Let’s Not Push It

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The start of a school year is more than exhausting for teachers and students on so many levels. Levels that many people do not realize.

Only a couple of weeks into the year, and teachers and students alike are suffering from colds, bronchitis, and such, thanks to the germ-fest we call school. During the school year it often seems impossible to leave time to rest when you have to attend meetings, plan, get ready for students and live your life.

It’s easy forgot that we are people with limits. That we need to eat, take a break and to have some quiet for bits of time. Balancing teaching and life is really difficult, but balance is the key to healthy teachers and kids. Most of the time what we think has to be done right now, really doesn’t. We need to prioritize what’s essential to have the next day run smoothly, and everything else will get done in due time. We need to lay off the idea that things are so urgent. We should ask ourselves where that pressure is coming from? Most of the time, likely it’s our our extremely high expectations of ourselves. So let’s evaluate what actually needs to get done, and not push ourselves beyond unreasonable limits.

Make a agreement with yourself. Maybe you don’t take work home during the week. Maybe you put your phone away an hour earlier than usual. Maybe you watch something mindless to help you unwind. Do SOMETHING for yourself. Because pushing yourself out of healthy limits isn’t worth it.

Versions of Home

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We all have our own versions of home. For some it’s the house you grew up in, for others it’s where family is.

For me, home is where I love to be, where I’ve grown and become a better person, and where my loved ones are. I’m one of those fantastically lucky people who has physical homes in three countries, and in versions of home in several locations sprinkled around the planet, wherever my loved ones happen to reside.

Last week I came back from a great trip to New York and Washington, D.C. I had been in New York in March and was unsure of my feelings about being back upon arrival. I equated the uneasiness to the poor weather, maybe not enough detachment time yet.

This time, when I arrived to JFK after a long 23 hour journey, I felt like I was coming home to this beautiful summery place. I guess I’ve already become a fair-weather New York lover, completely detaching myself from anywhere/time that will have a temperature less than 25 degrees Celsius… But there’s just something about the beauty of a city being in full bloom and people being in summer mode. It was so lovely and I looked forward to being there.

This trip, I really bounced around, splitting my nights between hotels and friend’s homes, which was fun. I managed to store my luggage as I moved around. Plus summer clothes make it so easy to throw things in a small bag for a night or two, and be on your way. I easily fell into the same summer groove that I’ve known for the past nine summers. The trip to DC was fun and normal, and my conference was fab as usual.

And at the end of a packed 12 days, I felt like I was leaving home to go home, a different version of it anyway. My most comfortable version of home is wherever Brett and I are together, and that could really be anywhere. I have a lot of people to thank for making my trip to my New York home an excellent one, and I look forward to all of my trips home, whether it’s Edmonton, New York, or Singapore… or wherever that may be in the future.

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It’s Our Tradition, She Said

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One of my long time BFFs, Jill, and I have always talked books, recommended them to each other and shared them. The few years we were roomies, we had shelves overflowing with books. Shelves that were doubled with books. And that didn’t stop us from making frequent trips to the book store either. We always looked forward to our journeys to Chapters, to look through the book shelves, usually leaving with more books to add to our home library.

Even when we moved apart from each other, we still made our Chapters trips every once in a while. And a few years after that, after I moved to New York, we both kept up our own book store trips. My solitary trips to Barnes & Noble were never the same, but still filled me with some sense of ease and homeyness.

So as our years of book sharing evolved, Jill and I discovered an author we both loved. Somehow the book Barefoot was picked up and read during one of my trips to B & N, and when I shared the book with Jill she said she had read it too. From then we started reading Elin Hilderbrand‘s beach reads quite incessantly. We read them for the tangled stories of relationships and the descriptions of the beautiful setting on Nantucket. To say the least, now we both anticipate the release of her June summer books for one of our first summer reads. And the last couple of years, we also anticipate the release of the winter series for a cozy cold season read together.

