It has been a long time since I have participated in a Five Minute Friday. I guess it is appropriate since today’s word is LONG.
FMF is a group of bloggers who write for five minutes flat on a given prompt — no over-thinking, editing, backtracking. Then we post our writing on our blogs and link up with other bloggers!
So, my 5 minutes starts NOW…
When I saw the word of the day, I decided that the first thing I’d do is find a quote that used the word LONG in it. I found this one immediately and loved it.
When you are lucky enough to work with people who you love, who make you laugh, make you smile every single day – it makes you realize just how special your job is. My coworkers are some of my best friends and I look forward to seeing them everyday. My Kindergarteners keeps me on my toes but also keep my laughing. I love teaching and can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I don’t think I’d feel complete if I didn’t have a class full of learners in front of me.
At the end of the day, I get to come home to my family. My loves. My boys, growing up faster than I am ready for them to! Another college visit with DJ tomorrow. I don’t know where the time is going. It flies by. When my boys were babies, everyone told me how quickly the time goes and now I understand what they meant!
Time is up.
Occasionally I participate in a blog share called Five Minute Friday. I check out the word of the week in the morning and think about it during my day wondering if it something I could find something to write about. Today’s word is FILL. Right away, I thought it was a week I would skip. I had no idea what to write about fill that would be interesting enough to share on my blog.
I got home from the last day of Camp Maple and Dave and I decided to watch an episode of Orange is the New Black. I am still catching up and loving every episode!! The doorbell rang while we were watching, which is odd for the middle of the day. It was a man from the US Census Bureau. Last year we were chosen to fill out a survey that has turned into a much bigger project than we had thought. Now we are on a list where we get surveyed in person a few times a year. Not a big deal, not a lot of time but I don’t always know when they are coming. Now when they show up at our door, the surveyor fills in the survey at our dining room table as he asks us all of the questions.
As the man entered our home, the first thing he saw was our door mat which says, “A shelter dog rescued this family.” He stepped backwards, his eyes filled with fear saying, “You have a dog? I am afraid of dogs.” I pointed at Emmy Lou, who was sleeping on her favorite pillow on the floor. He wouldn’t even look her way. Dave told him, “She’s nothing but 17 pounds of sleep.” He was still very apprehensive and I really think he wanted to do this another time but I told him that he was lucky to have us both home at the same time and this would be the best time to do it. He very hesitantly entered the living room. Emmy didn’t move a muscle. She continued to sleep, obviously not a guard dog!
I led the man into the room to go to the dining room and again told him not to worry at all about her because she was very indifferent to people and would probably never leave the pillow. He refused to walk past her pillow asking instead to walk through the kitchen and around to the other entrance to the dining room. As we sat there filling out the survey, he kept jumping in his seat telling me that he thought he heard the dog. Of course, Emmy hadn’t left her spot.
It probably took about thirty minutes total to fill the entire survey. He was a nice guy and had finally been able to calm his nerves a bit. We even found out through a bit of chit-chat that he lives in the same apartment building as my brother and even knew who he was, calling him “Chip the hockey guy.” Small world. He left without saying goodbye to Emmy Lou, but we got the survey filled out and I got a story to share because of it.
Once in awhile I participate in Five Minute Friday. The idea is to write for five minutes flat with one word as an inspiration and to share the blog with others in a blog share. Today’s prompt is BEGIN. Appropriate for the first day of a new month. I find myself turning to Five Minute Fridays on days where I need to find inspiration to write. I often come to days like today where I feel uninspired and not sure of what to write about. I write a lot about life and it seems rather ordinary so on those days where nothing exciting or interesting has happened, beginning that new blog for the day, is a struggle. When I began this blog 19 months ago, with the intention to write everyday for one year, I never could have known where or how it would have turned out. Today, I have just under 92,000 views.
For some bloggers who are able to reach huge audiences and have advertisers and many followers, this might not seem like much, but for me – when I began with the intention of just spreading kindness and perhaps inspiring others – it is something I could never have imagined. I didn’t even know if I’d be able to maintain writing for the entire year but I am so glad I did and I am glad that I was encouraged to keep writing.
It has been quite some time since I joined in on a “Five Minute Friday.” This week, Crystal Stine is hosting in Lisa-Jo Baker’s online absence. The idea is to set a timer for five minutes and write. This week’s prompt is “Belong.”
Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.
I read a beautiful excerpt on the difference between “Fitting in and Belonging” by Joel Readance who was referring to Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection.
