, and I think that will be really helpful for me.

I was having a Centering Prayer time last night, and that is what my mind wondered off to many times. So I have less to occupy me. I think I fulfilled what God called me to when I went there, and I feel very happy and peaceful that I did a good job with what I had been given. 

I will ride off for the last time from OSU in 6 hours!!! WOW! 

On other fronts, my back went out because I forgot to wear my lift for all the walking we did at Newport on Memorial Day. So, I went to do a brisk walk on Tuesday morning, and there was an explosion in my left lower back. So I could not get in to see Dr. Myers until Thursday, but I did a relaxation and stretching class on Wednesday and will do a Ball class today. Dr. Myers fixed it all up, and I am good to go. George had to take me to work Wednesday because of my back. So I took my mat home that day, and I don't have anything else to clear out of my locker now. YAY! I am so excited to be going. I know I have mentioned that so many times here, but I really feel like I made a really good decision.

I did get "rejected" from one of the other things that I do. I have one role in a group I work for and asked to take on another role because it is a better fit for my gifting, and I was flatly rejected without any discussion. That hurt. 

Old Herbaceous

This was a sweet story about a gardener in England from the time he was a boy to an old man. It made me cry it was so short and sweet.  Here...