Since the new book Here’s To Us came out a couple of weeks ago, we checked to make sure the other purchased it before starting to read. We were both in the midst of other books, so we both needed a few days before getting into the new book. Jill mentioned that reading it simultaneously was our tradition – and it’s definitely true! Something that’s “our thing”, that we stick to a couple of times a year, even when our lives are filled with other things. So now here we are, literally on opposite sides of the planet, still reading books together, over coffee or on the couch or wherever, because it’s our tradition.

I think maybe we can partially thank Elin for our tradition, but mostly we can thank ourselves for staying connected, even when our lives keep moving along and changing.

And one day, Jill and I will make a trip out to Nantucket together to explore all those places we’ve read about in the books!

Elin

I Need To Be Out

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Ok, finally have settled into summer… It’s taken three weeks… But that doesn’t mean I’m relaxing full time. I’ve got things to do like work out obsessively!

I had been feeling a little tired in the mornings until this week (maybe from so many boot camp classes?) so would generally wait until late morning (9am – ha! 11ish) before venturing out and establishing my “summer routine”.

When out, this is what I noticed:

  1. I draw my energy from my surroundings. I need to be out soaking it up. When I’m not, I feel tired and lazy. When I’m out, I’m good to go! (No surprise here😉 )
  2. I don’t mind the copious amounts of sweat dripping down my back in the humidity.
  3. I don’t mind walking for miles, feeling the tiredness in my feet watching people, looking at the architecture, flowers, snails, birds, geckos, trees, construction, the river, the bay, construction and more construction. And please note – I do actually stop to smell the flowers.
  4. I look forward to stopping at a local store or coffee shop to get an iced drink or take a look at the new treats I can find like some random flavor of Oreo or Kit-Kat.
  5. I prefer walking for miles than sitting in one place for too long.
Flowers I smelled at Gardens by the Bay

Flowers I smelled at Gardens by the Bay

While I didn’t actually learn these things about myself, I was reflecting the person I am and why I do the things I do.

It’s because I have ADHD (self-diagnosed, of course), or TADHD (the teacher version of ADHD) which you know if you’ve been reading my blog over time!

Ok, enough sitting. The day is almost over – it’s noon! Must get up and go somewhere else.

Summer Anxiety

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One of the beautiful parts of the school year is the routine. Routine provides me with the feeling of contentment and a sense of productivity.

When summer comes around, I get thrown off course. As much as it’s lovely to have time for whatever I want or need to do, I feel the uneasiness of a lack of routine. The first few days off are always the time literally get away and detach for me, but when I return home, I need structure.

I go through this sort of summer anxiety in which I’m getting bearings about what I want or need to do in this time that I have. I feel like I need to fill it to the brim with reading, writing, walking, exploring, learning, organizing, booking … seriously – I need to calm down! Goodness knows I can’t have nothing to do… severe summer ADHD! There has never been a summer where I had no travel or additional work plans.

This summer is much more about diverse travel experiences since we have moved overseas, but my in-between time is a little muddled and disconcerting, however by no means in a negative way. I’m still getting used to the relaxed feel of the mornings, and determining my day plans when I’m ready to get up (when in reality I have them roughly settled in my mind the night before). Soon enough I will feel established in my summer routine, and if I don’t – that’s ok too.

I just need to get over it. (Exhaling…)

 

 

Merging Life

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I’ve been struggling with writing two blogs, so I really haven’t written much in the last few months… Booooo! So that’s why I’ve made a decision. I’ve decided that having a second blog (Next Stop Singapore) for this chapter in my life is just too much work!

While living in Southeast Asia has been a new chapter for me, it doesn’t make sense to separate it from my regular Jibbery Jab life. I’ve missed jibbering and jabbering so I’m moving my NextStopSing posts and events over to JibberyJab so I can streamline my life in the blogosphere.

I’ve appreciated the comments, likes and the time you all spend reading my mostly trivial, and maybe sometimes thoughtful words. Happy to say that I’ll be jibberjabbery more again! I swear!

writinghouse.org

writinghouse.org

 

Life=Vacation

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Instead-of-wondering-when-your-next-vacation-is-maybe-you-should-set-up-a-life-that-you-dont-need-to-escape-from.

