fin

It’s the last day of the challenge. Wow. 31 days of writing.

Speaking personally, I know some of my posts were rushed or haphazard or short because I wasn’t feeling it, or I forgot, or I had a million things to do that I couldn’t stop thinking about. Other days, I got personal. That’s life. It’s easy to forget on this month-long journey that we are connecting, every day, with a bunch of new people. Each leading their own lives outside of these pieces of writing.

I am reminded again what a wonderful community this is. An important one. As teachers – it is so easy to feel isolated in our despair this time of year. Nobody knows OUR kids. Nobody knows what THEY’RE going through. Nobody is in my classroom every day. It seems like sometimes the kids lose their brains and hide them in their backpacks and run around crazy all month long. February gets flack for being the hardest month- but I’d like to make a case for March as well. It is a month where so many of us are feeling defeated and exhausted and in need of community and encouragement- that’s exactly what I find here. Every single day this month I have smiled, or laughed, or been touched in some way reading something from a writer in this challenge. I have been reminded that I am NOT alone, my feelings ARE valid, and this challenge is filled with some wonderful, reflective, artistic human beings who I have been privileged to learn from these past 31 days. I am left feeling humbled, amazed, encouraged, uplifted, and motivated to finish the last 2 months (!!!!!!) of this school year strong.

Thank you for sharing your souls, thank you for sharing slices of your days, thank you for taking the time to interact with my writing in any way (even if today is your first time!). The world is better, brighter, and more well-read because of your contributions. THANK YOU.

Until next time!

Steph

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Smush & Smushier

My roommate (Carly) has a precious chow named Smudge. Affectionately nicknamed Smush by a beloved friend of the house. The nickname stuck, and now he’s rarely called anything except Smush around the house.

Carly’s best friend from childhood, Alex, just had a beautiful baby girl named Cleo a couple weeks back. Cleo came out at 9.2 pounds and has a full head of dark hair. Today, Cleo and Smush (the babies of the best friends) got to meet for the first time.

It was my first time meeting Cleo, too. A cooing, sweet bundle of pure love and joy. I fell in love with her sweet face the second I saw it, and I can’t even imagine how that feeling must’ve been multiplied for Carly- who has loved Cleo’s mom since she was about that age too. But the second Smush laid eyes on Cleo, he was a mushy puppy in love. His ears went flat and his tail went nuts and he made the sweetest puppy sounds I’ve ever heard. He immediately laid down next to Alex and put on his protector’s face. He adopted her into his little pack immediately. I managed to capture a sweet moment just before Cleo left- he was anxiously checking on her to make sure she was ok when he heard some noises from inside the seat (she dropped her paci on her lap). Once he knew she was ok, he happily laid down next to the chair she was resting on. My heart has exploded today. That’s the most important slice to me. The sweet baby meeting the sweet puppy and reminding me of the beautiful and good in this world.

superposition

I spent my Friday afternoon of spring break googling quantum physics. I despised physics when I was going through school, and I certainly never reached the quantum level. So, why am I googling concepts from quantum physics, you ask? Simple: Music. I love music that makes you think. One of my favorite bands is Young the Giant. They had a breakout hit back in 2010 called “cough syrup” that opened with “life’s too short to even care at all” which really spoke to my edgy side back when it came out. They have since released tons of excellent music that is complex, melodic, and multi-faceted. Their most recent album is called “mirror master”, with the leading single entitled: “superposition“.

At first, I thought it was just a random cool word. But then, I read an interview with the lead singer, Sameer, and he said something that struck me.

“We are all and we are nothing and everything in between. In every time; in darkness and in light, we are every second; every shade. Every morning we wake, there are endless possibilities; outcomes, realities of how that day will end. Each decision splits into a myriad of mirrors; a system of lines that enlace, tangle and intersect. But in every one, you and I were bound to meet. It may be on the bleachers, in an airplane, the DMV, a race track, a bar, a tiny ship that crosses the ocean at night; but we would have found each other, and like light yawns across eons to spill on the floor beneath your window, we would fall in love, because we are all and we are nothing and everything in between. We are in superposition.”

I was floored. This came on in the car while driving back from meeting with my childhood neighbor and best friend. How beautiful to imagine that the special people from your life would’ve found you in any timeline, any life? How spectacularly grand to know that in every possible universe you are deeply loved and cared for. How wonderful to think that your greatest loves will always find you, and leak their beautiful light into your heart and brain each lifetime.

Although the quantum physics explanation of superposition doesn’t quite click for me yet- Sameer’s explanation did. The world works in mysterious ways, and so does the love we experience each and every day.

spring cleaning

I am particular. I love to clean. It’s my way of getting rid of stress (and avoiding work I don’t want to do). In my childhood home, this wasn’t an issue. My mother shares the same passion for cleaning- and we spent every Saturday morning in spring scrubbing. Usually with classic rock blaring and the windows thrown open. In college years and beyond, I found myself seeming…..odd to others. My love for clean floors and freshly laundered clothes was out of place in the dorm environment and continues to be in my current living situation with roommates. They are both clean enough, but my standard for “clean” is admittedly psychotic. I clean my bathroom 3x a week minimum, and laundry is never in my hamper longer than 3-5 business days. I despise clutter, and dust makes me sneeze. I like clean carpets and scrubbed floors. Above everything else: clean sinks are a must. There’s nothing that grosses me out more than a messy sink.

