peachyteachy

For realsies

Drinking the Kool Aid of the Cult of Inadequacy March 15, 2015

Filed under: family,humor,inspiration,life — peachyteachy @ 12:32 pm
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Everyone likes a good shortcut, I suppose.  In the era of multitasking and inadequacy, I fear that things are getting out of hand. When the hell did Hints from Heloise morph into life hacks? I know that it emerged from the geek world, but if you find  yourself bringing a Magic Eraser® into the shower to multitask/hack in there, you might very well be drinking that Kool Aid®, and chances are that you have been Pinterest-shamed out of ever purchasing that powdery pack of sugar and color again.  Cuz that is not clean food. That is hair dye.

And another thing: the word “hack” brings to my mind images of a saw, used to escape dark and dreary prisons (as opposed to the light and airy prisons where they keep the criminally adequate), 0r something I might find in the bottom of one of my second grade students’ backpacks.

Have you ever clicked on a link to a video of three hundred hacks for apple cider vinegar? No. No, neither have I. All of these opportunities to become better than ever before through the miracle of life hacking have made me feel less together than ever.

That damned eraser displayed no magic, by the way. Kool Aid man, take me away!

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Cheap Anti-Depressant: Pay it Forward November 8, 2014

Filed under: inspiration,life,motivation,parenting — peachyteachy @ 6:18 pm
Tags: ,

This morning, I was in the checkout line at Aldi.  Aldi is a discount grocery store. I freaking love it.

Today, the shopper in front of me had filled her cart, and had overshot her budget. She asked me for a dollar, and I responded, truthfully, that I had no cash (I am a plastic person; not super proud of that). Things proceeded. I waited. I started to think judgmental thoughts. All of my  ugly cultural biases started to rear their ugly heads. I started to think that I had chosen the wrong lane, which is my shopping specialty.  She kept taking things out of her cart.

The checkout people at Aldi are super nice, as a rule.  The guy in this lane was clearly doing his level best to remain patient.  But there was still a chunk of order on the conveyer belt that remained to be sorted. . .

Then I said, “Ma’am, if you are still having trouble covering it, I would like to take care of it.”

She went from stress to joy instantly.  She high fived me, then my son, thanking me again and again, and telling my son that he has a really nice mother.

The fact is that I have faced financial panic at many points.  I remember my mom counting change.  I have applied for public assistance when I was working full time, to keep my family afloat.  It sucked.

This woman could have easily been one of my student’s parents.  But it doesn’t matter, and I will never know.

I covered twenty-one dollars of her groceries.  No huge virtue of mine at all. Instead of feeling pissy and annoyed (a real option, let’s face it) I got to feel, without a doubt, that I had made a right choice today.  The biggest and best choice of today.

 

High Five May 18, 2014

Filed under: humor,inspiration,life — peachyteachy @ 8:24 pm

 

I just noticed that, in my list of categories, humor, inspiration, and life live next door to each other. And I didn’t even plan it that way.  If I used the category “Horrible Shit,” that would closely precede them all, and wisely so.

There is this lovely handful of folks who may have noticed that I have not posted much lately. There’s no big story, really, or at least not one that you couldn’t have predicted.  Work overwhelms; the task of achieving enough-ness becomes more and more detailed and detached from where my heart dwells in the world of education.  It is a comedy of errors, with emphasis on the errors.

Sun has finally returned, and green in all its crazy variety, and soon Caprese salad will take its rightful place in my priorities. My gratitude for this is beyond overwhelming.

A certain reign of terror will also ride off into the sunset.  For this, I am also grateful.  It was worth it, only because of the people who joined me and walked it with me.  Horrible shit is like that, rife with blessings.

And sometimes, it is a song that becomes friend, and pulls you back from the edge.

 

Sometimes, a poem.

Thanks

by

Image of lake

Listen
with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow for the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water looking out
in different directions.

 

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
looking up from tables we are saying thank you
in a culture up to its chin in shame
living in the stench it has chosen we are saying thank you
over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the back door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks that use us we are saying thank you
with the crooks in office with the rich and fashionable
unchanged we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us like the earth
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

 

 

 

A Human Being/A Human Doing January 12, 2014

“I am a human being, not a human doing.” Such a trite little New Ageism, probably coined by Stuart Smalley, back before Al Franken became a US Senator.

Actually, I did come across a blurb that encapsulates the sentiment:

 “I am a human being, not a human doing. Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you do things in life. You aren’t what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don’t…you aren’t.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

The To-Do List is, as we all know, never done. NEVER.  What a freaking recipe for disaster. Even if every item were ever crossed off, another five or so would stand up, front and center, to remind us of our basic, gnawing,  inadequacy.   Sweet.

I have a colleague who writes stuff down and shoves it in his pocket, a sort of deconstructed to-do list.  There is a certain genius in this, I think, not because it is foolproof and he will never forget something, but because he WILL.  There is space for a human being to accidentally wash away the reminder of the human doing when the jeans hit the wash with one pocket uncleared.  Disaster? Hardly.  I, for one, need to remember from time to time that the world is, in fact, NOT going to come crashing to a halt if something on the list slips through the cracks.

