Saturday, October 17, 2009

Feeling Thankful

This has been a challenging week both at school and at home, and despite all of that, I am feeling very thankful for my life and all of the wonderful people and things in it. Every Wednesday I meet up with a friend to play trivia and laugh and joke with the people who frequent Bert's pub in Yakima. I know it seems like a silly thing to be thankful for, but those people and experiences bring great joy to my life every Wednesday. This week we were only one out of placing, which is pretty decent for a team of only two players.

The spiritual exercises are going really well. Today was decision day as to whether or not I would continue with the year long retreat. I felt like more was drawing toward that decision than away from it, so I decided to go ahead with the next seven months. It's one of the biggest commitments I've made thus far in my life, but I am pretty peaceful about it. I also got my first choice for spiritual directors, which also seemed to be a confirmation of the choice. My prayer life is keeping me more centered than I've felt since I moved out here, and since I'm about to be facing some major life decisions, that seems like a good thing.

Our community is moving again, which is a blessing too. Our current house is a health hazard due to lack of sufficient heat and a persistent mold problem, so we are hoping to move by the first of the month. While our housing situation has been less than ideal, it had brought the four of us together in a way that I wouldn't have believed possible two months ago. Ironically, it is David, who I had the most trouble with this summer, who has become my closest friend in the community.

Things are going well, perhaps because I am taking the time to notice how good I really have it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Getting acquainted with my house

So I've spent the last two days at home sick. In the world of teaching, people really don't take sick days. Sure they're there for us to "use" but I know colleagues who haven't used a sick day in 15 years. Normally we just drug up and hope we can be pleasant enough to our students to last out whatever is getting us down. When you're not there, you can't really be certain that your students are actually learning anything, and with the class that I have this year, I can't be sure that they aren't burning down the school, beating each other up or single-handedly wreaking some sort of havoc. But with a 102 degree fever and wretched cough, my options were pretty limited. So I've spent the last two days doing a lot of sleeping, watching movies on my computer and catching up on paperwork. I suppose I am making myself sound more productive than I really am...about 70 percent of the time was spent sleeping.

But there have been many bright moments in my enforced homestay. For the first time in a long time I feel like I am caught up on sleep. Also, my students sent a really cute get well soon card home with my roommate David. I've been able to catch up with siblings via G-chat as my voice hasn't really been up to phone conversations. I got to talk to my good friend Chris who is in Africa doing a year of service.

And just before my flu experience I was able to go run another race with the NF endurance team, and this time coerced three friends to join me. So we ran 5 miles of the Portland marathon, with me pulling the slowest time due to the fact that I was beginning to come down with whatever this thing I have is. But it was wonderful to go to the team pasta dinner and make some new friends, and just get generally inspired. And my friend Patrick came in fourth in the whole race...out of thousands! It was really amazing.

I'm heading back to school tomorrow, which I am really excited about.