What about Resentment? (solsc2015) 28/31

“Never apologize for showing feelings. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.” ~Benjamin Disraeli”

“Never apologize for showing feelings. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.” ~Benjamin Disraeli”

Today I cleaned the house with a resentful heart. I did. I love how a clean house feels, and I don’t even mind doing the work. It calms me and makes me feel like I’ve pulled myself together. But I felt resentful because the person with whom I live (who is 19 years old – that’ s an important fact) didn’t help one bit. He got up and left home early, dressed all cute, and still hasn’t come home.

This wouldn’t be anything noteworthy if we hadn’t had a big talk just about two weeks ago about the importance of giving back to your loved ones, as well as helping to maintain the space in which you live. This was a big talk, one of those that doesn’t come around very often, and that you really don’t want to be in the habit of having. Because it’s uncomfortable to tell that much truth, and when emotion gets involved it can be so wearying. That’s how this conversation was, at least.

He said he doesn’t know when to clean the bathroom because he doesn’t notice when it’s dirty. I said, “Just do it on Saturday morning. You can count on it needing it once a week.” That was two or three weeks ago and I finally gave up and cleaned the bathroom today. I noticed that I was feeling resentment, and a feeling of hurt that I can’t count on him. I also acknowledged that the feeling is mine, and has nothing to do with him.

I have a situation at school which I resent as well. I have suddenly had to share my desk and laptop with a person who was recently released from their position at another school. She is finishing out her contract at our school for some reason, and since I use my office only two periods a day, she was placed there when I’m not. Yesterday I came in to do some work, and she was in the middle of a conversation with a student. She said she’d be done soon, but I only had a short time left, so I went to the faculty lunchroom to do what I had to do. I was resentful every minute I was in there.

So, what should one do with this feeling? It is mine alone, and has nothing to do with any other person, really. Wanting some guidance, I looked it up on Tiny Buddha , and here’s what I learned:

1.Express Yourself.  It’s important to express our pain, to ourselves, at any rate. We must own our emotions, not deny them. They suggest this mantra:

“Right now I feel (INSERT EMOTION). I give myself permission to feel (INSERT EMOTION) because I have a right to express myself and my emotions.”

2. Communicate your feelings from a calm and balanced frame of mind. I like to call it a point of neutrality.  You are doing this for yourself, not for the relationship or for the other person. You are doing it because you owe it to yourself to live a truthful life, free of resentment.

3. Practice forgiveness. When you embrace forgiveness, resentment ceases to exist. Wow, yeah. I think I hang on to my resentment because I need to be right.  And even if I am right in my own mind, the practice of resentment only hurts me.

“We cannot control what other people do, but we can control how we react. When we practice truthful living, self-expression, and forgiveness, resentment simply has no place or power in our lives.”

Oh yes. I knew this. I guess I was just enjoying my self righteousness too much. I don’t know why I have such  need to be right..  I really want to live without the puddle of resentment that I wade into so readily. It feels awful, honestly. I think I’m going to post that last quote in a prominent place, where I can  see it every day. And then I’m going to go out and plant some flowers. I need to ground myself in the dirt!


Weekend Menu (solsc2015) 27/31

I am so taken with the idea of a list that is way too long being a menu, I’ve claimed it as my own (even though the orginal idea is not mine. Disclaimer!). We’re about to leave school early, on a District Minimum Day to celebrate the birthday of Cesar Chavez, whose birthday it isn’t. (March 31 is his birthday, in case you’re wondering.) Still, in my mind we have a three day weekend just because we’re getting out one hour early. That’s how desperate I am. So, in order to be ready and not miss a minute of my (not) three day weekend, here’s my menu of things to do:

1. Create “zones” in my yard. This is to simplify the process of shaping it all up for summer. If I try to do it as an overall job, I’ll get overwhelmed maybe, but if I divide it into 10 little zones, I can just address one at a time. Like I”ll do the little garden that’s outside my bedroom door. Plant the annuals that go there along with maybe a new lavendar plant. Then I’ll keep that going all around the yard. I have figured out about 10 zones, so they are small, hence, doable.


2. Go through my clothes and put away or get rid of the Winter ones and get out the Spring ones. So far the Spring ones I’ve tried are a little big or way too big, so I may do some donating.

3. Shopping. I’m not a big shopper, in fact I pretty much hate to shop, but see #2. I’m giving my clothes away, and being a non shopper, you can imagine that my clothes collection is limited. So, if some go out, some are going to have to come in new. I still think I need the bigger size that I’m giving away. I hope I can convince myself otherwise.

