Light the night

This will be forever the night I met new friends and had some good conversation at the beach. We relaxed by the ocean waves and enjoyed being young but old enough to be independent and by the beach at night.

I felt the freedom I felt when I travelled abroad and didn’t feel limited. It made me very happy to see Darryl afterwards, for he always wants the best for me. I feel supported in my goals and loved in all the ways that I am Me. No longer are we limited in how relationships are construed but instead we are in a partnership that is strengthened daily.

I keep reflecting on the conversations I had with students. It was a tough week, challenging because of the balance between experienced and brand new instrument players in my classes. I know I made a huge difference in a few lives and I want to believe that that is enough. This weekend I’ve  been trying to leave the baggage at work and enjoy my life.

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Evening by the beach

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Me and my new friend

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Light the night

Thanksgiving

There is much to be thankful for: loving friends, caring family, hilarious students, and a thoughtful roommate. I am especially thankful for the beautiful memories and abundant blessings from this year. From getting my first two contracts with the school district, to living a full year on my own, I have been constantly aware of how lucky I am to have Darryl support and love me through it all. I am glad for the beautiful leaves outside, glowing with warmth from the deep conversations with my closest friends… My apartment smells like butter from a cozy night of baking with my roommate.

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Home baked egg tarts

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Pumpkin pie tarts!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Persistance

Yoga was enlightening yesterday as it gave me the mental fortitude and perspective change that I needed to process the intense three weeks back to school. I have been struggling with the logistics and knowledge required to jump start a successful music program at my school. It is hard for me to recognize my strengths on days when the steep learning curve affects my ability to teach my lessons and coordinate with the teachers for whom I provide prep time. In reality, I must know that my organizational skills, creative thinking, passionate energy, and flexibility have been positively challenged in this position.

My band program is gearing up, and I must remind myself of the same words that I’ve been blessing my students: patience, kindness, and joy. Every class I sense the eager energy from my students to learn new songs, yet I must exude patience to care for the students new to band on completely foreign instruments! I told them I hope we can play a ‘spooky tune’ by Halloween time, before we start working on Winter holiday tunes.

It is a blessing to be part of two dedicated staff teams. Today at Meet the Teacher Night, a colleague told me that I have to look forward to the day when this band teacher experience will come back to me and serve my classroom teaching!

Patience

It is an uncomfortable time during which I am adjusting to yet another new schedule. It is difficult to balance work, life, and my personal wellness but I am committed to finding a balance as soon as possible.

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Moved some things to the classrooms but I still have so much to do.

First I need to prioritize my classroom and school commitments, as I hope to establish an even better relationship with the staff and students at both schools. I still find myself working the full weekend tutoring and teaching evening ESL classes and it is a little upsetting to commit so much time to these students. It is not easy for me to sever these relationships with the kids who I’ve known for up to six years now! Last night it occurred to me that I may need to establish a running routine before and after school everyday in order to get my fitness in. Singing and reading have become part of my commitment to doing things for myself… And I will join the knitting club at one of my schools to learn some more about that art.

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My knit circle scarf

It’s a new term tomorrow , and a new season today!

New school term

Starting band again this term, covering an extended medical leave. It was a lucky coincidence and I am grateful for the second contract which will bump me up in seniority for next round of postings!

Felt some anxiety about starting band, but also feeling a lot of anticipation and excitement about seeing the students with whom I didn’t get to say goodbye to last term. It’ll be an exciting term full of musical fun.

Feeling positive about the support and love I am getting to take on this challenge. It will take hard work but I know I can do it! One step at a time. To stay present and positive requires patience and faith.

Sing a song!

Singing is a celebration of oxygen.  Bjork

I joined my first choir ensemble! It was a lovely evening of meeting kind and wonderful people, then getting to sing with everyone in parts and also together… Feeling safe to learn my own musical voice ‘instrument’ and express myself freely!

It feels so good to connect with new people. It is so interesting to hear their stories and also just to be with them in song and spirit, feeling what we feel and singing to release that.

I am so excited having heard my voice in that setting… Realizing that I have that voice and looking forward to building confidence to sing more in my life. There is something powerful about being in the company of other musicians. There is definitely a synergy and flow of energy and power in the way our voices mix. Music is so amazing.

15 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Happier

Originally posted on TIME:

This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published at Inc.com.

By Jeff Hadden

Forget success. Forget fame. Forget fortune.

Happiness is something everyone wants, and wants to feel a lot more often–because where happiness is concerned, too much is never enough.

Unfortunately we all have a hereditary “happiness set point.” That means approximately 50% of our happiness is outside of our control. But that means 50% of our level of happiness is totally within our control.

So even if you’re genetically disposed to be somewhat gloomy, you can still do things to make yourself a lot happier. (Choosing not to do certain things will make you happier, too.)

So doesn’t it make sense to create habits and build a lifestyle that allows you to feel more satisfied and more…

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