Mostly, I've been feeling pretty inspired with that whole "procrastination" thing I did over the weekend, and I seem to be getting more accomplished than usual. Yesterday, I went to the mall and bought new planner pages for my Franklin Planner, so now I can keep track of all my appointments and write out proper to-do lists every day. In the past, when I've done this consistently, I've gotten loads accomplished and felt really good about myself. For some reason, though, I've had a hard time sustaining it. But this time will be different. :) Today, for example, I had 29 items on my list (yeah, that's a lot, but hey, I've got a bit of a backlog due to that whole procrastination thing). So far, I've accomplished 13 of them - and this entry will give me another checkmark. So no, I won't manage all of them before bed tonight (although I should be able to get a couple more checks), but then, not all of them were urgent. The point is that I've got them written down, so I'll be able to remember to do them eventually, and not just neglect them forever. :)
I did have to send a complaint to FranklinCovey, though. I had thought about getting the software so I could use my Treo as a planner - but when I got to the store, I discovered they only make it for WINDOWS!. Bah humbug. So, I wrote to the company, and sent in a feedback suggestion. Still . . . boo, hiss, Franklin!
Had a good weekend. Well, except for the pain . . .
On Saturday morning, I got up and went to yoga, the class at the climbing place (not my yoga studio). I was glad to get up and out of the house for the yoga, but I had some difficulties, and it's been interesting to try and figure out why. At the beginning of class, Deb asked us to set an intention for our practice (something she's always done, although she did say some additional things this time which I think were inspired by Seane's workshop). Then, she also asked us to decide on something we would be willing to let go in order to make the space for our new intention. Yeah, so far so good. I decided I wanted to let go of my ego, in order to make space for myself to just be present with my practice. Here's where the trouble started: she started us working on our breathing, and she did things opposite from the way I'm used to doing it. She asked us to breathe out into the earth, to ground ourselves (fine, fine), but on the inhale, she asked us to let go of whatever it is that we'd chosen. Well, to me, you exhale when letting go; inhaling is for inviting things in. But, I figured it wouldn't hurt to give this a try. Apparently, I was wrong. Literally. :D
As we went on, I kept trying to let go of my ego while breathing out during the yoga, and I guess in my head, I felt like I was doing it. But in my body, I was pushing myself in stupid ways. (Which is how my ego usually rears its head during yoga; when I don't want to look wimpy or like a "beginner," I can sometimes push past the point where my body really should be asked to go). And I got myself into some trouble with this when it came time to do headstands. Now, I can do headstands, but I prefer to do them in a slightly different way than Deb was teaching on Saturday. Well, okay, I thought I'd give her way a try (which is a reasonable thing to think). But when it wasn't working very well, I see now that I should have just let go of all that, and done it the way I know works for me, or just not done them at all. But I struggled through (EGO!), and ended up straining some muscles in my neck. OUCH. The weird thing is that I didn't even really know it at the time, because I wasn't in any immediate pain, but by the time I'd run my errands after class and driven home, I could barely turn my head. I was in a lot of pain, and ibuprofen wasn't helping very much. *sigh* Okay, lessons learned. 1) Don't ignore what I know to be true about my body. I can do headstands the way I know works for me. 2) Don't let my ego get the best of me; and 3) Don't try to let go while inhaling. Letting go on the exhale works for me, and that's what I'm going to stick to in the future. I'm not saying Deb's way might not work for other people, but my perception for me is that it only reinforced my ego during that session, giving me more trouble than if I'd just never given it a thought in the first place.
The good news is that my neck feels much better already - I was worried that this might be something requiring some professional assistance, but I don't think I threw it out of alignment - I think I just pulled some muscles. Still. Ouch. My recommendation to others? Don't DO something like this to yourself, okay? It hurts. :D
So, the rest of Saturday, I took it easy. I'd been invited to an engagement party for a friend from chorus, but decided not to go - I just wasn't feeling up to driving into Berkeley with my neck in pain. I think we might have watched some television. Oh, and I made some lists on this new site associated with 43 Things and All Consuming. Anyone who needs a way to suck a whole bunch of time, go have a look for it. It was fun, but not something I need to do every day. :D
On Sunday, I had an exciting "first" - I attended my first Rosicrucian function. It was a ceremony to celebrate the Rosicrucian New Year, which takes place each year at the Spring Equinox. So, I got myself dressed and ready, and headed to San Jose. The Grand Temple (where the ceremony was held) is on the same campus as the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. I am really glad that I made the effort to attend the ceremony. It was simple, only taking about half an hour, but it was peaceful and beautiful and I felt really welcomed and comfortable with the other people there. The temple itself is pretty cool, too - all decorated in an Egyptian style. Also, for the second time in as many weeks, I found myself in a room together with a bunch of other people praying for peace. This seems to be becoming a trend for me - a good one, one I'd very much like to continue. :)
Afterwards, I went in the museum gift shop, since I wanted to buy an ankh necklace for Connor (I promised to get one for him since he's been coveting the one I got from my sister). I also bought a card game for us to play together (Mummy Rummy; we played for the first time last night, and it was fun), plus a couple of Rosicrucian books and some incense for myself. Rose incense, and wow does it smell good. I haven't burnt any of it yet - I'm going to try some on Thursday, when I do my weekly studies.