Well, Hello Jibber Jabber followers!

While my Singaporean adventures are posted on nextstopsing.wordpress.com, I have been thinking a lot about what to write back here on Jibber Jabber. I have a lot of ideas as usual. But if you have been reading since the beginning of JJ&H, you know already know I often have so many things to say/write, that I end up with nothing actually written.

So here is something I’ve been thinking about for the last several weeks…

I’m very fortunate to be able to travel while living in Singapore. Weekend getaways are very doable as there are many beautiful locations within a couple of hour flight time. Did I weekend travel when I lived in New York? Sure! But here it feels different. Every weekend away is a tropical vacation.

In fact, since I’ve moved to Singapore, my life feels like a vacation. Oh wait – before I left New York I started feeling like my life was turning vacationesque because of the role I was in at work and because I knew I was leaving the city with all it’s harshness…

Yes, I teach here – and it’s a hell of a lot of work. But because of the Groundhog Day weather we have, I never really know what day it is, or even month for that matter. I find myself really thinking about the date some days, like I have no clue that it’s winter. What a wonderfully refreshing way to live.

I recently read a quote that has really resonated with me since I read it. In a nutshell – “live a life you don’t need a vacation from.” How profound is that? Seriously profound! For too many years I felt like something was getting in the way of what I was wanting to do even with all of New York’s available opportunities.

I discovered that it’s way easier to live a vacation-life when you love where you are in every sense of the word. Did I love New York? Of course! But life is exponentially easier here. Is it a perfect place to live? No, but something so simple like not looking at the Weather Channel app before you get dressed makes life so much easier. I love the same weather everyday, I love the people I’ve met, I love my job, I love the travel, and I can’t say enough about the amazing opportunities at hand. When I travel now, I don’t actually need to say “I’m going on vacation” because I don’t need a vacation like I used to. For me, traveling has become what it should be: a priceless collection of life experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Ok, It’s Happening

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I admit it! And I knew it would happen! I miss fall!

I was a little confused that I kept seeing so many first-day-of-fall posts on Facebook. Is it fall? I feel like I’m really time/season-warping since Singaporean weather is basically the same everyday. So… to get myself in the mood for “fall”… had to get my toes painted orange! Had to! I always do!

While I’m quite enjoying the consistent weather, I am kind of missing the change to slightly cooler temps, the soon-to-be changing colors, and slipping into light layers of fall clothing. I have nothing against wearing a sweater, t-shirt and jeans, or a long-sleeved shirt and a skirt with some shoes. Honestly, I’m growing tired of my summer ware… I know, I know… #firstworldproblems. Stores are in full swing of selling fall ware. What? Jeans, jackets, flannels in this climate? I can’t really fathom wearing the same fall clothes here that I would wear in New York. I haven’t worn pants or shoes since the end of July!

So anyway, all I’m saying is… I miss you fall. But you can’t trick me! I know what happens next!
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I Don’t Miss You

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Well, New York.

I win.

I don’t miss you.

I don’t miss the noise, the smells, the careful observation of my surroundings. It’s been nice to let those things go.

Oh, New York… I don’t miss you, yet.

What I do miss about you… my friends. In fact, I’ve had two dreams in the last week about hugging two different friends! I must be hug deprived!

Despite the 12-15 hour time differences, I communicate with my buddies often – but it’s a little hard knowing I just can’t go for drinks or lunch or brunch or to the beach at a moment’s notice. Thankfully I’ve met some great people here that I can do those things with too, but we don’t share the history and the New York memories… And that’s ok.

I might, however, miss New York in the fall… But we’ll see.

 

I’m Not Abandoning You

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Hello Jibber Jabber followers!

Just letting you know that I am not abandoning you! I have simply started a new blog called Next Stop Singapore that will be about my life abroad. I may post some general stories to Jibber Jabber here and there, but I’ll mostly be posting on the new site.

I certainly hope you will follow, read, like, comment and share!

Thank you for your time following my site(s)!

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