Tuesday, July 19, 2016


June 29, 2016: My journal 

Ahhh, summer. A deep breath, a cool breeze, a hike, an afternoon nap. Time to destress, reconnect as a family, pause, and appreciate the simple joys of life. And a time for my body to catch up to exhaustion and get really sick, apparently. 

For the last few weeks of the school year, I felt like I was barely hanging on by a thread. I was working too much, not sleeping well, emotionally overwhelmed, and although everything was good- my job, being a mother, a wife, growing a baby, I just couldn’t really handle it all well, and the only thing getting me through was the idea that it was only a few weeks until summer. I want to be superwoman and do it all beautifully, but it turns out, I cannot. It was an emotional month for me. I am not teaching any students next year to take an extended maternity leave, so I had to clean out the classroom that I have been in for the past seven years, which was harder than I thought it would be. Everett turned two, which was more emotional than I thought it would be. Some of our best friends moved away, again too emotional. The world seems to be crumbling under violence, and yet I try to remain hopeful, about what I am not sure.  

As soon as the school year ended, we left town to spend three weeks together in Northern California, and here we are in the middle of our trip. We went to Yosemite first, and enjoyed bike riding, hiking, throwing rocks in the river, and dipping our feet in until they were numb. Then, we went to Mammoth, and I was sick for five days straight, unable to enjoy much of anything. It wasn’t quite the way I had envisioned this trip that I had built up so much in my mind after a stressful and draining few weeks. This was going to be our last big trip as a family of only three- our only purpose for three weeks would be to just enjoy each other and our surroundings. Yet things don’t always go according to plan. I spent five days not doing much of anything but being in pain and wishing I would get better.

This journal entry has turned into me just complaining it seems, but I sat down to write it to try to focus on being grateful despite my circumstances. I carry a constant guilt around with me, because I know that others have it so much worse than I do and I feel so undeserving for how good of a life I have simply because of where I was born. However, I know that guilt is not a productive feeling, and so I work daily to try to replace that feeling of guilt with gratitude, because I’m not sure, but I believe that gratitude is a productive feeling. The more I focus on gratitude, the more joy and happiness I have, the more I want to give to others, the more I am present and appreciate the little moments of life. Choosing gratitude despite my circumstances enables me to appreciate all the parts of life, finding good in the midst of the struggles that arose in the past month:
  • Starting this month off with a lot of work to do and feeling stressed, but in my dream job that I love. 
  • Feeling sad that my baby is already turning two, but feeling so excited to experience the person he is growing into and the person he is helping me become.
  • Feeling miserably sick for five days, but appreciating all the more the beautiful moments in the Sierras we were able to enjoy. We live in a beautiful world and California is among the most beautiful places in it. 
  • Feeling sad about cleaning out my classroom and saying good-bye to my amazing students, but feeling so grateful for the opportunity to be home with my baby for an extended time and that my work will hold my job for me. 
  • Feeling more tired and emotional because of this new baby, but feeling so honored, humbled,  and undeserving to be able to be a mother to two little ones. 
This life is a good one, with so many beautiful places and even more beautiful people, and I just need to stop sometimes and appreciate it all, the messiness and the goodness.


Here are some photos Matt took when he and Everett went on adventures together while I was sick in the condo:
Then, I eventually joined in on some adventures:
I love when he gets so excited about something that he can't contain it, so he has to put his hands up to his mouth:

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