Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January Reprieve

It happened Monday ~ sunshine streamed through the windows and the temperature climbed into the thirties.  I was home for the day and had the opportunity to relish the light and warmth. 

The day was a glorious reprieve from the previous two weeks of frigid cold.  Two days the temperatures were so low that we had inside recess, and the other days registered in the high teens and low twenties with the wind chill, which makes for a cold forty-five minutes outside.

This week is warmer.  We haven't had a repeat of Monday's temps but it has made it into the twenties with no wind and the sun shining each day.  It also helps that I have a new coat.  I found the perfect knee-length parka at LLBean in December, but I refused to pay full price.  I figured if the coat was meant to be mine I would find it on sale after the holidays.  Last Friday, with the mercury down around zero, I found one coat in my size on deep clearance at the LLBean Outlet in Freeport.  With my new fleece-lined wool mittens and my boots with wool liners I am now toasty warm every day. 

Life is challenging enough without being cold.

I will admit that my feelings have been somewhat frozen since the first of the year, stalled in time.  Bit by bit there has been a thaw, and like frozen fingers that slowly warm there have been fresh pangs of pain, new twinges of realization.

It is in this context of weather and emotion that I have considered the choice of a word for 2015.  This is not a process I force and two years ago no word made itself clear. 

For 2011 the word "unafraid" was front and center.

In 2012 the word "possibility" presented itself and was the theme for the year.

Last year the word "release" was my guide.

Since the holidays, a few words have come to mind, words too passive for all that has already been said and done this year.  I need a strong word, a positive message for my heart and mind.  I want a word that signifies openness, light, and warmth.  I want a word that encompasses a healing heart, feelings other than sadness and anxiety, and new ways of thinking.

My word for 2015 is "freedom."  I knew I had made the right choice when I heard Janis Joplin on the car radio singing, "Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose."

It is also a word for all I have to gain.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


I love words.  The best part of my current job is that I talk with students about words, what they mean and how they are used, how they work together and how we use them to convey what we mean.

My love of words makes it all the more frustrating that I can't figure out how to put the right words together to write about what has happened.  There are too many feelings and too many things I can't say because it's not just about me.  I have my perspective and others have their perspective, and there are few specifics I can share that don't make it sound like I am pleading my case, which is the last thing I want to do.

I can say that the work I've done over the last several years has helped me stay present in emotional situations, able to keep the focus on myself and stay calm while I speak from my heart.  I have no regrets.

There is a plaque hanging next to my kitchen door that reads "Be wise, be kind, be true."  I have done the best I know how to do with the people I care about most.  I have been as kind as I can be, as helpful as I know how.  I have been true to my values, careful not to carry tales or put people in the middle of situations that are not of their making.

In the end I need to accept that people are who they tell me they are, that they feel the way they say they do.  I need to let go of the desire to be heard.  I can't make people like me or want to spend time with me. 

It hurts.  Time helps.

The journey continues....