My Shins… They’re A Mess

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Something about my shins the last few months. Seems like any chance to scrape, bruise or injure them, I’ve been doing it. Let’s review…

First incident: An accident by way of box steps at after school Boot Camp, September 2016. Right shin hard against the rickety old table we were jumping on, of course on my last jump. Oh the pain and wooziness! Thank goodness the quick action of the trainer and bandaging of the school nurse, the visible bruising and scarring was minimal. The deep numbness and bruising, however, still present five months later…

Second incident: Spartan Race Bintan, November 2016. Not surprising that one would be scraped up from rocks in the water. A lovely scrape on the left shin became a bit of a piece of work. A trip to the doctor warranted some antibacterial topical cream for that somewhat infected wound. The tropics is just not the place for wounds to heal quickly! Three months later and that gash has become an interesting looking pink scar with some white surrounding marks. It’s quite a look.

Third incident, and definitely the third-time charm:  Walking…. January 2017. To be fair, it had been very a monsoony few days and the edge of the sidewalk was slippery. I was walking with my scooter and talking to a colleague, and then I was on the ground. I stood up, and found that this incident by far, made the most damage. Thankfully all the wounds are healing as they should, but let me tell you, my shin is a mess. I’ll spare you the visual.

It’s Time

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Ok, I really haven’t been Jibbery Jabbering enough. Well, I have in my husband’s and friend’s ears, but not yours. And I’m sorry about that.

I really do miss telling stories about… just anything really. So it’s time to go back to beginning life of the blog. Frequent writing, telling stories, about anything. Especially things that don’t really matter. And maybe you’ll get a laugh. I think we all need a little of that right now. Some mindless laughter or nattering on about nothing. Like Seinfeld, but maybe not as funny, but always about nothing important.

#longlivejibberyjab

jibberjabber

Same Sun, Same Moon

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One morning last week, I had this great realization of how small yet completely enormous and magnificent the world is.

In a common morning Voxer chat with friends in North America, Meghan posted an amazing picture of the sunset as she looked from her window in Salt Lake City. 

Literally, in that same moment, I stood at my window, looking to the east, awaiting for the Singapore sun to rise. In response to her sunset picture, I took and sent a photo of that same glorious sun. Right then, I felt so close and so far away from my friends at the same time. It was a really cool moment to share with small of my dear friends that are so far away.

Many times I’ll take evening photos of the moon and hashtag it #samemoon, tagging friends that are abroad. It’s our way of showing we are thinking of each other, although separated by half the world.

But this morning’s sun was an occurrence that made me really miss my friends, and even though we are in touch often, I miss their faces and being with them. Maybe I’m feeling a bit sad about not having made the trip with Brett to North America for the holidays, or maybe I was just feeling a bit affected by the movie I had just seen (thanks Ryan and Emma, for #LaLaLand), or maybe I just miss my people. But that’s okay, I’ll see them soon.

 

Break Time

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It’s winter break, a time span of three weeks between semesters one and two. A time to recharge and replenish. And I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. This semester was such a highly intense time of so many things on different levels that I found myself running low on patience too often.

But now it’s the time for me to seriously “break” for a few days. Normally Brett and I would leave right away and go somewhere near or far, to detach as soon as possible. But this year Brett left for North America a couple of days before my semester ended, so I’m here in Sing on my own for a few days of winding down and getting the last bits of organizing done in the new apartment.

At first, I found myself quite uncertain about not joining Brett on the trip to North America. I wouldn’t be seeing my family or his this holiday season otherwise, but now…. now, I’m a bit relieved to have been absent from the whirlwind of driving to see as many people as possible in the tiniest amount of time. Brett has really jammed a lot in the few days he is there, so he is really taking one for the team this time around! Had I ventured on this trip with him, I don’t think I would have been the best version of myself, on so many levels. I just don’t think it would have been good for me or anyone to go right away! Seeing my family and friends virtually will do until 2017.

bestversionofmyself

I really needed some nothing time before escaping during this break. I’ve had three days and I’m still not to the nothing part, but I’m getting there, and let me tell you – it feels glorious! Shouldn’t be long until life is sorted and before I know it, Brett and I will be headed to Bali for some quiet time, amazing food and rejuvenation.

Just what we both need.

 

 

Just When You Need It

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The last couple of weeks at work had me running near empty. Feeling like I was torn in so many directions, all energy spent. While still keeping up with the fitness routine as a way to barely stay balanced, I felt myself slipping into the abyss of exhaustion and negativity.

Since moving to and starting work in Singapore last year, I had mostly removed counting down to the next holiday because life became more manageable. But isn’t it true that the longer you invest your time in a place, the more work you take on? I’m a bit of a “yes” phase right now, and I’m okay with the saying yes… it’s just more like actual adulting again. So anyway, because the start to the year was more hectic than last – but in different ways – I found myself counting down to the long weekend.

And then it arrived! How glorious! The long weekend and a nice weekend getaway to Langkawi with Brett and a few friends. True be told, we all needed a recharge. Just a couple of days relaxing at the pool bar, reading, eating and enjoying each other’s company.

Grateful to have these opportunities to get away like this, especially with such lovely people.

travelwireasia.com

travelwireasia.com

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.

park

 

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…)