In my current house, we each have our own room and bathroom. Because of the dog, we usually keep doors closed all the time- which keeps clutter from being seen by me. I would never cross personal boundaries and clean another’s room, but if I see the mess, I’ll get stressed. It’s better to have closed doors. However, when the mess starts to leak into common spaces, I take it upon myself to don the cleaning gloves and get to work. This week, I’m on spring break and my roommates aren’t. I’ve been gone most days of break so far, so today has been dubbed “cleaning day”. I’ve gotten through 5 loads of laundry (not mine), cleaned the sink, did a load of dishes, washed the floors, vacuumed the basement and the main room, cleaned all the windows, and re-color coded my closet. I am happy, I am de-stressed, and…..well…no. I’m not ready to start thinking about school yet. I think I’ll stay suspended in my clean-house bliss and sit down with a good book.

nailed it!

I am someone who has an aversion to hands. I don’t like mine very much, and I certainly don’t like other people’s. They’ve always kind of creeped me out. For most people, it’s feet, but for me, it’s hands. I used to have a recurring nightmare as a kid of the grinch hands coming up from either side of my bed and smothering me to death. To this day, I refuse to watch or support that franchise!!! If you need a refresher, those disgusting green hands look something like this:

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In other words, terrifying. Nightmarish. In addition to having a general dislike of hands, I grew up playing piano, so nails were never something I paid much attention to. I wasn’t allowed to have nails that went past the end of my finger, because they clicked on the keys and that drove my instructor nuts. (I didn’t mind, because that sound also drives ME nuts). This is all essentially just a long way of saying: I’ve never really bothered much with taking care of my hands. There was a brief period of time in high school (prom) that I had acrylic nails, but I hated them and ended up ripping them off. If I’m going to get pampered, I’d choose a pedicure every time. But, alas, today, my mom offered to treat me to a manicure, and I agreed to go. I chose to get a no-chip (hopefully it lives up to its name, as I use my hands a LOT), in a simple, no-frills, grey color. The entire experience was relaxing, and I left with soft, manicured hands that are the opposite in every way of the Grinch. So, as far as manicures go, I’d say my nail lady (and mom)…..nailed it.

 

bliss

I returned from my mini-midwest solo road trip today. On my way home from Nebraska, I stopped in Iowa to grab dinner and spend the night at my brother’s dorm (brave, I know). I worked through his spring break and since I don’t live at home, I didn’t get to see him much. It was good to have uninterrupted sib time in his element. Alas, he had an 8 am class, so I was on the road by 7:30. I got home around 12. To an empty house.

Sigh. The sun is shining, the air is crisp, and my bed is comfy. I unpacked, deep cleaned my living space, and then laid down in bed for a luxurious nap. Pools of sun collect right at the edge of my bed, and I relished the warmth as I drifted off to sleep. I slept for about 20 mins, took a LONG shower to wash the feeling of car off of me, and then I slipped on a robe and got back into bed. I never lounge like this. It’s not a part of my personality. I don’t relax well- I feel as if my time is being wasted and I could be more productive. I let that all fall to the side and I relaxed into comfortable, warm, drowsy bliss. It was everything I needed and then some. I feel relaxed and happy and much more ready to tackle the rest of the day. Back in the car & off to mom’s for dinner. I guess taking some tiny breaks for myself is okay every now and then. Feeling recharged and much less crabby after spending 16 hours in the car in 3 days. 🙂

Orpheum

The night was finally here. I had purchased the tickets back in December and waited patiently for almost 3 full months. Kels and I got ourselves all dressed up for a night at the theater- her in a suede dress, fluffy jacket, and thigh high boots, me in patterned tights, leather mini & jacket and a flowy shirt.

We went to dinner first. A cute little place called “M’s pub”  ( pictured below) which, unbeknownst to us at the time, is booked out pretty much until mid-June because of its proximity to the theater. They did have a bar with open seating and full kitchen service, so we decided to eat there. We got salmon toast (with dill mayo, avocado, pickled red onions), she got an endive and prosciutto salad and I got a blackened shrimp salad (with a black bean cake AND mango jalapeno dressing).  At around 6:45, we started walking to the theater. Once we got there, we had to wait in several lines. One at will call for tickets, one at the VIP table to get our free merchandise, and one to enter the breathtaking theater (pictured below). We chatted with the nice couple behind us, got some pictures taken, and then waited for the show to start. At promptly 8:15 pm, Karen and Georgia walked out on stage and got right down to business. They started by announcing they’re donating 10k to the flood relief efforts in the area- proof that they’re not just funny and share an interest, they are kind and care about their listeners’ communities. After an hour and a half of murder & jokes, it was time to go. We drove off into the night, and crashed happily into bed.

Stay sexy, and DON’T GET MURDERED! G’bye!Image result for m pub omaha

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