I suppose this is a good time to mention that, isn't it? I've worked through two lessons so far, and am really enjoying it. They suggest that each student set up a time to study once a week - I've decided that Thursday mornings will be my study time, since I don't have any regular conflicts with that day and time. It usually takes about an hour to go through the lessons and accompanying experiments, and then I'm supposed to just let the stuff filter around in my mind during the next week, until it's time for another lesson. So far, I'm enjoying both the reading and the exercises, and having gone to the ceremony on Sunday, I'm feeling really good about the whole thing. I think it's the right place for me to be right now, and I'm excited about the things I'll be learning and doing in the future. I do wish I could say a bit more about what I'm studying, and I think I will be able to say more eventually. It's just that certain things are meant to be confidential, while others aren't, and I'm not sure yet which is which. So, until I figure that out, I think it's best to just not say much. What I do feel comfortable saying is that there's a lot so far about working with intuition and higher planes of consciousness. Heh. Now if that's not vague, I don't know what is. ;) And if you're interested in finding out more about any of this, let me know and I'll make sure you get some information. Or, click the link on my LJ page. :)
Anyhow, back to Saturday. When I was finished in San Jose, I headed north on 101 for a visit with happy_potterer and joyliveshere. I got the tour of their new home (which I like even better than their last one, which was pretty nice too - the new place is really cool, though - an older house with a lot of character. Gah. Most homes built these days are just so BORING). Plus, we had a great visit (and I didn't even get attacked by the evil Chewie, possibly because I swore fealty to him as soon as I saw him lounging malevolently on the futon). :D And for dinner, we had some really excellent sushi. But really, the best part of the visit was getting to catch up with Joy and Amy. It's so dumb - we live really close to one another (45 minutes by car), but this was the first time we'd gotten together face-to-face in almost a year! *rolls eyes* I'm just so goofy about social stuff like this, but I'm really glad that we managed to get it together for this weekend, because I had a really great time. (And we must do it again soon! And if you want to come here, I promise not to take sweet, innocent, adorable little Charlotte out of her tank). ;)
So, that was the weekend. What day is it right now? Tuesday, right? (Seriously, I've been having trouble keeping track this week. All day today I thought it was Wednesday, and then I don't know what the date is, and, well, I'm kind of confused right now. :D). Anyway, yesterday (Monday) was challenging. There were some good things, but also some stressful things. (In fact, I had a hard time coming up with five for my Happiness Manifesto last night. I also experienced, for the first time, that when I began that entry I was in a cheerful mood, but after contemplating the day and just how hard it was to find five things for which to be grateful, I was actually feeling pretty grumpy).
During the afternoon, I taught music/movement at school. The kids put on the astronaut costumes they'd made last week in art class, and played Adventures in Space. Which was fine, only they get so wound up and sometimes I just can't get them to calm down as much as I want them to. I feel like I waste a lot of time reminding them to settle down - and they all know the definition of "chaos," because it's something we're actively working against in the classroom almost all the time. :D They were driving me so bonkers that I never even tried to do any yoga with them, which is what I'd intended to spend half of the class time doing. And yeah, this might seem counter-intuitive - the idea is that the yoga will help to calm them. But I think it will only do that once they've learned a bit. I'm not sure I want to try and teach them when they're really wound up, like they were yesterday.
I'm also having some trouble with one of Connor's classmates, Henry. He's a gigantic pain in the butt. Okay, so, to be fair, he's probably only a bit of a pain, but somehow, he's managing to push my buttons - he's often disrespectful and has a poor attitude, but I think the real issue I have is that he often gives Connor trouble when I'm not around, which has my hackles up. Not in a bullying way, but in a taunting, "you're not my friend" or calling him names kind of way. Because of this, I know that I'm a bit harder on Henry than I am on the rest of the kids. Still, I'm also not unfair to him - it's just that sometimes I'm easier on the others than I should be, if that makes sense. But urgh.
He's been doing things to annoy or concern me pretty much every time I see him lately. He's the child in the classroom who is most vocal with "You're NOT my friend" threats anytime he doesn't get his way, and usually starts all the "exclusion" type of games. When he tried that yesterday in the music class ("This is my spaceship, and only three of you can come on. Connor, do you want to come on the spaceship? Oh, but not you, Hiren, NO, not YOU"), well, I put a stop to that really quickly, and sent Henry into a time-out for the rest of the music class. I also explained to him what was unacceptable about what he was doing, but I'm just not sure how to get through to him. I've spoken with him about this sort of thing before, because he does stuff like this regularly during my class time. But lately, Connor's also been coming home from school complaining that Henry got angry at Connor and said he didn't want to be his friend anymore. And, while I'm really thinking, "Good, who'd want that little butthead as a friend anyway," I don't say that, because I can see that Connor's upset by it. And I've spoken with Connor's teacher, and I know she's spoken with Henry. As have I, anytime I've caught Henry doing crap like that. But it seems to be getting worse. And Connor's not always the "victim," (he wasn't on Monday, in fact) but I just don't like to see it at all.
