Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tuesday Slice: When giving up means more to give

"Laissez les bon temps rouler!"  It's Mardi Gras, Pancake Tuesday, Carnivale!  

Until late tonight, I'll be a glutton--of food, social media, mindless video games.  Our traditional dinner will be at our local IHOP (we take Pancake Tuesday literally), where I'll stuff my face with more gluten-laden dishes than I usually have in a season.  I'll go home to vegetate in front of the TV while playing Dots on my phone and checking Facebook updates. I would love to do this until midnight, but alas, elementary school hours and the need to get my teenager to band sectionals the next morning will dictate an earlier bedtime.

Tomorrow, I will fast until dinner.  Without Facebook or Dots to distract me, I will be able to focus on writing two blog posts--my usual Wednesday library update, and the first post of this year's Slice of Life Challenge. I will be supporting new Slicers during the challenge.  In the Lenten days to come, I hope to catch up on writing personal notes to friends and family, weed through physical and digital clutter, and spend more time exercising my body and enjoying nature.  I will celebrate a birthday just five days into this season of preparation--the very birthday that prompted the name of this blog.  I will give myself the gift of time to process what that birthday means.  Barring the unpredictable, I am blessed to be able to think and dream about the future.

Giving up Facebook and digital games will give me time to focus on my inner thoughts and my relationships with others.  Giving up unhealthy foods (except for my birthday--there must be cake for that!) will give me more energy to do the things that bring me joy, which means I'll have more joy to give to others.  Giving up really means getting, and giving, more.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday Slice: Acts of kindness

Last Friday night
I walked out to my car, still parked at work at 945p
Bent in pain, heat escaping from my eye sockets

I sat in my car for five long minutes
To make sure I could drive home
Deciding I could, but craving a burger

As I drove towards the golden arches
Exhausted from a week of pushing my physical limits
My muddled brain grew angry

Why do I have to take care of myself when I am at my lowest?
Why do I feel alone in this misery, with two others residing in my home?
Why do I have to be motherless, at a time when I need mothering?

I ate in stony silence as the TV blared
Medicated my cough and fever
Took a hot shower, fell into bed with instant, blessed sleep

This weekend, I did little but care for myself
Lots of rest, lots of meds, lots of liquids
The laundry my only chore

Yesterday morning, I was handed a cup of chai tea, a gift for my throat
Expected a check at lunch, to be told it had been taken care of
My mother's earthly emissaries taking care of me, after all.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tuesday Slice: It just keeps getting worse

Forget the first one hundred days.  It's been, what, three weeks?  Three weeks of watching big money flood into our capital city.  Positions bought, not earned.  Decisions benefiting our environment, our health, our trade...our American values, overturned.

Today's decision to confirm the president's nominee for Secretary of Education made me angrier than I've been during this entire election process.  This hits home for me, as a public school graduate, parent, and employee.  

And just when I thought the day couldn't get politically worse, I received a call-to-action email from my chosen teachers' organization.  Apparently, a state senate bill has been proposed to bar teachers from using automatic paycheck withdrawal for professional organization dues.

That's right, the state government is now trying to control how I spend my money and manage my funds.  It's okay to use automatic withdrawal for donations to my school district (funny, right, teachers giving money BACK to their schools?) and to United Way campaigns, but apparently not to the organization that directly supports my profession.  Hmmm, could it have something to do with the fact that we have lawyers who frequent the State Capitol on our behalf?

This is just my tiny corner of the universe, and I am feeling personally attacked.  When I start thinking of other issues such as the National Security Council and judicial appointees, I can't even begin to fathom the chaos that will ensue if they continue the regressive tactics they have already shown to favor.

Election 2018 seems so very, very far away tonight.