Too Long

The title of this post just about captures it.  It has been far too long since my last post.  It has been far too long since I posted consistently, it has been far too long since I even picked up my laptop and turned it on for anything other than a quick check of my email.   For this, I blame my iPhone.

The iPhone, however, isn’t the only reason I haven’t been writing and posting.  Part of it really comes down to frustrations I was facing as a writer.  I was working very hard to model my blog after the  blogs and writings of others.  I wasn’t focused on my voice and my vision, and I certainly was more focused on producing a respectable quantity of posts, rather than creating a manageable number of quality posts that reflect who I am as a writer, cook, dabbler with photography, reader, teacher, lover of travel, woman who is (I cannot believe I’m admitting this) equally in love with The Real Housewives of ANY city AND Duck Dynasty (and a myriad of other “reality” television shows) and (I know, this next one is truly a mark of instability…)my love of physical activity and exercise.  I was trying to jam myself into a mold that wasn’t the right fit.

But that’s not all…

I’m one of the thousands of teachers across New York State and the millions across the country who are working to the point of exhaustion to understand all of the new acronyms being thrown at us…CCLS, APPR…and how to apply the (good) principles of them in ways that will truly enhance both my teaching and my students’ learning.  Please, don’t see this as another whiny teacher (a phrase that I hear often and one that makes me insanely angry) complaining about having to work hard.  I have always worked hard.  I have always been a teacher who brings work home on both weeknights and the weekends, and I am busy every minute of the school day.  Some days I have to write a note on a Post-it note to remember to make my way to the restroom.  We are busy and we are doing great work that is helping our students.  My struggle is in finding ways to work smarter amid all of these changes.  To work better to give my kids both what they need to be successful on the unbelievable number of tests that are being thrown in their paths AND to help them develop the skills they need to be successful in college or the workplace when they are no longer walking our hallways.  It is heavy and important work.  I do not take it lightly, and it has, during this first month of school, consumed my days, nights, and weekends because the perfectionist in me wants to constantly make sure that what I’m doing is what  is right for my students.

And if you think that’s enough to keep me away…

I’ve also (somehow) found time to enjoy myself.  This summer allowed me to take two fantastic trips that were exactly what I needed.  My husband and I took a trip to Cape Cod (one of my favorite places on the planet) and we also spent a week in a rustic cottage on Wolfe Lake in Canada (a place that I will make sure I visit year after year).  There is something restorative about the water.  I have always been attracted to it.  I see it as a calming and cleansing force that is a necessity in my hectic and sometimes stressful life.  While we were on Wolfe Lake, I fished for the first time in my life, kayaked every day, read 8 books in 6 days, and savored the fresh air and enjoyed being disconnected from the world of technology.  We cooked simple and delicious meals and enjoyed them with everyone gathered around the table.  No one  rushed, no one had places to go or iPhones to distract them, we were present…truly there for the experience.  I wholeheartedly believe that if it were not for that rustic cabin on Wolfe Lake, I might not have been ready to face the challenges I’ve faced in my work life.  Everyone needs their own version of this place.  Our collective well-being depends on it.

But that’s not all…

I’ve also been painting my nails…every. single. week.  It helps me feel a bit pampered and it’s just plain fun.  I’m obsessed with Essie nail polish, and probably will find myself struggling for a topic one of these weeks, so you’ll hear (and see) all about it.  I know you won’t be able to find meaning and direction in your life until that time, but try, friends, just try.  Afterall, the manicure doesn’t make my life complete, it just makes my life…a little bit sassy.

Moving forward…

It is my intention to post each week.  I’ll still post about what I’m cooking and eating.  I’ll still have photos in nearly every post.  I’ll write about where I go and what I do.  But…my blog will be mine.  It will be in my voice and written about the people, places, things, and ideas that matter to me.  I will not try to be someone else, and I will not force myself into the cooking blog mold.  My blog, from this point forward, will be about what matters most to me.  It will be my words, and in my voice.

I hope you come back and visit (and comment) often.



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