Saturday, March 5, 2016

SOL #5: Stream of Consciousness

I walk back from the mailbox, arms full of junk mail, with a few bills thrown in for variety.  It is raining enough that I have the hood of my raincoat up, yet spring-like enough that the purple crocuses in the front yard look more cheerful than bedraggled.  What should I write about today? I wonder to myself.  Is this the moment?  Or is it that I left my son home alone for ten minutes while I took my daughter to a birthday party, and why that is significant?  Or maybe my tendency to nap at the drop of a hat these days?  

From pondering possible "slice of life" topics, my mind drifts to the very act of analyzing my days for writing ideas.  Does this mean I'm being mindful, because I'm paying attention to these little daily events as they happen?  Or am I living in my mind, documenting instead of participating?  

I sift through the mail, discarding the junk, puzzling over the bills, then perusing the climbing club's monthly bulletin, daydreaming about hikes and outings.  I used to hike, I remember wistfully.  When did I get so lethargic?  The answer, I know, lies in the incredible amount of mental energy it takes for an introvert to both teach and parent, something I'm in my fourth year of doing.  My kids had different days off over the last two weeks, and my husband took each child in turn up to the club's lodge for a day of sledding.  I took the at-home kid to a movie, and was secretly relieved to be the one with that role.  Shouldn't it be easy to be active with kids?  They're naturally active, so why am I so sluggish now that I'm a parent?

Mail sorted (mostly into recycling), I start catching up on email.  There are a lot of links to book blogs, and I read and comment, read and comment.  I open up Goodreads and add books that sound intriguing.  The adoptive parenting group is in the midst of a spirited exchange of ideas and information around how to set effective limits on screen time.  I become uncomfortably aware that a) my son has been watching Netflix all afternoon and b) if I tell him to stop, I will also have to stop my reading and writing online.  I could write a LOT about my love-hate relationship with screen time for kids, not to mention for myself and my husband.

I remember the books I picked up at Powell's yesterday while we waited for the movie to start.  I write my name inside each front cover,  and add them all to my Classroom Booksource account.  I add in AR levels and points for the ones that didn't find it automatically.  I could write about the whole frustration I feel with having to grade kids based on their AR points.  I've been told it's to hold them accountable, but seriously, I already know who is and isn't reading.  Popups from CNN inform me Sanders won this state, Clinton won that one, and Trump these other ones.  What did I click on that made these CNN popups start appearing, anyway?  It's only been in the last week or so.  Mmm. I should probably stay away from politics in these posts.  A lot of educators are liberals, but I've met my fair share of conservatives in teaching as well.  

I still haven't started my SOL post for the day.  I want to be sure to leave time to comment on others' posts as well.  Still not knowing what I should write about, I open up my blog and begin this post.

Hopefully if I just ramble on about what's been on my  mind the last few hours, it will make some kind of sense.  


Written as part of the Slice of Life March writing challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers.


  1. Well, it looks like you have finished your post for today...and you said a lot. I felt like I was right there with you, sorting mail, checking on line and being relieved I was the parent who did not have to go sledding that day. :-)

  2. Maybe it's in the air today, I sliced in a similar fashion. Just couldn't get focused on it exactly. Still, you did post and it was what life is sometimes - ordinary and stuck in our heads. I liked it.

  3. Your comment about being an introvert and the energy it takes...thanks for that. I have a slice called "An Introvert's Rant" but I've been afraid to publish it because it might offend. I think we need to hear more from introverts!

    1. I've become much more aware of this in the past few years. I think there is more identification of introversion, in the sense of needing quiet and alone time to recharge, these days. I used to get that down time at home, but with kids--it's hard to stay engaged in all the situations I feel I should be engaged in. Reading and writing are my refuges.


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