The refrigerator was speaking to me. Clean me!!
When I return from vacation, I feel energized! I am ready to tackle the projects that I have been ignoring for … who knows how long.
After a visit to my cousin’s house in New Hampshire, I recalled the fresh paint on the walls of her house. They were getting ready to sell, but nonetheless, I was inspired. I consulted on paint colors with my lovely neighbor who has great design taste. I went out to Home Depot and came home with brushes, rollers, paints and trays. It started in a bathroom, and eventually Mike and I painted all the halls and the main living area of our house on our own. It looked so much better after that!
Last year I visited my mom in Florida. Her place is all about her with great beach decor and newer kitchen stuff than we had growing up. I was so impressed with her matching cups and plates in the cupboard. Mine in New York was a mess of mismatched cups, plates and more cups. I came home and went on a shopping spree to Bed, Bath and Beyond. I purchased a beautiful plate set and clean matching glasses. I donated the old stuff that was taking up space in the cabinets and was so happy with the new look.
I work full time, so going on vacation is something I do look forward to and appreciate. I am now in a position where I can plan trips for those school vacations so I am taking full advantage of that. I love to go away. Visiting friends and family is great but so is traveling. I love to visit new places and experience new adventures in life.
I know that I can no longer dwell on the past, that doesn’t do me any good. It happened. Some things I would like to change, but I can not.
I know that I can’t really plan too much in the future or count on it. The future is uncertain. I can plan to be smart about choices, like continuing to earn money at work and make healthy life choices like eating well and exercising, but I can not live in the future either.
I do embrace the day. I try to live in the present and find those great moments that make me smile all day long. I would feel guilty as a widow saying that I am happy – but I can find moments that bring me joy and that is important.
So, I came home from my visit in Florida and I am feeling refreshed.
I attacked that refrigerator. I took all the shelves out and scrubbed. I dumped lots of food and jars of stuff that needed to visit the dumpster, that’s all I’m saying. I felt quite accomplished. It is sad but simple that this could bring me JOY!
Next I was searching on PINTEREST for information on JAPAN since I have a son planning to study abroad this Spring in Tokyo. I found some great blogs and information about visiting that country but something on PINTEREST struck me – a post for Kindergarten teachers.
My school district has me piloting a new science program in Kindergarten this year to align with the new Science standards. I have been going through some training to learn how to teach different elements of this curriculum. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities have been the new buzz word this year so I was excited to see this post on PINTEREST.
I got lost in searching for fun things to do with my kiddos this week in school.
So this week, my creativity is going full speed ahead. One play station now is to build a farm for farm animals. The children sort and separate the animals by species and build a shady area given a variety of materials. The whole idea of creating something, with a purpose, as a group can be very challenging.
In the kitchen area, I changed it to an animal hospital. All those Beanie Babies that I bribed my own kids to read with are now being boarded in a makeshift hospital. The children helped me set up a grooming station and a vet table based on this fabulous design I took off with from PINTEREST. I love trying new things in my classroom that the children will love. This brings me JOY too.
My husband Mike did not take vacations readily. I am not sure if he preferred the routine or felt that he couldn’t take days off for some reason. Over the years I managed to wear him down and we did get away on a few amazing trips. He even started taking long weekends in the summer to enjoy life more.
According to research done by Terry Hartig, an environmental psychologist at Uppsala University in Sweden, people who go on relaxing vacations tend to return happier and more relaxed. What if everybody took vacations at the same time? In fact, they found that the more people took vacations at the same time, the more anti-depressant prescriptions dropped. People were happiest in the summer. Sweden has mandated that every employee have 5 weeks of paid vacation each year, and they can even take 4 weeks together. Now isn’t that nice.
If you need an advocate for taking a vacation, please let me know and I will pursue this for you. Not sure if I can get them to pay for it, but I highly recommend one anyway!