Sunday, May 20, 2012

On success


If you have been following my blog for any of these five or six years...  (I have to stop and count, and I'm just not that into math right now...), you definitely know I haven't been up to my usual on number of posts, quality of posts...  anything really.  I have been lurking in blogland, reading all of you dear ones and trying to summon my lost mojo...

I think one thing has been my annual debate with retirement.  I really do think I can survive as a retired teacher at last...  I just can't afford it.  I think it's kind of shameful what I make after all these years.  I realize the economy tanked, they say...  But I look around and I see all kinds of people who do other jobs, and they look richer than I am.  I haven't ever even liked money...  but now a bit would be fun... 

So I'm going back to teaching for some of the right reasons and also because I cannot afford the insurance yet.  I'll teach more bright young minds to read, appreciate...  love Elie Wiesel...  and others.  I would miss it.  I know...
 This morning I decided to rebel.  I turned off my alarm and slept until 8:30.  Mom doesn't like late sleepers...  In her world that is late...  then when I finally dragged out of bed, I discovered that wonderful little woman on a walker had 1.  made her delicious meat loaf for lunch; 2.  made an exquisite zucchini casserole from one of the beautiful little green gems we bought from the Amish yesterday...3.  had set the table with her favorite strawberry Corelle dishes....(I usually like others better, so this was a little rebellious on her part)  4.  Had put together a Paula Deen Corn Casserole  4.  Had made her bed and put in a load of laundry...

What was there for me to do?  I can make the frozen biscuits, open the sliced peaches, and slice some of the beautiful tomatoes we also bought yesterday from a little Amish woman with at least three beautiful daughters...  So cute in her yard with their little headscarves...

For now I grabbed a an of diet coke and decided to be a cat for the day.  My son always says dogs work.  You have heard of a working dog...  Cats reign.  Cats look at you with a "I wish I could help/but I can't" flip of their tails...  and they just purr and snuggle...

So I made myself a decadent (not really) breakfast of 45 calorie toast, reduced fat cream cheese and Nutella...  Oh, I have heard from Practical Magic that magical people eat chocolate for breakfast...  That is me!
 I used this poem to close my speech Friday night...  It resonated with me, and I attributed it to Emerson although there is a great deal of debate.  I figured I'd say it was his...


“Success”
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;


I think I needed this poem more than anyone else there...  I have kind of forgotten how to laugh often.  I laugh, but I have been a bit of a grump lately.  I don't really like the feeling I'm getting from getting older.  I feel surprised by my reaction because as a younger woman I always thought I would be a darling older woman...  I haven't liked it much, and it has started to depress me more than it should.  I had a big talk with myself and with God...  and He said to look at the people who really do like me, to realize He really does love me...  and to appreciate all the students like the seniors this week who chose me to speak to them one last time... 

They wooed me to speak by coming en masse and telling me I was the only one who loved them all...  I don't think that's true, but it worked!  haha..  Teachers are suckers for stuff like that!
I think we children of the baby boom don't often accept the good that we are..  We were taught to negate that or feel very uppity...  not just by our moms, but by society...  It is hard to say, "I am beloved."  It feels wrong.
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;

It it so true...  I have been a fortunate little cookie not to have had that betrayal of false friends for most of my life...  But I can trace my posts, and I have to admit it has taken nearly a year, nine months for me to endure the betrayal of one false friend.  I hope my son gets back his self esteem, as well.  His lady love plucked herself from our midst overnight. It was one of the kind of "black widow" stings you hear about in movies. I regret losing the little boy, her son, my pretend grandson who called me Ma...  I miss him SO much.  One night they are here and hugging us and saying they love us SO much...  the next morning it's over, and she is on her way to another state and another man.  In her wake we decided to shake our weary heads and discover our finances were wrecked...  My son's, mine, my mom's....  It is a strange thing that I think women mourn lost loves, and men mourn being a "fool."  I have been a big grump about it for almost nine months...  enough time to "birth"  a new attitude, I'm thinking....

At any rate...  I can safely say we endured it...  and we are happy again.  My son has health issues that didn't start with her but certainly haven't been cured by a winter of spiraling depression...  So, as Beth Moore says, "You wouldn't waste a prayer on us."

To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch 


SusanFaye Begonia Max Image
or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.





So, I would really love to get some comments with this post.  Let me know something you feel has told you that YOU are the success you really are.  Go ahead.  Do it.  Brag on yourself.  It isn't wrong unless you never brag on anyone else...  Your little self has lived a long time with no praise from the one it needs to feel accepted by the most...  Please leave a comment about your own ways you have made the world a better place.  It might seem difficult, but do it please....  for me and the kitty kats...

Hugs.....

4 comments:

Susquehanna said...

The key to success is knowing you're great or good looking or whatever, and being able to openly say it; to not patiently wait for a compliment or positive acknowledgment to come your way(cause you could be waiting till' you're an ol' grey ninny goat for it to be spoken). Just got to be able to say to yourself or out loud that you're intelligent, or attractive or an awesome blogger, etc.. and its just fact. And if anyone looks weird at you, that's their problem.. they're conformists :)

Laurie said...

Oh my gosh - that woman ripped you off????? That is just shameful and shocking. I am sorry.

I understand what you mean about the way teachers are paid. It is just wrong. I am sorry that it is putting you in a position of not being able to make a "pure" decision based only on what you WANT to do.

Hang in there. You are a good person. I hope wonderful things are coming soon for you and yours.

Laurie S.

Lisa Pogue said...

Wow...I know so many that describe their success by their job title. I used to admire that when I was younger. In 2005 when I worked at the Y a man came in and introduced himself to me. We chatted while he waited on his wife. He told me, in detail, all of the success he had with his job as a local educator/administrator. The thing I noticed most about him, he never described himself as a husband or dad. I often wonder if he was good at either. This conversation left a huge HUGE impression on me. Retirement is probably very lonely for him. It's hard to toot my own horn because I second guess myself all the time. But, I'm sure I'm good at SOMETHING!!!

from a country sunrize said...

Have been catching up on all your blogs. You are a n amazing , talented person with the kindness I can only tell you as your Sister and love you sooo much!!! We have such good memories. We just need to do things we always we say we are going too and never get done!!! Love you and all your writing. Remember a book needs to be started this summer !!!!Hugs.