4. Go to the chiropractor. My neck has been out for three days and I’m at the end of my rope with it. So this menu item is already scheduled for this afternoon. I can hardly wait.


5. Go to my daughter’s 40th birthday party. Lordy, lordy look who’s forty. All that. She’s getting a taco truck and we’re making decorations so that should be fun. Except she has a lot of friends, and they mostly have kids, so there’ll be at least 25 kids there. I’m kinda glad it’s not at my house!


6. Go see “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” I liked the first one, so I think I’ll like this one. I’ll take snacks. I”ll go alone if no one else is interested. UPDATE: Don’t go see this movie if you haven’t seen the first one. It is such a continuation of that, I wished I’d watched the first one on Netflix or DVD before I went to see this. I liked it okay, but some of it didn’t hang together well enough for me. Just in case you wanted to know what I thought of it.


That’s it. The menu is actually way longer. I’ll leave off the laundry and vacuuming and mopping and dog washing and all those other things I have to do but don’t especially want to. Those are pretty much non-negotiable. Sorry this is such a non-interesting post. It matters to me, and today I’m all about what matters. Even or especially the little stuff. I’ll hope for something of greater interest to others tomorrow. Thanks for bearing with me.



Negotiations (solsc2015) 26/31

Shadow teacher looks at signs, sighs.

Tuesday night was the School Board meeting for our district. We have been in negotiations with the district since last May. We are working without a contract and we’re getting tired of it. Our district seems to have a huge amount of money set aside, and it grows each year. Our Superintendent earns more than the Governor of California and the head of the FBI. If we get a raise, so does she. Things are starting to get prickly around here.

My daughter and I attended the Board meeting on Tuesday. The teachers’ union had prepared a lot of signs to hold, and our president had a PowerPoint to deliver. We had all been asked to attend to show our support and solidarity.

There were over 100 teachers in attendance that night. We all held signs and entered into the little board room, the one where they hold closed sessions. As they left closed session and went into the big board room, where the public portion of the meeting occurs we lined the hallway with our signs. The news was there, and we all silently held up our signs. To me it was a little awkward, but all in all it was respectful. They were smiling, and we were too, holding our signs.

But then the meeting started. It got kind of nasty. The Chairman of the Board had some mean and belittling things to say about and to the teachers. He is a former teacher – how quickly one forgets. Teachers began disagreeing with him in loud voices, and chaos broke out. It was quickly contained, but for a few minutes I was appalled. I’m really sure that neither side gained any points with their barbs and shouted commentary. I sometimes think I’m too passive, and I probably am, but what I heard was certainly not destined to lead to any sort of resolution or harmony.

This is in sharp contrast to another local school district. Last year they didn’t have the money to give their teachers what they had requested. This year they did have enough. In fact they had more than enough, so they gave them more than they asked for. Can you believe that? What would it even be like to feel listened to, to have our needs understood and to be given a place at the table, respectfully.

Today was another bargaining day. We’ll see what comes of it. We’re getting close to more drastic measures. A vote of no confidence, working to contract, a strike even. I hope it doesn’t come to any of that. Ugh. Just that. Ugh.


Lockdown Drill (solsc2015) 25/31

Mt.Shasta, our closest ‘sacred mountain.’ Because sometimes we need a little of that power.

Today we had a lockdown drill at our school. We knew it was coming, but not when. The last two have begun during morning break, when everyone was out on the playground. The students know just what to do. They run as fast as they can for whatever room is closest. They get on the floor, away from doors and windows and be very quiet until they are told otherwise. In the past years, these drills have been a source of a great deal of stress for me, but this time, apart from making sure to do everything right, I was without emotion through the whole thing.

Backtrack to May 1, 1992. I was a student teacher in our local high school when we had a school shooting, in the building in which I taught. I was trapped inside with my class of 25 students for seven hours. What happened that day carved a deep rut in my spirit, one which for many years held residues of fear that were easily excavated by seemingly insignificant happenings. When the sheriff came to talk to the staff about what had happened that day and he got it wrong because he was barely a kid then and he was just telling what he’d heard, I got up and left the room. One year I had to leave school early on May first because I couldn’t bear to be at school at the time it’d started. Lockdown drills left me trembling even twenty years later. Heaven help any student who dared joke about any aspect of it.

Today it was different, and I know why. Last summer I met a shaman, Lisa, a fellow writer at the retreat I attended.  We talked and as we became acquainted, she asked if I’d been in an accident or something, as she sensed something was amiss with me. I told her, “No, nothing I can think of.” And then, “Well, yeah, actually…” and I told her about the event at the high school. She immediately offered to help me do some work to clear that out of my system. She could tell that it was still affecting my life in some important ways. The work we did was profound. At the end of it she said that she thought things would be different for me, especially in regard to this detritus from the shooting.

