Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Out of nowhere

If you are fortunate enough to never experience a family member in the hospital, you are missing out on an experience that can only be described as being completely out of touch with the normal world.

Given that this was my Grandma's third multiple day hospital stay this year, I have recently begun to consider myself a professional in the hospital visiting world.

For being almost 90, my grandmother is in fairly good health except for the fact that she has horrible asthma that makes her susceptible to pneumonia. This time around, her blood pressure was quickly approaching the line that would put her in the "stroke zone".

I got off work on Tuesday night and went by to see her at her nursing home, she was carrying on conversation just fine and was eating dinner while she talked to me.

24 hours later, she was completely out of it and was not only unable to maintain a conversation but would not make eye contact with you. This would later lead to MRIs.

The thing that is difficult to adjust to when being at the hospital 8-12 hours a day is the fact that the hospital is completely self sufficient. Like a hotel, it's always light inside and there are always people walking around. There would be days when I would get there in the morning and not leave until night and have no idea what time it is.

The thing I like most about hospitals is the demeanor of other people. Between the three trips to the hospital this year alone, I have met people in elevators and in line in the cafeteria who have provided me with such support and inspiration.

This time, I was standing in the hallway outside her hospital room door, just taking a minute to regroup and breathe when a random person took time to ask me if I was alright and to tell me that everything is going to be okay.

There's something about meeting people who are going through similar scenarios that brings down their guard. In the real world, strangers go out of their way to avoid conversation, in the hospital world, it is these conversations that provide the words that are needed to carry on.

The last thing and my favorite is the way the dynamics of my family quickly changes when it needs to. This is a family who is full of nothing but drama and criticism. But the minute we get the call that we need to be there, every petty argument is left at home and we create a united front. We are suddenly a family, loving each other because of our flaws and caring about each other enough to know who is diabetic and needs constant snacks, who needs to leave the room to smoke or regroup.

At one point, we had been there 7 hours and I looked around to see us all look the same way, tired, hungry, in need of a shower and fresh air, but laughing and reflecting. Talking about old memories and Christmas plans.

Although never in a million years did I imagine I would be spending my Christmas eve and Christmas day this way, although I wanted to cry and moan about how unfair this was, I am beyond thankful that my grandma is okay, I am beyond thankful that although the conditions were not ideal, I had the opportunity to spend time with my family in a way that would bring us closer together.

Hit The Road

Dear 2009,

Get out of here already.

You have without a doubt been the worst year I have faced so far in my almost 21 years of existence.

You have been full of nothing but stress, hospital visits, homework, heartache and disappointment.

I'm thankful for the very rare beautiful moments that you provided but the bad definitely outweighed the good and if you don't leave here soon, I'm afraid I won't be able to handle too much more.

As they say in my very favorite show for all time and forever Lost, Destiny is a fickle bitch and guess what 2009, SO ARE YOU.

Get out of here.

Love,
Whitney

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Grandma is in the hospital again.

One day I'll write about how it's situations like these that make me realize who is there for me and willing to deal with uncontrollable sobs and constant trips to the vending machine.

One day I'll write about how it's times like these when my family is crowded together in a small waiting room that I realize despite how different our lives are and our jobs are, this is my family and we are tied together by not just our dna but our unconditional love for each other (and star wars, which happened to be on in the waiting room).

One day I'll write about all sorts of stuff, but right now I'm trying to squeeze in a few hours of sleep before we head back to the hospital.


Merry Christmas Loves <3

Send boat loads of good thoughts this way.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Open Letters

Dear Facebook,
Thanks for providing me with something to do during Winter break. I'm especially excited since I can now become a fan of important things like "Simply Lemonade" and "Texting the person sitting next to you things you can't say outloud". However, I am not a fan of my ex-boyfriend from junior high OR the family that I babysit for trying to befriend me.
Let's work on this,
Whitney

Dear Ex Boyfriend from Junior High,
I get it, your nosy. I'm the queen of internet creeping so I can't really call you out on this. I can however call you out on the fact that when you did know me, I had HUGE hair and a orthodontic appliance that resembles the kinds of things you'd find in a torture chamber. Considering that my sex appeal was zero when you knew me in the 8th grade, I am really unsure why it is that you now want to be my friend and have sent me THREE messages commenting on things I have listed in my about me.
Get a life creeper,
Whitney

Dear Crocheting,
I don't know why it is that we only meet once a year when I feel like I should be nice to the people in my life and make them something for the holidays. I also don't understand why 80 year old women can crochet and I can't.
You suck.
Love,
Whitney

Dear Laundry Pile.
F you.
I'm going to continue to ignore you at least until the new year,
Whitney

Dear Grandma,
Asking me every time we talk "when are you going to get a real job" is annoying and tacky.
Wondering how it is your heart hasn't frozen solid yet,
Whitney

Dear Your Mom/Your Face jokes,
Thanks for always being funny and for being wonderful to whisper to my 13 year old sister every time my relatives are around.
Love,
Whitney

Dear Diet Dr. Pepper,
Thanks for being the only thing in this world that keeps me sane.
Love Love Love,
Whitney

I used to be funny

Remember when I used to post things that were funny?

