If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Inspiration

Where does inspiration come from for you?

I thought I hadn't posted here for a while because I was waiting for inspiration.  However, this morning, I realized that is not the case.  I read another blogger's post which made me realize that sometimes we fall into a funk and don't feel inspired to post.

The funk just seems to take over.  It consumes our home.  It consumes our work.  It consumes everything around us.  It consumes.

So, what was so inspirational to me about reading another person's post about being in a funk?

I realized that she had so eloquently worded exactly what I am feeling.  Caroline Teselle said:

You see, there’s a situation going on in my life right now that I cannot write about here because it’s not my story to tell but it affects me deeply.  To the core.
What do you do when it’s not your story to tell?  You keep your mouth shut & pray.
Just because I’m keeping my mouth shut doesn’t mean my mind shuts off, it’s basically following me around like a Pig Pen cloud of dust, you know, like Charlie Brown’s friend that’s constantly surrounded by a cloud of dust.  That’s how I feel.  My internal processor has exploded in a cloud of dust.
It isn't that I don't want to do something about the situation.  It isn't that I cannot do something about the situation.  The real fact of the matter is that the consequences of the options I see do not seem to be ones I want to tackle right now.  So, I have decided to keep my mouth shut even more.  I am lifting the situation up in prayer and anticipating what He will do and what He will guide me to do.

In the meantime, what am I doing about lifting myself up out of a funk?  Well, like Caroline, I am trying several things:

1. Read

  • I have been a reader from a very young age.  I was reading before I went to school at age five.  I have been reading professional literature - I call it how-to-be-a-better-teacher books, journal articles, blog posts, e-books.  I have been reading home improvement/decorating blog posts.  I have been reading biographies and memoirs.  I have been reading estate-planning and will-making publications (because it is past time to update mine).  I have been reading appliance ratings and reviews (because our dryer is on its last leg).  I have been reading edgy novels which provoke thinking and mystery novels and purely fluff novels about human relationships.  And, of course, I have been reading my Bible.
  • I find that reading is something that takes me away from whatever is interfering with my inner peace.  So, I am falling into books where other worlds are opened to me.
  • I love having a small local branch of the library nearby and I am a consistent patron.  The selections are limitless and the variety is abundant.  If our little branch doesn't house a particular title, simply request it and in a couple of days the item is there waiting for you to pick up at the desk.  The best part is - there is no cost.  FREE!
2. Work
  • I have been spending long hours trying to get caught up, trying to get more done, trying to learn more, trying to share more with the teachers I support.  I have been searching for new ideas and planning new professional development sessions.  I have added new aspects to my already full 'dance card' by consciously posting more on social media relating to education and have even begun a professional blog (more on that another day).  
  • I love my job and feel such a purpose at the end of most days.  I feel like what I do matters to somebody else and that, to me, is the reason we are put here on earth - to do something that matters to somebody else.
3. Bake
  • I have been putting my new mixer and cookbooks to work.  I have delved into old recipes and found a wonderful one for yeast rolls.  I baked cinnamon rolls.  I baked a new kind of brownies.  I baked a corn casserole.  I baked a loaf of beer bread.  It has been a month of baking!
  • I find that baking and cooking is one of those make-something-from-scratch sort of crafts which helps me feel like I am creative.  The added benefit of baking and cooking is that somebody else enjoys the outcome.  (Of course, there is also the drawback that it generally leads to added pounds but I'm not facing that one, yet.)
4. Clean
  • Clothes hardly loose the shape of our bodies these days before I am stuffing them into the washer.  We wear more clothes in winter than we do in summer - for obvious reasons - layering.  So, it seems there is more to wash.  My mother instilled in me to get the highest quality clothes you can afford and have fewer garments over all.  Water and soap are inexpensive, she said.  We are not minimalists but we do seem to get by with less than some folks have in their wardrobe.
  • The dishes seem to be yelling at me to get them washed up and stored away in a cabinet.  Nothing can be left on the counter or in the sink - not even a lowly glass for the drink of water before bed.  The beds must be made and pillows fluffed and positioned just so.  The bathrooms are fully stocked with soap, shampoo, fresh towels, and TP.
  • Obviously I am cleaning and controlling what I can because there are things that I cannot.
5. Shop
  • I am not the woman who loves to wander the mall or stop off a couple of afternoons at discount stores and outlets to see what the newest trends and offerings are on the sale rack.  I don't like dealing with the traffic.  I don't like dealing with the crowds of people who are competing for the newest, trendiest, cutest.  I am the woman who sometimes browses Goodwill or consignment shops or antique malls.  I don't even frequent those places but there are times when I just need to get out and see new scenery and find it interesting to see what is available in that kind of market.
  • I am more of a window shopper...actually a virtual window shopper.  I love browsing Pinterest, gathering ideas from creative bloggers, wandering through online catalogues, and sometimes perusing hard copy magazines and catalogues.  Again, I rarely ever buy but I do lots of dreaming and idea collecting.
6. Laugh
  • I have been doing lots of laughing and making merry when I am in the office with my co-workers.  We giggle at silly things and send one another goofy messages which pop up on our computer screens while we work diligently.  
  • Mike and I have been watching comedy episodes on television.  We laugh at the silliness portrayed and, sadly, we relate to the silliness with our own and our family experiences.  When we really stop and look at the world, we are all quite a bit alike and do some of the goofiest things.
7. Sleep
  • I cannot seem to get enough!  I come inside in the afternoons and could just curl up and snore till morning, I think.  I force myself to prepare a meal, straighten the house, clean out my email inbox and just do a bit of stirring.  It seems that when I sit down, I doze off.  I cannot tell how many evenings I've awakened on the couch and climbed into bed.  Then, on the weekend, I NEED to sleep late - really late.
8. Cry
  • I have been pretty drippy.  I cry over a poignant commercial.  Enough said.
9. Write
  • Even though I haven't been blogging, I have been writing...and writing...and writing.  After all, I am not certain of what I think until I put it into words.
10. Question
  • I find that the more questions I ask, the more I learn about others, and the more I focus on others.  I have been questioning students, teachers, peers, and strangers.  Can you explain what you are doing?  Why are you doing that?  Do you think there is another way to...?  What do you believe to be true about...?  What do you anticipate...?  What do you think will happen in the future?  How will _____ impact our lives?
11. Absorb quietness
  • I don't get a lot of that these days.  When I do, I try my darnedest to just be and not think or do.  Sometimes the quiet will bring me peace and, in turn, I can bring peace to somebody else.
  • I've turned off the television.  I've left the radio off.  I've even hung clothes to dry so I don't have to listen to the dryer squeek.
12. Pray
  • This, of course, is the most productive of all the things I could do.  Pray.  I pray for myself.  I pray for others.  I just lift up prayers - "Dear God, you know what I should be praying about more than I do.  Please let my silence be a time when these prayers are lifted up even though I am not aware of what they are."  Sometimes, my conversation with God needs to be a time when I am listening and absorbing.
What else do I NEED to be doing to lift myself out of this funk?

1.  Exercising 
2.  Planning a vegetable garden
3.  Cleaning out closets
4.  Decluttering
5.  Crafting
6.  Spending time with children

What inspires you to pull yourself up out of a funk?  Is there somebody like Caroline Teselle who nudges you?