adventure

Up, Up and Away

Today I flew on a plane for the second time since March 2020. The first time was in May for a funeral when many cities were still in shutdown mode. I thought that was an interesting experience back then and I’m sure I documented it but since I was probably numb from the loss of a loved one I didn’t observe everything I could have.

That first flight interaction was new and seemed different. Wearing a mask. Socially distancing. So many rules yet this time was even more of a drastic change. Plastic dividers in the security check line. Masks, gloves, social distancing signs everywhere. Nobody says anything to you. Nobody sits near you in the waiting area. Many restaurants and bars are boarded up in the concourse. Desolate in certain areas.

And if somebody moved off their 6-foot dot in error boy did eyebrows flare in lines. Many may not realize how expressive eyes can be. When masks are on everyone’s eyes are even more fierce. I can see sad eyes, stressed eyes, tired eyes and even angry eyes. 

I made the best of my travels. I enjoyed the extra space on the plane itself. I overly enjoyed the people watching as I usually do, but this time I seemed to really savor the experience.

It started in the parking lot when an interesting person chatted it up about parking fees. Then we entered into baggage claim where apparently somebody was returning from the tropics and pretty much left their bathing suit on (it was not visibly pleasing). Then at checkin there was a gentleman with super cool pants that he must have designed himself. A mix match of patterns that flowed nicely in such a clever way. I was jealous.

Moving on to the security check and here I focused on masks. Who was wearing what mask and what did the mask tell me about said person. It was almost a game of sorts with myself in the line. Of course I will never really know if I was right or wrong but I sure did pass time and enjoyed being curious.

Then onto the security scanner which I had to go through multiple times. I didn’t wear the right slip-on shoes so it was a lace up lace down task on repeat for this girl. At least I wasn’t the only one. Every time I had put my shoes on waiting for my bag only to find out I had to go back through and that required shoes on/off. Maybe they should say hold up wait for your bag before you put on your shoes. Then a moment of panic keeping up with my cell phone as I ran back and forth. My everything is online from the airplane ticket to the car rental to the no-touch hotel checkin. Help, I need my phone!

Then the escalator and transit system to the gate. Here I was asked for directions. Puzzling since the signs were in abundance but maybe he couldn’t read. Anyway I had a skull mask on so my travel buddy said geez you look like the least approachable person with that mask yet you have been approached twice. Pretty funny to me but maybe my eyes said I’m nice? Who knows.

At the end of my travels, I can say I had fun. A field trip of sorts. I got to see more people in one place than I have seen all year. It was a wonderful occasion. I wasn’t really excited to fly with the recent outbreak of cases but I enjoyed the experience nonetheless.

I love people. I love conversation. I love to watch how things flow. I like to see new places. I just like to explore and that’s what I’m doing. Exploring the new world through my lens and that’s why I’m writing this post.

In case you can’t get out to explore maybe this blog post will show you to do so in spirit with me. I share my lens with you. Enjoy!

dare to be different

Growth

This year I grew a lot. I physically grew a lot when I added that extra Corona cooped-up-all-day poundage. I grew emotionally when I battled the loss of many loved ones in isolation amidst a pandemic. I grew socially by deepening my connections with those around me. It was a growth year for me overall.

Growth doesn’t have to always do with money or wealth to define success. Growth happens in many stages of your life when you are most vulnerable. It’s the sweet spot of vulnerability that allows for the biggest growth to happen in my mind.

An area I challenged myself to grow this year was unlikely. Many shook their head in wonder, disbelief or just a bit of a why attitude. That’s okay. Let others wonder and watch while I grow. While I grow in many ways.

As my mindset shifts so do my priorities. As kids age, time frees up, and exploration begins. The mature adult in me gets to try to conquer new things that may have been out of reach with kids in tow or otherwise.

My future is bright for many reasons but one area I’m most excited about is growth. Look for future posts on growing from nothing to something. From something to big things. I am for sure a visionary. Hope you stay tuned for my growing tales.

It’s also a good sidebar note – when you grow others may notice. It may ignite a spark in them to level up. It could be your child. Your coworker. Your friend. Anyone observing from a distance. Growth can be infectious.

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

Eyes on You

How does it feel to have eyes on you?

Maybe it’s the person across the room attempting to flirt with you.

Maybe it’s the professor in class with a puzzled looked from a distance.

Maybe it’s your boss peeping your professional online profile?

Maybe it’s your coworker snooping on you on Facebook?

Or maybe it’s that nosy neighbor watching your comings and goings?

How does it feel to have eyes on you? Does it make you paranoid? Does it make you wonder why? Are you even remotely interested and do you have the audacity to ask why? Or do you just sit back and say have at it. It’s public information. I’m aware of that. Interpret how you wish. Your perception may not be my reality but I encourage one to peep anytime.

For me I’m the latter. If I’m so interesting that somebody needs to seek out my daily doings good for them and good for me. I’m relevant. I sparked curiosity. I piqued another’s interest. I saw the post below when I wrote this post and thought how funny and applicable it was.

I left a carrot for the taking. Did somebody bite or did many? That’s the mystery. It’s also the puzzle of how many times one bites.

I love life and writing about the ins and outs of people, places, things and situations. Life provides an abundance of writing inspiration. Thank you to all near and far who inspire me to write and do me, my way.

My adventures continue. Follow along as much or as little as you wish. As a writer I invite you into my world. How you perceive me, my value and my stories are completely at your discretion. Enjoy.