But what if it’s something important?

Really? Is it? Will it be in a year? Will it result in  someone being deeply hurt by me? Mostly, even seemingly crucial deadlines would, in fact, end up compromising my ego more than anything else. For me, some of my most egregious errors probably were in the following category: I am freaking out and sick to my stomach about the message I am getting that there is no way I can do enough or be good enough at work—and that pain and fear makes me edgy and impatient with my loved ones.  Oh, yeah, priorities straight as an arrow there.  Doing a couple more hours of data recording for my teaching job is going to take care of everything.

What will take care of everything? How the hell do I know? I suspect it has to do with shutting up and letting my son’s words wash over me when I am overwhelmed: “You’re the best Mom ever.”  When I forget, he tells me again.

I was reading something the other day that gently reminded me of the fact that we really are all just a mess and that’s okay and no one knows how the hell we’re going to traverse the next little bit.   So we try to make a little to-do roadmap and it never feels as neat as we think it should.  Because to-do keeps on collecting, tenacious, like dust.

“You’re the best mom ever.”  It is super shiny, every time! No to-do attached! What a relief.

 

 

 

Image: http://www.holisticwithhumor.com

 

 

Fa-La-La-La-Loss December 28, 2013

Filed under: humor,inspiration,life,parenting — peachyteachy @ 9:02 pm
Tags: ,

This year, the holidays giveth, and the holidays taketh away.

It is not as if I invented this phenomenon; so many forms of loss take no vacations during the holiday season.  People die, people leave, people fall short of expectations.  And then we are stuck with those loss memories during the holidays for the rest of time.

For the Peachy household, this was the year that the recent college graduate got a job in a big city, and left the day after Christmas.  Proud? Yes! Excited for him? Yes!

Heartbroken? That too.  This is it.  This is IT.  We had settled into the “I have a kid at college” routine, where we looked forward to those extended breaks, and had a period of sadness after the return to school.

Then, after graduation, we had an extended period of transition—a lovely time, in many ways—one that would, arguably, have festered after a time into something far less desirable.  But, as it was, not bad at all, especially for little brother.

I have this weird guilt about the fact that my chance to be the perfect parent has just expired.  The most foolish of aspirations, haunting me.  He brought a package of tempera paints over from cleaning his room at his dad’s house.  I bought those paints when he was little.  Clearly, we didn’t paint enough.   He’ll probably bring that to therapy.  Or, worse, to some future girlfriend.  She’ll breezily break out a whimsical art project, and he will confide in her the insecurities born of those early non-tempera painting projects. “Even though the paint was there all the time!”

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how proud and excited you are for your kid.  It’s your baby and, at some level,  your heart will never know how to let go.  You cry. You watch sit-coms. You research gourmet food stores near their new apartment.

Happy Holidays.

 

 

Stuff That Feels Like Christmas to Me December 13, 2013

This plastic church. It played “Silent Night.”

These angel chimes.  When I was little, I would watch and listen to the angel chimes while gazing out of the big front window of my grandparents’ house on the bluff.  I could see all the lights down in the harbor from there.  It was magical.

This tree–a white pine, where I found a bird’s nest, the first Christmas after my mother died (I added the birds). I always have to find a white pine, because we always cut one down from the “back forty” when I was growing up.

This year, I have a fat old white pine.  I tried to bring it in, but the water in its bucket had frozen.  And so, I patiently wait.

Image: http://thumbs1.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mq4JuTFX97NTmDn4ilAryBQ.jpg

 

 

Laws of Science Shattered by Peachyteachy! December 11, 2013

 

Oh, the splendor of blogging.  I’m sure you agree.

But did you realize that blogging defies the laws of time and space? WHAAAAAT? Get Neil deGrassi Tyson on the line!

All true.

Because, guess what? I have exactly one viewer today.  And that viewer is from Canada (I love me some Canada)! But, here’s the coolness: that viewer, according to my scientific stats on Scientific Stat Central WordPress Keeping Track 0’Stuff 3000, is also from SWITZERLAND!!!!!

Dual citizenship is the best I can make of it, without getting into visions of blog readers being torn asunder limb from limb in order to inhabit Canada and Switzerland simultaneously. All in all, though, it strikes me as a message of unity and a reminder of Swiss Cheese, Swiss Miss, the Swiss Alps, poutine, and conflicted French language issues, all rolled into a seasonal basket from Swiss Canada Colony.

In a largely unrelated note, could someone please inform the overly friendly folks over at cox.net that I am not a dude? My junk mail folder runneth over with very sub-Neil deGrassi Tyson subject lines.

Arguably, this strange and miniscule demographic phenomenon has something to do with my continued proud standing:

image: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=94-wdVqHX49D8M&tbnid=IMzzfiaQyDA8EM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.businessinsider.com%2Fneil-degrasse-tyson-star-trek-2013-5&ei=yOuoUq-9CI3rkQfY74CIAQ&bvm=bv.57799294,d.eW0&psig=AFQjCNEMV2MsQjegrnphTs7UrB7vPGP-NA&ust=1386888504089590

 

 
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