Monday, December 20, 2010

If you could do it again. . .

You ever wonder what you would do if you could live your life all over again, knowing what you know now?? If you had complete knowledge of how life works and unlimited resources with which to achieve your goals? Would you be something completely different, or would you choose the same life path?

Now don't get me wrong. I am pretty satisfied with my life right at this exact moment in time. There are things I want still, but on the whole I am pretty cool with my life. I adore substitute teaching. I love the fact that it is teaching in it's purest form without the worry and hassle of grading papers and dealing with parents and the long list of stresses that regular classroom teachers deal with each day. I am especially proud of the fact that teachers will call me on their cell phones and chase me down the hallway asking if I am available. I have worked hard to cultivate a reputation as someone who can just be thrown into a classroom cold, handed a curriculum book, and handle any class with professionalism and grace. (wow, way to toot my own horn there. lol That came out surprisingly vain for a sec there, sorry) VERY long story short: I feel like I was really meant to do this all along. And I especially love being in a new classroom every day, having new adventures with new children I may have not met before.

But what if I was able to be someone different. Maybe just for a little while. If you had asked me this question last year, my answer would have been this: I would become a meteorologist. Maybe on The Weather Channel. This is in no small part due to my raging love for both Jim Cantore and the entire Weather Channel itself. (Don't believe me. This: and this: might convince you. Both written with love by me!)

But today I have a very different idea of what I would do. This idea was perhaps born from being trapped in the house since September without a car of my own, or maybe from currently reading "Eat, Pray, Love" or I suppose from multiple viewings of "Mamma Mia", but I think in my alternate life I would like to be a travel writer. I would travel the world having adventures and then writing about them. Given that the temperature outside hasn't risen above 40 degree in almost a month, I would probably start by traveling to somewhere warm, and then go from there. Doesn't that sound like a very exciting life to lead? Travelling to distant and exotic places, meeting new and different people, and then being paid to write about it? I suspect I would probably take to such a lifestyle very nicely if my reasons for loving substitute teaching are any indication. I appear to have a itch for adventure, no matter how small.

For the past two years, my in-laws have taken us on vacation in leu of Christmas gifts. We have been on a caribbean cruise and traveled to the Yucatan Peninsula. Both times I had a marvelous time soaking in the local atmosphere, speaking in my pathetic Spanish to natives, and revelling in the opportunity to experience life through a different set of parameters. I would love to travel beyond the Western Hemisphere and perhaps visit Wales, France, Spain, Greece, and India. (I am sooo loving this book: Eat, Pray, Love. Totally read it if you ever get the chance.) If I could visit all of these places, and get paid to do it, it seems like the perfect deal. The best of all possible situations to live in.

But as I think about it, I am not sure such a lifestyle, as exciting as it may be, would be conducive to raising two little children. And I love having my children. So maybe, despite my yearning for foreign adventure, I am living exactly the life I am supposed to be. Maybe I will get a chance to visit all the places I want to in my life, I think the slow, plodding path to them is my path after all. That way, I get to take my adorable babies with me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Handmade Christmas: special or not?

I know, I know, I have been seriously neglecting my blog. I started substitute teaching this year, and I am being called day and night for work. I am purposely taking the rest of this week off to recover from Strep, so I finally have the time and energy to even think thoughts to put down, much less actually type them into some kind of coherant, readable format.

The subject on everyone's mind right now on the Delmarva is the weather. It is freakin' cold. As fascinating as that subject is right now, today I am going to push it off until tomorrow and tackle another topic weighing on my mind today: Christmas. Specifically handmade christmas presents.

If you have met me in person, then this subject shouldn't surprise you at all. In fact, your first thought probably is, "OH God, she is going to wax rhapsodic about the gosh darn craft studio again. Jeez, get a new topic!" Well, if that is your Christmas wish this year, consider me Santa Claus, because I actually want to talk about the practicality of handmade christmas gifts.

I just finished making a fabulous (I think) mosaiced Christmas present for my mother in law, and I am starting a (hopefully) beautiful garden stone for a very special person and family who has helped us a lot this year. As I was busy planning exactly what this stone would look like, my mom texted me to suggest that I make mosaiced Christmas trivets for everyone this year. (just in case you aren't familiar with the word, trivets are those ceramic tile thingies that you put hot dishes on) I also have some jewelry planned for a couple of people too.

I guess my question is: How do you feel about handmade Christmas gifts? Would you be happy to recieve one? Do you think the people in your life would be happy to recieve one? I sometimes never know. I would like to think that they convey thought and a desire to make someone happy by giving a piece of yourself, but I wonder sometimes if they have the capacity to seem cheap. Living in an area where everyone seems to shop at either Kmart or Michael Kors, (and believe me, there is nowhere in between the two in this area) I wonder how it comes across sometimes. Everyone loves getting handmade gifts from children, but what about other adults? What are your thoughts?

And just because I can't resist, if you want to handmake anything this season, please consider doing it at the Wye River Craft Studio in Grasonville, MD. There, I'm done. I'll shut up now.