Friday, June 15, 2012

Pedulum Erin

If you've ever been to The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and observed the Foucault Pendulum, you can begin to realize how a teacher feels as the school year draws to a close.  The pendulum not only sways back and forth, but also in various directions, making its way in a circular/spiral fashion back and forth, covering 360 degrees of the space in which it encompasses.  It's one of my favorite parts of the museum, and one metaphor I relate to as not only a teacher, but a mom, and, well...a woman.

Technically, if we're talking metaphors for how I have been operating as of late (eternally?), it would be more closely reminiscent of your classic pinball machine--bouncing back, forth, and all over in random fashion, making noise, *possibly* collecting points (thus meeting your objective) as you move along, and in the end...when you've lost all of your momentum and energy...when the coffee/chococlate/wine (a.k.a. the 'flippers') can no longer support your overworked and overtired collapse into the dark abyss, sleep (briefly), and (most often) sooner than you desire, you are catapulted back into the mix to do it all over again.  Yes...that seems much more accurate to how I have spent the last few weeks (months...) of my life.  I don't like it.

Therefore, I chose the Pendulum because of the nostalgia, the beauty, the 'fun' of it.  Sure, mommy/wife/teacher/sister/daughter/friend/etc. offers many destinations I need to reach in order to effectively fulfull my multitude of roles. However, the fluidity with which the Pendulum sways from one destination to the next is something I find myself aspiring to.  In my 'wiser' years, I've learned to become more reflective, and so I've pondered some ways in which I can reach my goal of being more like 'The Pendulum'.  Curently, my list isn't long.

Enter summer vacation.

ahhh....summer vacation.

Two sweet words that hold such promise in the heart of anyone so fortunate to be able to enjoy even a small pocket of time during the steamy, sun-drenched months that mark the end of yet another school year.  As a teacher, I of course have the privlege of multiple weeks of sweet, sweet, relaxing bliss.  A time for re-focusing, re-energizing, re-evaluating, and re-newing my perspective as an educator.  As a teacher/mom, summer time means the opportunity for some non-stop fun with my kiddies, days of 'nothingness', or my personal preference--a delicate balance of each of those.

Although school has been 'out for summer' since May 25th (for my students), I've been finding myself busy with moving my classroom, playing solo momma while Randy was in Vegas for my brother's bachelor party (during which time the kids and I wound up in Children's Hospital with Raegan, a wickedly high fever, rapid breathing, and a gnarly double ear infection), some time for personal transformation (turning 31 isn't easy), and most recently, an outstanding training for increasing student engagement in my classroom.  While the training was awesome, it was four full days of being a 'student' during what is supposed to be my summer break.

So, now that my training is over, I feel like I can officially commence with the summer activities, and ease into the fluid motion of the Pendulum, swaying gently around the roles of "cleaning/organizing" mommy to "running through the sprinkler and throwing water balloons" mommy to "enjoying a late night glass of wine, candlelight, and great conversation with my husband" wife to "tapas and sangria with my girlfriends" friend, to "swimming and sunscreen" mommy to "al fresco dinner planning" wife/mommy to "hot yoga" friend to "arts and crafts" mommy to "read for pleasure with a tall glass of iced tea" Erin.  All of those roles (and many more), are on my 'intentions' list for this summer.  Tomorrow, the kids and I will spend some time brainstorming, prioritizing, and organizing some lists and calendars for the upcoming weeks of summertime fun.

In my attempt to be less 'pinball-y' and more 'Pendulum-y', I've resourced my new guilty pleasure, Pinterest, to kick start, inspire, and help tame my (too-often) times of ADD.  One of my ultimate goals for the blog has always been to make it a living document for my kids, so they can have memories and stories captured 'in the moment', so they'll have things to laugh about and share around the dinner table years from now, just as my brothers and I so enjoy and look foward to doing when we get together, or call one another.

Being the 'people pleaser' that I am, I know that putting it in writing and making a commitment to myself, my kids, and any other person who happens to find my (too often times) endless ramblings remotely interesting, I am making another goal similar to the one I made earlier in the year...and that was to blog every (or nearly) every day.  At the time, it was focused on the things I love about my kids...something new evey day. 

The love I have for them hasn't changed (obvi)...well, if anything, it's grown (as if I even thought that was possible!).  But this time around, I don't quite have a specific goal.  I want to sway like the Pendulum, move in the direction my mind happens to be wandering that day (or, most often times, night).  I do want to document our fun, our laughs, our learnings, our adventures, our nothingness, our life.  I want the kids to be able to come back to this summer's worth of postings years from now and read/see all we did.  I feel like last summer, we were on a big learning curve style roller coaster.  Adding Raegan into the mix of our family threw us all off kilter at times and in varying (exhausting) directions.  Kids will do that to you at whatever age, I realize, but I feel with that first year under our belts, we can spend time this summer crafting, designing, and redesigning our new dynamic, learning more about Raegan's (*super fun*) personality and meshing it with ours, and creating some amazing memories for those 'early years' part of Randy and my 'Story of Us' (sidebar: LOOOOVE that movie).  

I look forward to getting back to something I've missed doing--writing, sharing, reminscing, documenting our family for our family.  I've been down the road before, blogging well for a while, and then not, making a promise to become better at it and sticking with it--for a little while, then falling 'off the wagon' again.  The 'pinball' in me would be disappointed by this fact, but the new and improved 'Pendulum Erin' is realizing life is what happens as you sit back and make plans for everything.  So, while we're going to plan some things, the purpose and intent have a 'smooth and groovy flow' to them, thus giving summer 2012 an asterisk next to it in my memory.


Love (adore, even!)

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