As we come together to begin, Project Reverb gives us the following:
At the start: Where did you start 2014? Give us some background on this year.
2014 didn’t have the most auspicious beginning. We had dropped my mom off at the New Orleans airport the afternoon before & Sweet Husband was sick as the proverbial dog. We were going to join friends who live in New Orleans to usher in the new year, but he couldn’t even make it through the Mississippi State football bowl game. Off to the house we went.
The previous year, we had been at home alone for NYE & SH had said while he said it was nice it wasn’t the kind of NYE we were used to & no offense he didn’t want to do that again. Last year he was too sick to care, though. He went to bed & I cooked & cleaned, doing all the things you aren’t supposed to do on New Year’s Day.
Quiet. Preparing space for the things that were hoped for in the new year. Reflecting.
The rest of the year has been chronicled here at length. Like the end the previous year, I spent my weeks away from my home & family, aching for more.
The year ends essentially the same it began: aching & hoping for something more, trying to create space for that more, trying to figure out where to go from here.
The first prompt from Kat McNally is
Today, I invite you to take a quiet moment to consider: what can you say right now with certainty?
There are many days when it feels like I know nothing with any degree of certainty, when it feels like I’m feeling my way along in the dark. I’m very good stuff bluffing, though, so there it’s rarely anyone who knows that I have no idea.
I feel deep in my gut the following things despite my general lack of faith:
- There can’t be another year like this one. I am grateful for a job to be sure. So very grateful. But. My place is at home with my husband. He tells me all the time, “I need you here to help me with …” or “if you were here to remind me …” It makes an already difficult situation harder. I know he wants me home. I know *I* want to be home. I can feel the strain that the separation creates in our relationship. & I am ready to go home. 2015 has to get me there.
- Children deserve better than what we are giving them in American education. We’ve turned school into this thing where all we really focus on its test scores. We post their scores in the hallway & in three classroom & constantly remind them of whether they are Advanced, Proficient, Minimal, or Basic. We test them & retreat them & provide remediation because without it, they won’t succeed. In some schools, we take away enrichment activities like art & music & PE…so there can be more time for remediation. We forget that there are children underneath these scores & then wonder why we aren’t successful. We see how other countries achieve success but can’t pull our heads out of our asses enough to realize that there isn’t a quick fix & that we cannot pick & choose those elements that are easiest to implement & forget to do the real heavy lifting that is helping kids be successful. & children deserve better.
- It’s always ok in the end. There has never been a time in my life when this wasn’t true…even if the ok that eventually arrives isn’t the one I had originally imagined in my head. It is always ok in the end.
- A smile can make a world of difference. I have a general practice of smiling at strangers. It occasionally gets me into trouble but more often than not it provides an opportunity to make a connection with someone, regardless of how brief it might be…a moment of knowing that we aren’t alone in this world, a memory long-forgotten but still alive under the skin, waiting to surface. So I smile because rarely does it cost me anything but a second or two.
- Coffee in the morning is one of the greatest gifts in the world.
Some serious (not sure where that education rant came from, although it might have something to do with the meetings I sat through today), some not so. I suppose I know more with certain than I thought I did.
I invite you again to join us on this reverb journey. We would love to have you!