working women

A Day in the Life (These Days)

People sometimes ask me if I like my job.

My answer used to be an enthusiastic “yes!” How can I not love a job filled with reading to kids, writing with kids, doing research and helping them grow into readers and learners?

These days my answer is different. Lukewarm, at best. I get up and go to my school every required day. But I am not excited about it right now. What used to be a positive, welcoming place is now filled with “spread out!” and “don’t touch!” Books turned in are quarantined in a special room on carts until they’re safe to touch.

Instead of kids drifting in and out of my classroom throughout the day, they can only come to the media center once a week during their assigned time slots. They come in, stay in line, sit down in the distanced chairs.

They watch my whole, real face tell them a story on video while they browse tables of books with their eyes, not hands. (I no longer have a clerk to assist me, so I “clone myself” with a video screen.) If students want me to open a book, I prop it on a random page then keep moving. When they have their selections they head to the desk. I scan a barcode instead of them typing their own numbers. No touching! Then they return to the exact same seat.

Instead of laughter, the most prevalent sound is the *psst* *psst* *psst* of food contact surface spray. I scrub. I shuffle books. Gloves on. Mask on. Smiling with my eyes as best I can.

I miss my job. I miss spontaneity. I miss special projects. I miss idle chat that leads to great ideas. A few fewer rules. A few more smiles.

A highlight of the week is when I do carside book delivery to the digital learners. Some drop by twice a week. Sometimes I get to wave to the kids in the back seat and tell them I miss them. Last week a parent held up her phone so I could Facetime with her son, waiting at home for more books. I’m not the only one who is missing something.

Or the other afternoon when I had a spur-of-the-moment takeout picnic with my daughter at the park. As I was leaving I heard a girl’s voice scream in excitement “YOU ARE THE LIBRARY TEACHER! YOU ARE THE LIBRARY TEACHER!” Then her little sister, a new kindergarten student, joined in the hollering. We waved excitedly. From a distance. Even with the mask, they still see me and I still see them.

I’m determined to stay positive and try to keep connecting to kids at a time when everything is about separation. When the kids watch me tell a story and laugh at the right parts, I know I am still reaching them through all the rules and rigamarole.

The Roaring 20s, I tell myself. The Roaring 20s.

perspective

Snoring

Do I snore? Do you snore? Or the real question should be: is snoring keeping you up at night?

For me the answer is sometimes snoring keeps me awake. Like today for example. My partner is snoring. Could be in another room, in the distance or up close and personal. Doesn’t matter if it’s the reclining chair, the couch, a nap in the car or in bed. Snoring is a must or a bust.

It seems snoring is a must or a habit that unconsciously happens on a regular basis and it’s not defined by location, sitting or laying position, or even regular sleep vs. nap sleep. It just happens. Frequently.

It’s also annoying on most days because it keeps me awake to an extent. Not always but enough times for me to document the noisy behavior and actually write about its variety. I may or may not even have a video collection of sounds.

Speaking of variety I was on a family vacation and sleeping quarters included an open living room in which family members claimed a couch spot. I can sleep anywhere allowing me to grab a spot without hesitation.

And then there was another and another. I nodded off quickly but awoke to what I assumed was my partner’s annoying snoring habit. I tried the normal covering of the ears. I made my quick video of the sound effects for proof and attempted to find my restful state again fully knowing the sound was not going away.

And then there was two. Two sounds. A kind of surround sound effect. Oh no, was my mind playing tricks on me? Not a chance! My partner’s sibling had snagged a spot in the open air sleeping space while I went to sleep. I had surround sound snoring in full effect!

It was almost the exact snore pattern. In the dark room, I could hear the tick of the clock and hoarse sound of snoring in each ear. A constant sound. Shallow breath, loud snore. A hicccup pattern or patterns of continuous snores. An abnormally loud snore that could have resembled a snort or two or three.

This torture went on an on. No end in sight. I finally saw the sunrise on the horizon. A peaceful sight. It was early but blissful. I was awakening and the sound was fading into the distance.

As the sun rose and the rooster made its morning announcement in the distance, the snoring faded. Each sibling out like a light. Not even remotely aware of their snore fest mimicking a Fourth of July fireworks display to others nearby.

How do you coexist with snoring? Could I snore as bad as they do? How does one fix their snoring problem? Is there snore etiquette when you have a sleepover of sorts as adults? Is snoring even an issue for kids?

Ah, so many questions. Since it’s the wee hours of the morning and I am somewhat sleep deprived I will move on from this post as I’m sure it’s not all that exciting to most.

Do you have a funny snore story to share? If so, drop us a comment or send us a note. We love to hear from our readers and/or snorers. Hope this post didn’t put you to sleep.

mental health

Peaceful

In my recent travels I ended up in middle America as I call it from my eyes. Away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Away from the rioting and looting in the big cities. Away from the stress of work.

I walked for miles and miles on a flat roadway taking in the tranquil scenery. No cars honking no smog in the air. It was peaceful silence and fresh air. The simple quality of breathing fresh air can leave you breathless. What an irony.

This road isn’t a fancy road to anywhere just a beautiful part of our country. Flat lands allowing you to see for miles and miles. No smoke or smog on the horizon. What a sight to take in when our country is in so much turmoil.

All the fields were recently planted or prepped by the local farmers. Some fields have corn while others had wheat. Some were just covered in wild flowers. Either way it seemed the birth of new life was in abundance.

I choose my happy each day. I tend to stay away from the negative news blasts and social media rants. I try to focus on what’s front and center. What can I impact? How can I make a difference?

In a world of so many uncertainties find your balance. Find your peace and beauty around you. Find your wildflowers or embody the spirit of wild flower within you.

May this post find you some peace and comfort today. If you can, visit the ocean and dip your toes in the sand. Take a hike in the mountains. Get away from it all to embrace peaceful when the world around us is constantly showing us all struggle.

I hope some of my photo reel once again let your mind drift if you aren’t able to travel for whatever reason. I share my stories with the world to make a difference. Enjoy.