In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene provides two lists of attributes (or patterns) shared by the thousands of people she collected stories from as part of her research. The first list, she labeled “Do”, and it characterized people who enjoyed a strong sense of love, community and connection. These people were able to embrace their imperfections and vulnerabilities and share them with others. Their shared attributes included worthiness, faith, hope, authenticity, love, belonging, joy, gratitude and creativity. Good stuff, right? When I think of the “Do” category, I envision people who are loving and accepting of themselves and others, grateful for what they have, plugged into their purpose and not afraid to make mistakes.
The second list, she labeled “Don’t”, and it characterized people who denied their imperfections and vulnerabilities and tried to hide them from others for fear of judgment and rejection. Their shared attributes included perfection, exhaustion, self-sufficiency, being cool, fitting in, judgment and scarcity. When I think of the “Don’t” category, I envision people who put up airs to seek approval and acceptance, operate with a lack mentality and judge both themselves and others.
I think that my blog has given me the courage to be a part of her “do” category. I have learned to embrace my imperfections and vulnerabilities and share them with others- from people I know intimately to complete strangers. I feel that I try to emulate so many of those attributes. The definition of lonely is “sad because one has no friends or company” Synonyms are, isolated, alone, friendless, lonesome. Loneliness is the complete opposite of what I like or want in my life. Having a lot of friends doesn’t always give a sense of belonging, but having strong friendships with people accepting of me and of themselves is what makes me feel like we actually belong together.
It is Friday. Another Link Up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday. The day were a group of bloggers come together to write, for five minutes about the same word. Five minutes is all we are allowed. No editing. Just writing from the heart.
Today’s word is PAINT
Paint?!?! What could I ever write about paint? My house is in dire need of being painted. I have the colors chosen now to get the money to do it!! But five minutes to spend on the color I want to paint my house? Definitely not going to happen.
Paint. Painting. I wish there was more time to do it in Kindergarten. With the rigors of the curriculum, squeezing in that “fun stuff” gets more and more difficult. I have an easel in my room and plenty of paint in a cupboard. The fifteen minutes I have carved into each day for playtime, is barely enough time for Legos and blocks never-less paint and sand. Paint has been pushed to the wayside. We take out our water colors now and then for “Crafty Thursday” but colorful, messy, big paper, big brush painting just doesn’t get to happen anymore in my classroom. There were so many days in the past that I’d come home with paint on my clothes and under my fingernails. Not anymore.
Do the kids miss it? Maybe. Do I miss the mess? Not really, but I do miss the creations that used to be displayed around my room. The creativity still flows in my classroom. I have a “Creation Station” with dot paint and craft supplies and when it is open for free play, it is one of the most popular places in the room. I want to work in more time for them to paint and create – the challenge is where to find it in our days already filled with all of the academics! We need to remember that these kids are still only five and six years old. In diapers only a few years ago yet now expected to write and edit their own work!! It makes me so proud to see the transformation that these children make in the ten months we are together. The growth is remarkable but at the end of each day, as they run out onto the playground after school, it is evident just how important play really is to their development.
I have to write early today in order to make sure that today’s blog gets done! I leave for work in less than an hour to teach all day, followed by an enrichment class after school. Tonight, Drew and I are headed to watch The Mets, (most likely in the rain.) so who knows what time I will get home tonight and I can’t miss writing because it would be the first day that I began writing my blog that I will have missed!!
I decided to join Lisa-Jo Baker and another Five Minute Friday once again. The idea is to write for five minutes. That is it. No more. No less. No editing, not going back just writing. Since that is about all I have time for today, it is perfect.
Today’s word is WRITER.
When I started my blog, I had a really difficult time calling myself a “writer.” In fact, I don’t even think the word ever crossed my mind. I wrote a daily blog, so I considered myself just that. A blogger. Nothing more. I shared stories of kindness and tried to get others excited about being kind and paying it forward. After mom and Francine died within three weeks of each other, it changed. I began writing. It was my way of letting others know what what was going on while mom spent her last week in the hospital. Through my blog, I was able to share what happened so inexplicably to Francine to all of our friends and family who just could not fathom what had happened.
My feelings were coming out in my writing and it was an outlet for me. When I wrote my mom’s eulogy, I found myself doubting my “writer ability.” I was just a blogger after all. The response was overwhelming and I began to think that maybe…just maybe, I was more than a blogger. Perhaps the little caption under my 8th grade yearbook picture where it listed what we wanted to be when we grew up was coming true. Mine read, “A writer.”
