Sunday, November 25, 2007

All decorated and ready to go!

Despite a nasty cold that I caught from my brother, I have had quite a productive Thanksgiving vacation. I got all the grading done, got my house nice and clean, and -- most importantly -- put up my Christmas tree! I thought I was going to have to wait until Monday, but then I got a text from Lisa Jean, who was out on a coffee run, saying that Top Foods was unloading trees! SCORE!!!

After I selected my tree, the tree guy asked me what I was driving. When I motioned to my little Hyundai, he laughed and said, "You want me to put it in your car? It won't fit!" To which I responded, "Oh ye of little faith! All you need to do is roll down the windows!"

I'm still feeling sick -- hot, dry throat, headache, stuffy sinuses -- but at least now I can gaze at my lovely tree!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The evening John Mayer wrote about

"No way November will see our goodbye
When it comes to December it's obvious why
No one wants to be alone at Christmas time."

The day started with rain and lots of it, and by this evening, the drops decided to be snow, but not the kind that makes marshmallow worlds, but the kind that melts on the ground. I was doing my normal Sunday evening routine -- watching a Christmas movie and eating some treats -- when I was swept over by the fact that, well, here's comes another Christmas where it's just me.

I think this stings a little more because in the last two weeks, there have been hints of possibility in the guy realm that have fallen flat: 1) my friend Lisa gave my number to a guy who works at her gym with whom she's quite chatty and he said he'd call, and he hasn't. Then, 2) a couple in my small group brought an out-of-town guest to our small group this week and he was attractive, engaging, amusing. So I hosted a games night with the purpose being getting to spend more time with him. Bold move. Go me. Yeah... they didn't come. (No real fault to them -- they were visiting his extended family in Portland.)

So I feel like the sound that little kids make when they stick their tongues out and blow. And I feel like there won't ever be the fireworks of mutual attraction bolstered by the foundation of faith and friendship. I feel hunting down the hope that lives in my heart -- the hope that causes me to bloom with possibility and optimism -- and clock it over the head with a shovel so that I don't have to feel the deep gray of being passed by.

Most of the time I can combat the onslaught of these warring thoughts with the perspective shift that I'm not alone. I have a great family, terrific friends, an invested life. But there are times, like tonight, when I don't feel like fighting. Can one lament one's singleness in a blog that could be read by just about anyone? Probably not the wisest thing to do. But those of you who really know me... well... then we've probably had this conversation before. :-)

(Insert reflective pause here...)

While I don't feel like fighting, I also don't feel like starting the holiday season under this cloud. I want to truly be thankful, not try to numb the ache in my heart by consuming half the pumpkin pie. I want to experience the joy of the season, not go through the motions. And if I want to do that, then fight I must.

So I declare the I am thankful for my God who made me, who loves me all the time, and who gives wisdom when I ask for it. I'm thankful for Lisa Ann (my marathon buddy) and the YMCA and the fact that I have discovered the fabulousness of racquetball and can laugh like crazy with Lisa when I absolutely whiff it. I'm thankful for a long-term subbing job with kids that are soaking up the love I have to give (even if I do have to give it with the stern teacher voice sometimes) and a paycheck that will compensate for all the vacation days between now and the end of January. I'm thankful that my little brother turns 26 this week and getting to celebrate it with him and my fantastically clean and sober sister. I'm thankful for the Egglestons who have made 2301 Eleanor my HOME. I'm thankful for singing in all its forms and the gift of being able to hear and sing harmony. And I'm thankful that I don't have to be a victim of my circumstances, which aren't really all that bad when I really think about it.

And so I sign off tonight...

with hope...

marah jean

Wish I were a Jenny

Thanks to my dear friend Jonathan Eggleston, I have been introduced to the glorious poetry and piercing harmonies of Wailin' Jennys. They've been gracing the airwaves of my apartment for the last 18 hours. Oh... sweet glory. They are a tad like the Indigo Girls without the pervasive angst (and no f-bombs) with some down home guitar licks.

I definitely recommend "One Voice" and "Beautiful Dawn".


Now playing: Wailin Jennys - Beautiful Dawn
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lots of stuff

Ack! I can't believe it's been three solid weeks since I've blogged! Doh! My apologies to those of you who check up on me via this blurb. So here's the turbo version:

I had two Link Crew student conferences that I facilitated, one in Denver and one in Lemoore (south of Fresno, CA). They were both fantastic, and the best parts were getting to see my friends from those places: Halee, Lauren (who took me to Red Rocks), and Ivan. Despite the immense fun of the actual conferences, the trips were further confirmation that I am not really wired to have a full-time travel around speaking job. The travel itself just WIPES me OUT!!

Today my life as a substitute teacher undergoes a major shift as I'm taking on a long-term job in sixth grade reading. While I am a little nervous (it's been a while since I've been full=on IN CHARGE of a classroom and these are sixth graders), I'm more excited for the perks of a long-term job. I don't have to wait for jobs to show up online, and I get paid more (which is very good over the holidays with all the crazy breaks). Because of those breaks, this job goes until January 25, which is right before Link Crew coaching starts.

I'm hoping that Link Crew coaching will still be a part of my spring line-up. It is semi-up-in-the-air because of the potential change in my employment status. I have submitted my application to teach at Yakima Valley Community College. They will keep my file and contact me if there are any classes for which I am qualified to teach. There is the possibility that something will come up for the winter quarter. I've already decided that I won't ditch the long-term sub job for YVCC classes, which is more about professionalism than preference. However, if there are evening classes in the winter quarter, I may take those to get my foot in the door, even if it means I can't be off coaching. I need to keep my head screwed on straight, though, because they haven't offered me anything, so I don't need to get emotionally worked up about not coaching. At least not yet.

And there's the update. I'll try to be more consistent over the holidays.

much love -- marah jean