all we have is who we are.
So we should all resolve to be better as much as possible and not just January 1 until going to the gym gets boring…. until you realize it’s almost spring break.
Each year people say they will “be nicer” “exercise more” “spend more time with family” but those are about as solid as a politician’s promise to “make America better.” Does anyone know what that means by the way? My so called resolutions are about as fluffy as my examples, but they are things that I’m already doing and just want to continue doing….more….and better. Shoot.
I consider myself extreme. I don’t mean a wildly outgoing, thrill chasing, wackadoo. Although I know most of my students would define me as wackadoo; if they were even brave enough to utter such non-sense. I’m hard on myself when it comes to the work that I do. If I don’t feel like I’ve produced something amazing, then I feel it’s a total failure. I like to put my heart and soul into things, yet I tend not to because I don’t like them to get hurt. It may appear complex, but I promise I lead a simple life. At least in my daydreams.
What I really resolve is to do is make resolutions more often. My goals and dreams change pretty regularly especially since accomplishing them takes them off the to do list.
1. Run: I have recently taken to running. I currently run in bursts of 4 minutes max, then walk a little then run again…so I’m still on the couch to 5k plan and I’ve been on it since summer BUT I used to loathe running. I’m sure because I’m naturally terrible at it. This is also probably my 29th “go” at becoming a runner. The reason I keep trying is because it’s exercise and I like being active, and it’s free. What it has taught me is that if I keep trying something I don’t like, I could eventually change my mind about it. This has also happened with shrimp and minty things. I used to say that running a marathon is something I had zero interest in doing; like going to India; but as all of my students least favorite person sings “never say never” – Justin Bieber.
2. Cook: In college I could not have lived without a microwave. I used to microwave store bought cookies in an attempt to have that fresh out of the oven warmth and gooey-ness. I even microwaved a zebra cake once which I will warn you not do because they are already quite soft. College is that time when people say “oh, I live on my own so now I have to cook!” Well, actually you don’t because these places called stores and restaurants supply many already made things.
But I understand why cooking is better, healthier, cheaper etc. etc. I can’t pinpoint when this change came about but this summer I started to have this thing called lots of free time in a house stocked with food, so I guess It was my way of saying thanks to my parents for letting me live with them by occasionally supplying them with dinner after a long day at work. Here in Spain I’ve had days where I throw some shrimp and vegetables in the frying pan and feel awesome, and others where I eat an apple a carrot and a flour tortilla and call it dinner (tonight)…..work in progress.
3. Teach: I always strive to be a better teacher. Who knows if I’m even any good. I sure don’t, and it’s hard to see any progress at all in my students when I only see them once every 2 weeks for 50 minutes. I also have no real curriculum and no real focus aside from the goal of giving my students many opportunities to speak a lot of English. Thus, I present whatever interesting topic or current event that pops into my head. It’s really an amazing opportunity that I have to purely teach. I don’t have to grade papers, or deal with parents, and no one is really watching what I’m doing.
It’s only slightly frustrating that I don’t know some of their names, but in general it’s a teaching dream. I can experiment with lesson ideas on these poor Spanish guinea pigs and they have to let me. What I really must do is prepare more. The weekends escape me, and I hardly have a spot in the day to take a deep breath. Saturday and Sunday I will henceforth dedicate at least an hour of thought in regards to teaching. Sincerely, me.
4. Random acts of kindness: Today it was really cold, and since the supermarkets here don’t sell blankets like you might find at a Jewel or Dominick’s, I settled for a bag of croissants to give to the man who begs outside of Simply. He’s probably one of my favorite beggars because he doesn’t hassle you or make weird moaning sounds. In general I prefer to give bread or food items to those people anyways, just in case. But it gave me a bounce in my step to see him so grateful and smile.
I always think nice things about people, but sometimes I forget to say them out loud. Now when something pops into my head I’ll try and remember to say it “hey you look great today” “nice shirt” “cool shoes” “nice face” I know I like hearing those kinds of things. It can really turn a whole day around.
well mush mush mush, blah blah blah now you know, and I promise the update on my fabulous weekend in Palma Mallorca is coming your way.