Linking to Lisa-Jo Baker for another 5 Minute Friday. The object, to write for 5 minutes on the topic. That’s it. No longer, no less. Today’s word is, MIGHTY.
Mighty is defined as, possessing great and impressive power or strength. Kindness is defined as, the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate. Imagine what we could do if we were all mighty kind to one another?!? The possibilities are endless but the effect would be powerful!
The population of our world is 7 billion! If each one of us did even just one act of kindness…the impact would be HUGE! Now imagine if they did more than one…that, would be mighty! 7 billion acts of kindness? The result would be incredible. We can start with baby steps. By teaching and modeling for children how even the smallest act of kindness can cause a big reaction. The ripple effect! What a wonderful world it could be!
Another Five Minute Friday with Lisa Jo Baker. Today’s word is JOY and to be honest, I looked this morning to see what the word was, knowing fully well that I had a really busy afternoon and evening and wasn’t sure I’d be able to get it done. Usually, when I do a #FMF, I just check out the word and write. Today, I thought about the word throughout the day. Honestly, I feel joyous most of the time. Today after school, we had a get together with our faculty. I talked a bit about my blog and told them that tonight I was meeting some friend’s for dinner and that I had to get home to get my blog written before I went out. We rarely stay out late, but I wanted to be sure it was done before we left. I told them about today’s topic and we decided that each of my coworkers would tell me what joy means to them. So today’s blog is written by all of us…..
“What joy means to us…”
- Snuggles in the morning
- sleeping late on a Saturday
- Great sex followed by chocolate
- “Bar” modeling and popcorn
- Colleagues that are also friends
- “Life is better when we are laughing”
- Being at peace with yourself
That really seems to sum it up!! The joy we all felt tonight was evident as we sat around the table. We got to spend a few hours together today after school and it was so nice to see a different side from our “work side” and it was really a joyous and fun time. My heart is filled with joy knowing that I am privileged to work in a place that makes brings me so much happiness – and for that , I am grateful.
It is Friday. Another Five Minute Friday blogging day. A good day for a five minute blog because it is one of those busy days we all have now and then, and I am not sure when I will find the time to sit and write today if I don’t do it now.
Today’s word is CROWD:
Growing up, I was petrified to speak in front of large crowds. I took everything in me to just stand up in class and read aloud to the rest of them. My teachers would prompt and plead with me to “speak up” and raise my hand more. It was always written as a comment on my report cards. It lasted through college. Presentations were so difficult. It took all I could muster to just get up in front of all of them.
Many people who know me now, might be surprised to hear this, because today, I am quite different. Although I might feel butterflies right before I have to speak in front of a large crowd, I actually have begun to enjoy it. Maybe it is nearly twenty years of practice in front of a classroom. Although, an audience of children is far less intimidating than one of my peers…most of the time!!
I had assumed that getting up to speak at my mother’s funeral as I read her eulogy was going to be nearly impossible for me. Yet, as I stood in front a packed church in front of hundreds of mourners, I saw faces, filled with compassion and all of those fears left me. I actually made it through the whole thing without my nerves getting the best of me. When my voice began breaking towards the end, it wasn’t because of nerves, but because of the incredible love that was radiating through the church. I know that my mom would have been proud.
I am really enjoying these Five Minute Friday posts. They are great for days when I am wondering what I should write about, or when I find my time is limited. Today’s word is WILLING. A tough one I thought at first, but I have five minutes. I can do this…
This quote says it perfectly. I don’t want to be known as ordinary. It took me a long time to be willing to take risks. I liked things to go as usual. I was a creature of habit and routine. Then, I started this “little blog.” A blog I never expected many to read. A blog that was my outlet when my mom got sick. A blog that had the original intention of spreading kindness and inspiring others to be kind.
Fourteen months later, it is so much more. I was not sure if I was willing or able to keep it up for the year. I did….and last weekend had an extraordinary day of having 11,000 people read it! That took me completely out of my comfort zone. Instead of just relishing in the thought that people might want to read it, I instead thought something was wrong with the counter and it could not have been accurate! I still need to work on that, my confidence.
I have taken more risks since I started writing. Could it be the blog that has given me confidence? Maybe it is the coaching group I attend weekly. That has built up my self esteem tremendously and has given me the courage to write about it often. The difficult year our family endured last year with the loss of mom and Francine was unlike anything I have ever experienced. Perhaps it is a combination of all these things – but I have noticed that I have been willing to do so much more and step out of my comfort zone and I think I am becoming a better person because of that.