And she was right. Today I very calmly and without any particular emotion, did what I had to during the drill, and later,  when the students asked, because another teacher told them I was there, I told them the story of that day. I had only told it a very few times in the past 23 years, but today I found I could do it.

I learned so much from Lisa that night.  Although I still don’t know how to understand some aspects of it, I think about the things she told me every day, still working through them. I’m so thankful to have this part of myself back. So. Thankful.


The Compulsion of Sugar (solsc2015) 24/31


My name is Lynn and I am a sugarholic.

This morning I walked into Starbucks and on my way back to the restroom, I noticed my mind cataloguing my favorite sugar in the place. I thought of the little round creme brulee caramels and the chocolate covered graham crackers, quickly sorting out my preference for dark chocolate over milk. Or maybe milk over dark… This all happened within 30 seconds of my entering the place, and was over within the same time span. I particularly noticed it because I have no intention of buying any of it. My mind just does it without any provocation on my part.

As we left, I was telling my daughter about it, and commenting that I know my favorite form of sugar in every place I go to more than once. At the Courthouse Cafe they have those gluten free chocolate dipped macaroons. They have even better ones at Tin Roof, the cafe I go to on Sunday mornings. At The Brick Coffehouse are those huge fudgy brownies. At Grana is this baked chocolate stuff called Boca Nero (black mouth? Yeah.) and at Raleys those crisp chocolatey Tate’s gluten free chocolate chip cookies.

There is also seasonal sugar. For Valentine’s Day, there are Russell Stover chocolate covered marshmallow hearts and those little chocolate mousse tortes at the bakery. For Easter, there are Peeps, of course, along with those hard shelled Cadbury chocolate eggs. And Russell Stover chocolate covered marshmallow eggs.Throughout the year are birthday cakes, at Halloween candy corn, bite-sized candy bars and Russell Stover chocolate covered marshmallow pumpkins. Thanksgiving is rife with pumpkin pie and whipped cream and at Christmas, oh my word. Christmas brings every sweet thing one can imagine. I make batch after batch of caramels every year to give to friends. But I can’t discount the Russell Stover chocolate covered marshmallow santas. Obviously, Russell Stover has a chocolate covered marshmallow something or another for every season. I should know.

Coffee Nips are good for driving (I mean, hello, they have coffee = caffeine=stay awake driving, right?? Not really.). World Market has those little peach gumdrop rings and all kinds of licorice and gummy everything. Last weekend I went to see Cinderella with my daughter and we got there too late to stop at Trader Joes or the Dollar Store and buy snacks. Without snacks, I fell asleep in the movie. True. The frenzy mounts!!

I always know where every bit of sugar in my home is located. Even if I’m managing to not eat it, I know where it is. And I replace it when it is gone. It doesn’t matter who will be eating it. I just need to know it’s there. Sometimes I even hide it. When I’m sad or mad or bored, even, my first instinct is to eat sugar. Chocolate. I’ve been known to stomp around, ripping the cupboards open looking for some chocolate when I’m in the eye of my hurricane of pique. When I caught myself doing that once, it kind of helped me to calm it. It’s so unattractive. Emotional sugar eating is the most driven kind. It’s when I can just say “Oh well. I’ll quit again tomorrow. Today I need sugar.” And not usually just a little. Just as much as there is available.

So what’s the big deal? Apart from battling my weight all my life, that is. First of all, I have no off switch when it comes to sugar. That’s the addiction part.  By not eating sugar I’ve learned to recognize how it inflames my body. I bloat up and the sugar headaches are mighty. A sugar headache will wake me from a sound sleep and keep me awake all night.The arthritis in my hands is aggravated by sugar, as is my asthma. There should be no question about whether I should or shouldn’t eat it. And yet…

So, I’m nearly sugar free these days. It only takes a little, though, to get me going again. Is it any wonder I decided a long time ago to forego drinking alcohol?

Yeah. My name is Lynn and I’m a sugarholic.


Monday Madness (solsc2015) 23/31

It’s the end of the quarter, and I’m accepting late work. Today only.
“But what if I bring it to you in the morning?”
What part of ‘today’ did you miss, Jose?

“Hey Ms. Jacobs, Last weekend I went to Harley’s house and Harley’s dad…”
No Harley’s dad stories today, Ivan.

“What’s my AR goal? My advisory teacher says I have to have a goal by tomorrow or she’ll make me a goal.”
That is my job, not hers. Today is the first day of the new quarter and I haven’t made your goal yet, Maria. Just keep reading, you’ll have your goal soon enough.

