I laughed right out loud when I read this as the first word on my list, as I've been having such a crisis with drumming as of late. Back in 2004, our school music teacher approached me about being in a steel drum band. Some of my coworkers were already in the band, and they had already been playing for a while and while I liked how it sounded.. it wasn't something I wanted to do. I don't read music, I don't play instruments, and they were all going to be better and futher along then me... which is what it really came down too. It's different when you are all brand new and haven't a clue.. I was going to be wretched by myself. Mrs. M is the kind of person who you can't say no to however, and so I agreed to give it a try.
I was hooked right off. I started out playing a lead drum (one pan with 24 notes) in a group.. and advanced over the years to a more experienced group playing the Basses (baritone) which are 6 large barrel drums. For a while I played in both groups and it was just too hard to remember what notes and where to play and I eventually switched over to just the basses. When we started, we would practice, and play the occasional gig and it was fun.
Lately, it's become a bit of a headache. We have 12 gigs booked so far this summer starting April 10th, and I'm sure there will be more. The kids have more things going on that require my attendance, and it feel more like work than something fun. I hate that I feel that way about it, because I really do enjoy playing my drums. My priority is my family.. and my director's priority is our group sounding good. You can see where the trouble lies.
On March 26, 2001 I quit smoking. In order to keep my hands busy, so that I didn't accidentally stab someone, I taught myself how to crochet. My mother asked if I wanted to learn how to knit, and I figured my clutzy self couldn't handle 2 needles and yarn. FFWD to 2003 and someone at school was having a baby and I wanted to make her a sweater as a shower gift. The best baby sweaters I could find were knit. So I bought Stitch and Bitch, a pair of blue metal size 8 needles and some Red Heart yarn, and taught myself how to knit. She used that baby sweater I knit for both of her boys and then saved it with her treasured items.
Knitting to me is a form of cheap therapy. Some will argue that in the end, therapy might be cheaper, but it's not nearly as rewarding. I love to knit. I love the way the yarn feels in my hands as it works its way from a ball to a scarf, or a sock, or that adorable bunny I knit my niece for Easter last year. (this year she's getting a sheep if I can get my butt in gear and get it done this week). I love that I can take yarn, and 2 sticks (or 5) and make something useful. It never fails to amaze me. This last quarter I started a knitting club on Mondays with some of the girls in the After School program, and another one of our staff members who wanted to learn how to knit. It has been HARD work, but it's been so rewarding. I've never regretted learning to knit and hope my hands don't fail me until I'm ready to quit, which I pray will be on my dying day.
I am working on a photo project this year, where you take a photo every single day. There are no rules and you can photograph whatever you want. I'm hoping to use it to fine tune some of my photography skills, and I'm also creating a scrapbook of the photos (no, not THAT one, I'm doing my own thing) that I've fondly titled, A Slice of Life. The day I took this photo, of our classroom clock, one of the girls asked me why I was taking a picture of the clock. Without missing a beat, I told her I was taking a photo of my favorite time of the day. She laughed and said, "When we all go home?" I was actually taking the photo to document the end of my work day (well, not really, as we work until 3:30) but I love our little exchange and I think of it every time I see that picture.
I love working with kids. Once when I was younger I thought I'd like to be a Vet, but only because my friend wanted too. Then I decided in HS I wanted to be a Kindergarten teacher. Having my own kids cured me of that quick. Kindergarten teachers are angels and God holds a special place in Heaven for them. That age is a lot of work. I started out in Special Ed, and then moved into the Autism Spectrum Disorders Program for several years. Our district program is housed at our school, and the boys I worked with (we've never had a girl), even the hard ones, hold a special place in my heart. Those were some of the hardest years of my career, but they taught me a lot and I wouldn't trade them for anything. Going through those years, I never dreamed I'd be able to say that, but hey, life is funny. Last year I was in first grade, this year a split 1st/2nd grade and next year is still being ironed out amongst a million dollar budget cut. No one gets rich working in Education, and all my brothers and friends make far more money than I ever will in a lifetime, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. It's far more rewarding, in my opinion.
I stab of guilt went through me when I read this next one. I had planned to run today.. but it was bitter cold and the wind was whipping around something awful in the anticipation of a large storm moving in, and I skipped it. That seems to be the story of my winter, and I need the weather too cooperate a bit so I can get back into my routine. I started running in late summer of 2008. I say this, but it's really not true. I was required to run when I was in the Army, but that's different. Running because you have to is nothing like running because you enjoy it. I never thought I'd want to run again. I was content to be a walker and enjoyed my daily walks. I would walk before school, at lunch, and after dinner. After dinner I walked with The Boy and we had a nice loop worked out. During the summer of 08.. he and I started to go through a rough patch, that lasted until early summer of 2009. I started running because it was something I could do alone, without him and not feel guilty that I wanted to go out without him, like I did if I went for a walk by myself. I blogged about all that here, if you want to read it. I started out on the railroad trail (in the photo) and moved to the roads after an incident with a coyote. Also, I can go further later in the spring and fall due to road lights, and have to be out of the woods earlier, so it just made sense.
I used the Couch to 5K running plan, and by the end I was only at 2.5 miles instead of the 3.1 they wanted me to be at. I didn't care. I went from not being able to run the half mile around the block, to 2.5 miles. I've since increased my running route to 3 miles and find that it's just right. Starting in April I'm going to run the route of the race I ran back in the fall (4.5 miles) on Sundays, and use that Sunday run to build up to 13.5 miles, which is the length of the Covered Bridge Half Marathon I want to run in late September. I never thought I'd say it.. but I love running.
When we lived in Manchester I claimed a weedy patch of enclosed area around our building and grew flowers at one end, and vegetables at the other. It is very rewarding to plant something, and watch it grow into something beautiful, or something that can feed you and your family. We moved here labor day weekend of 2001, and it was too late to plant anything. In the spring I watched to see what bloomed, and where and talked to the prior owners about the best place to plant. I planted a vegetable garden based on a month of watching the sun and where it shined the longest.. only to discover that once the leaves came in, my garden didn't get enough sun. I planted vegetables there for 3 years, and then let it go to weed. A few years later I planted flowers and put in a bird bath and it's one of my favorite spots.
I've since moved the vegetable gardens to the back yard and every year about this time I get the itch to get out and weed and dig and plant, and it's far too early. I discovered recently that there are some crops I can plant this early, and after this next pouring rain storm, I plan to plant some seeds and find out. In the meantime, I'll have to settle for looking through seed catalogs and magazines with beautifully laid out gardens.. dreaming of warmer days when I can get out and play in the yard.