Plus, I had a very unsettling moment with Henry last week, when I picked Connor up from school. I happened to mention to Connor that his dad was home, having just gotten back from Germany. To which Henry became really agitated, and came up to me, very intense, and said, "Germany? He was in GERMANY?" I said yes, Germany, and Henry got even more agitated, saying, "But that's where all the BAD PEOPLE ARE!"
Well, after discussing this for a few minutes, it turns out that Henry's father told him this. Again, I say W. T. F. I'm guessing it was in regards to WWII, and I'm really, really hoping it was presented as something in the PAST (still major WTFage, but I guess a little more understandable, especially from the perspective of a six-year-old). But still, I'm more than a bit disturbed that this child has such an intense hatred and fear of this entire country full of people. Henry's father is English, btw. Um, is this kind of anti-German sentiment typical in England? I don't remember it when we lived in Britain, and Henry's father has always seemed nice enough to me, but who knows? In any case, it was very shocking for me to hear this small boy be so adamant that an entire group of people were just BAD. Hopefully I've managed to convince him otherwise. *sigh* I also had the opportunity to educate him that the neighboring country is not called "Ostrich." (Okay, so actually that part was kind of cute).
*sigh* I think I might tell Connor's teacher about this, just because . . . well, it disturbs me. Even though I don't really know what Henry's dad told him. Plus, even if the man did just say that all Germans are evil, well, I guess it's his right to teach that to his child. *shrugs* But I won't allow statements like that to go unchallenged, especially not when they're made in the hearing of my own child. *sigh* Plus, there's other stuff with Henry I want to discuss with Sharon, although, honestly? I'm not sure what would help. Connor already goes to her when Henry says something that hurts Connor's feelings, and I know Sharon won't just sit by and let that stuff go unchallenged. But Henry persists. Today, I started planting the seed in Connor's head that he doesn't need to pay attention to Henry's opinions. Kind of a "consider the source" attitude, only I tried to do it without completely vilifying Henry, which I don't think is the right approach either. Even though Henry does come up with stuff that's just stupid. A couple of days ago, apparently Henry called Connor a "girl" (and let's just ignore for a second why it's lame that this is considered an insult *rolls eyes*), but the point is that Henry said this because Connor was pretending to be a teacher. To which Henry proclaimed, "All teachers are girls, so you're a GIRL." Um, yeah, Henry. You're a well-informed little kid, aren't you? And what's really funny is that Henry himself is far from some macho hyper-masculine sort of kid. Henry is rather effeminate, something I wouldn't say about Connor. Not that I think it's a bad thing, either way; I just find it ironic that Henry's using that as an insult. O_o
Ah well. At least I managed to avoid telling Connor, "Next time he calls you a mean name, just pop the little fuck in the nose." (Ah yes, at times like these my pacifism is challenged). ;)
Anyhow, I think that stuff like this at school, when his classmates are wearing down my patience, makes things more difficult for Connor later in the day. It's like they use up my quota of patience for the day, so when Connor behaves in a less-than-stellar way on Mondays or Thursdays, I don't have quite the same internal resources as usual to handle it. And yes, this applies to yesterday. :D Connor was being a really big butthead after school (and I do think he really was behaving badly; it wasn't just that I lacked patience). He was complaining about everything, and fighting me about stupid stuff. So much so that he lost his television privileges for the day AND I refused to buy him anything when we went to the mall and the bookstore. He's just so obstinate sometimes. *sigh* I think it's time for me to look for some new tools again. Or maybe he was just having an off day. He seemed fine this morning, anyway, and he was fine this afternoon and evening. So, I guess everyone is entitled to be grumpy sometimes. I just wish he wouldn't do it on the days when I'm already patience-challenged because of Henry and Calvin and Neal and Matthew, and all the other little
The other thing I want to do this week is take Connor to the fish store to buy fish for the tank at school. We went to PetCo yesterday, here in town, to look at fish, but most of the tanks had sick fish in them - loads of ick (that's an actual fish disease - they're covered with little white spots). And I saw some mouth fungus, and well, I wasn't going to buy any fish from that store. *shudders* Which, unfortunately, means I'll have to drive half an hour to the closest "real" tropical fish store, but I guess that's okay. Maybe we'll go when robingrace and part of her family are here . . . because, they're coming TOMORROW!!!!!!!
Hey, what's wrong with me? I've been doing all this complaining, when really, I should just be concentrating on being totally excited! MY SISSY IS COMING TO VISIT TOMORROW!!!!!! *does the gigantic happy dance of sissy love* So, the next several days will be excellent, no matter what little master Henry decides to do. ;)
Well . . . that's probably enough updating for now, isn't it? Hmnh. I'll have to take a look at my planner and see if there are other tasks I can complete tonight and check off my list. Whoo HOO! :D