Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm afraid I tend to disappear Into an anxious state When you draw near

Who shook Detroit's snow globe? Who decided to close 485 schools in the Detroit area, except for mine?

Good news is, there's only a handful of students here today. I'm assuming most looked outside their window with groggy eyes and fell back asleep. I'm proud of the kids that came, even though they are off the wall. I could have used a day off today, and every one's morale is a little low, but you know we'll get through it. These things happen.

I had such a good weekend. Friday was a little rough on my mood. I had a particularly emotionally draining day at work. I couldn't leave the building because students kept approaching me, some in tears, some yelling in Spanish, some just yelling. Friday was drama day, apparently...and everyone wanted to talk to me about it. I also had a difficult afternoon with one of my most challenging students. She's been a challenge the whole year, but there are some days that are harder than others. She has some severe emotional and developmental issues, often causing her to throw temper tantrums. She has become extremely close to me, and I am one of the few people who she will allow to calm her some days when she is having a rough day, it's really hard on me. I do my best, though. Anyways, Friday was particularly challenging. Dave and I made macaroni and cheese for dinner after school and then our support people, Mike and Amy, came over for our monthly meeting. It was wonderful meeting...first we learned that Mike and Amy are expecting TWINS in the summer! So excited for them. Then we had a great discussion on the topic of self care. Through an assessment and discussion I learned I need to take care of my self a little bit better emotionally.

I also learned that I have slight compassion fatigue...meaning that I put so much care and compassion into other people and their problems that I forget about myself. I found it ironic that we had this discussion when we did, because I was beginning to feel used up. I love my kids and helping them through their issues, but there are times when I am just so wasteful because I have a hard time listening and helping when I haven't taken care of my own issues yet. I'm considering going on a personal silent retreat, to get away for a weekend and to find a focus point again. I think I'll wait and see how our community retreat goes this weekend to make a decision.

The rest of the weekend was very peaceful, for the most part. Dave, Katie, and I traveled with Renee (former Mercy Volunteer, candidate to become a Sister of Mercy) to Grayling, MI. We left Saturday afternoon and arrived around 4. Sr. Jean welcomed us and brought us into her beautiful home right on the lake. She took us to a Grayling favorite restaurant, Spike's. Then she took us for a short tour of the Mercy Hospital in Grayling, which is the largest employer. It was beautiful, and I loved seeing all the connections to Catherine McCauley and the Mercy values. That night Dave, Katie, Renee and I walked on the frozen lake...a new adventure for Florida native Katie :) It was very peaceful out there, just looking up at the stars.

The next morning, after waking up to orange juice and sticky buns, we headed to Church. The church was beautiful, and the people were so welcoming and energetic about us being there. I loved the Mass and the homily that the priest gave struck close to my heart. He talked about using Lent as a time to challenge ourselves, resist temptation, and keeping God as our anchor. At the church, I was particularly captivated by the crucifix. It was a gorgeous sculpture, not only capturing Jesus dead on the cross, but also Adam and Eve, the serpent, Mary, suffering, Matthew/Mark/Luke,John. It was one of a kind.

We headed back home where Sr. Jean made us french toast casserole and sausage. These sister's of mercy just take too good care of us :) After brunch we went to the state park, Hartwick Pines, to walk the trails. It was GORGEOUS. It was fun to see Katie enjoy it so much, and I defiantly saw God in the beauty and wonder of this earth. I took some great pictures...I also found the spot where I want my husband to be to propose to me, at the little wooden chapel on the hill in the fall. Except I feel like I can't say that because if someone ever does take me there, I'll know what they're doing. ha. oh well.

We went back to the church around 4:30 for the Faith Formation group. I loved seeing a parish so active and family oriented! Quite a large group of people came for a Lenten supper and discussion on MERCY. After dinner (mmm veggie soup) everyone gathered around to her us give a talk. Sr. Jean and Sr. Bonnie have a little background on Mercy, the works of Mercy, and Catherine McCauley. Renee talked about what it means to be a candidate to become a sister, and Mary Beth talked about being an associate (a lay man or woman committed to Mercy). Then the three of us talked about how we came into MVC and what it has done for us. Together we hit on every topic..wanting to help people, living simply, growing spiritually, connected to Mercy, living in community. I was scared to death, but I think I did okay.

After the talk, we headed home and arrived around 10. I fell asleep very quickly, and woke up to the mess I'm in now. I really appreciated being in Grayling this weekend.It was so quiet, serene, and peaceful. The people were so welcoming and happy. It was a chance to get away from the daily anxieties and fears, away from my work which can, at times, use me up. Sometimes I wonder if places like Grayling are where I'm supposed to be...but then I remember the work I'm doing in Detroit, the obstacles I'm overcoming, and I know that I am becoming a stronger person through each challenge.

I know this blog is already unnecessarily long but I just have to add that another point. Another wonderful thing about being in Grayling was the memories it gave me form my adolescence- when I used to travel Up North (very close to Grayling) every summer with Jamie/Lindsay Pillow and Sarah Guzick. The drive up to Grayling reminded me of singing Aaron Carter songs at the top of our lungs, stopping at West Branch and using all our money at Claire's. Being at Sr. Jean's houses reminded me of sitting on the floor in our pj's playing ponce...paddle boating around heart lake. I can still remember some of our best quotes... "It wasn't a very good view from the lake, you could only see the back of the cottage". "What would the neighbor's think?" and so many more. Those truly were "the days". Those trips were and always will be some of the best summer memories. I really miss those girls :(

Song of the day- Stand Too Close by Motion City Soundtrack

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