Like comparing my grandmother to dementors and referring to my teaching philosophy as "me being a dick".

*sigh*

Once I'm done making people Christmas presents, I'll get snarky again.

Until then, I'm going to go back to crocheting scarves for people I don't even care for that much.


These are a few of my favorite things


My new camera is here but because it has been raining, I haven't been able to take it on any adventures. This morning I decided to use it to document a few random things around my bedroom that make my heart sing.

My record ceiling is usually peoples favorite thing about my room.

I love the way people write my name, my bedroom door has a collection from over the years as well as a sign that says "love struck Osama sets his sights on Whitney", taken from the National Inquirer.

My amazing light switch cover found here

A random collection of funny and meaningful postsecrets.


Pictures of friends and family all centered around an awesome scrapbook page full of the words from "Oh The Places You'll Go".

This sign was one of the presents I got when I graduated high school.

My schedule board along with some motivational words.

I got a HUGE Harry Potter cardboard cut out when I was the first in line for the Half Blood Prince, meaning I was in line the early hours of the morning.

It took me a long time to feel comfortable enough to even turn this light on because I was convinced it was going to catch on fire. Now I love it.

Amazing finger puppets. Definitely one of the best things I have ever purchased. These ones are Harold and Maude and The Royal Tenenbaums. You can find these ones and some other super clever ones here. You can also see my ticket from the Seattle Art Museum!

My quote wall, full of framed words of wisdom that just make so much sense.



Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And then everything made sense again

I was going to post something last week about making progress and change for the better, but life kept me busy and I'm trying hard to adjust my sleeping pattern so I'm not always up until 3.

Then I was going to post a Friday five yesterday but I ended up going shopping with my mom.

So this is what I have to say, lately things have finally started to get better.

Long story short, last night Hayley and I made sugar cookies and the world is slowly but surely starting to make sense again.








Sunday, December 13, 2009

Don't Judge

One of my favorite shows of all time just so happens to be Gilmore Girls.

I really don't know why, maybe it's the witty banter between mother and daughter that is so similar to the relationship I have with my own mom. Anyways, there are so many quotes from this show that I have written in the spaces of my quote book.

There's one I always think about this time of year that talks about the magic of the first snow.

But today I happened to come across a quote. Sometimes I come across things that I have pushed to the back of my mind and I feel like it's so meant to be when I encounter them again. I pulled a book off my shelf and an index card fell out with these words,

"I'm fine, I mean not that I'm over it, but little by little it's getting easier to pretend it's easier, which means easier might be right around the corner -Gilmore Girls"

I love this. I love this for so many reasons. One because it is the perfect way to describe how I am feeling right now and Two, at some point in time in my life I dealt with a similar situation, I wrote this quote down as a reminder that easier is right around the corner and I survived whatever was going on then and I know I will survive what is going on now.



Saturday, December 12, 2009

Whatever happened, happened.



The last twenty four hours have been a true test. Things have happened that I just can't wrap my mind around. I'm constantly struggling with the fact that sometimes things happen that just don't make sense, some times situations are just out of my control.

It's a difficult feeling, the moment when you realize that you put entirely too much faith and trust in someone who did not deserve it. It's even more difficult when you realize that the structure you worked on building has come crumbling down so fast, by the time you notice that anything is wrong, it's already in pieces on the floor.

Instead of making sense of things, instead of constantly questioning why or wondering what I did wrong; I'm just focusing right now on constantly pushing forward.

Right now my job is to remind myself that "the world only spins forward", right now things are uncomfortable and difficult, right now there are days when it's hard to get out of bed, let alone pretend that I'm feeling okay, but eventually the day will come when things will stop hurting. Albeit, I'm definitely not feeling okay with the shape of things, I know that by surrounding myself with positive people who genuinely give a shit, by keeping myself busy and not taking time to acknowledge the unfortunate way that things are right now, I am on the road to being okay.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Everything Looks Perfect From Far Away

One of the things I struggle with the most when working with kids is the constant question “Did I do the very best that I can do today?”

Did I not let my own personal life and feelings get in the way of getting something accomplished?

Did I realize and remember that someone learns differently and thinks differently and acts differently and I need to do everything I can to accommodate that?

Did I reach them today? Will I reach them tomorrow? Is any progress being made? Is enough progress being made?

Some days, these questions keep me up at night, reading and researching and planning and plotting ways to try again, ways to change my strategies and methods and language and thought process to be the very best teacher I can be, to be the very best student I can be.

Teaching is hard work, learning how to teach is equally as hard because it is a never-ending process.

Some days are harder than others, some days are awful and I want to cry, some days are so beautiful and wonderful that I want to cry harder because I feel so fortunate to be able to do something I love so much.

I’m learning slowly that are going to be bad days, there are going to be days when things won’t go the way that I planned, but I will get through it and keep soldering on.

Every bad day is followed by a brand new day.

And I'll just continue to try my best, after all that's all I've got