“Hey Ms. Jacobs, once when we were in fifth grade, Harley’s dad…”
Stop Ivan. No Harley’s dad stories today.”

“When are we going to the library? I need a new book.”
It says on the agenda that we’re going tomorrow, third period.
“Can we go tomorrow?”
It says on the agenda…Yes.

“What’s my grade as of right now?”
“What am I missing?”
I’ll enter the papers you just gave me, Miguel, and then I’ll tell you.

“Hey Ms. Jacobs, on Sunday we had a soccer game and afterwards I went to Harley’s house and Harley’s dad bought pizza and it was frozen and…”
Stop Ivan. No Harley’s dad stories today.
“Hey Ms. Jacobs, Harley’s dad…”
La la la la la…I’m not listening to any Harley’s dad stories. Just stop.

Cha, take of your hat, please.
“What?? Why today? You let me wear it other times.”
Sorry, just take it off. Thanks.

A few of you still haven’t handed in the writing sample I need to send to the high school. Please hand it in today.
“I don’t know how to write this. I mean, I NEED HELP.”
Okay, I’ll show you what to do in a minute. It’s pretty simple

“Hey Ms. Jacobs, so yesterday I went to Harley’s dad’s birthday party and he just…”
Ivan, stop.
“Hejustbitthecakeallatonceandgotitalloverhisface.” Laughter…

“Hey Ms. Jacobs, I saw Ivan and his dad at the store yesterday and he…”
Harley, no Ivan’s dad stories, please.

“You listened to a story about my dad so now you have to listen to one about Ivan’s dad.”
No I didn’t…

Only one more Monday until Spring Break. Let’s hope for a quiet Tuesday.


Random Sunday: Another List (solsc2015) 22/31

IMG_7082Once again it’s Sunday. I’m not doing any of these things because I’m so busy slicing and commenting:

Cleaning the kitchen
Cleaning the bathroom
Cleaning anything at all!
Planning lessons
Planting the impatiens I just bought at Costco because they have the best ones and I didn’t want to miss them.
Writing in my journal or making adorable little shipping tags to commemorate the day.
Read or listening to either any of the books I’m currently in the middle of
Washing my car
Shopping for groceries except for the $127 I just spend at Costco for what all was it??

But I have time for a Sunday List, because that’s my idea of a Sunday Slice! So here it is:

1.  I buy my impatiens at Costco because they are cheap and each plant comes in a four inch pot, rather than those tiny pony packs where the roots are all bound up together. Here they are:  That is a lot of impatiens beauty for only $20, I think. I will need more, but I decided to start slowly, to make sure I plant them all. Last year I petered out before I finished the last pack of these and they stayed right there by my bedroom door all summer, happily blooming. Or should I not admit to that degree of sloth? Oh well.

2. Yesterday my 19 month old granddaughter got in the pool in her little swim diaper. It is not warm enough for us adults to get in, but she is valiant. She only got wet up to her waist because none of us were willing to get in past our feet. I predict an interesting ride with this girl! Nothing much fazes her. Today the same kid came to coffee with her dad, and she had to go outside to see the pictures of the dancers in the windows of the dance studio next door. She pointed and babbled on about the dancers. I walked her to the front windows, to see more pictures, and she spotted the door. “Inside?” she asked, trying to push the door open. She can’t begin dance lessons until she’s two next August, but she’ll be ready for it. I’ve never seen a dance-crazy kid like this one. Funny. But enough about her. I could be way more obnoxious by going on and on about her,  but I won’t. Not all at once, anyway.

3. UPDATE: My friend Kim pointed out to me that I always miss a number when I’m making a list. I thought I got to 4 awfully fast. I’m not sure what 3 would have been. One of the photos I guess.

4.Today is the Home and Garden Show. Last year I went to it and told two different hidden screen door companies that I needed a new door. I said I wanted TO BUY ONE, SOON. Do you think either of them ever called me? No, not ever. So weird. I guess I’ll give them another chance this year, because now I need it more than I did last year. UPDATE #2: I went to the Home and Graden show and found the Phantom Screen guy and he says he’s going to call me tonight. We’ll see. See that hanging down thing?That’s part of the top, the part that makes it slide smoothly, I think. I really need a new one.  So we’ll see who is willing to do some work, I guess.

5. We have two more weeks until Spring Break. It is the week after Easter. I will make myself a list of to-dos that will exceed my capability, I’m sure. One slicer called it ‘making a menu’, which is more realistic. I’m all about the list, not so much the action. Speaking of which, see my menu that began this post? Yeah. I’m on it. Have a great week!