[Quiet Thoughts] Of Solid Wins

Photo: T’was a windy day on Wednesday, so the boys took their giant pinwheels from the flowerbed and brought them over to the play for so they could observe and enjoy the spinning. Soon, as is typical with destructive little children, the boys decided they wanted knock over the pinwheels via the slide. I prevented that, mostly because I so love the pinwheels.


I taught a really great class yesterday.

I write that because it feels good to write. I also write it because every teacher knows there are classes that you tapdance through, others that are nothing special and fade just as soon as they are done, but then there are the ones that remind you that you’re good at this. You chose this for a reason. We used to call these “tight” lessons. We were always trying to catch lightning with our lesson planning and curriculum building in the summer time. The goal: for every lesson to be so good. The reality, at least for me, is that such a goal was impossible.

I taught a great class yesterday. It’s nice to remember the feeling of a solid delivery. I was prepared, despite how busy I’ve been, and I got some really positive feedback from my students. Inspiration is happening. Information is new and interesting. The stuff that I’m teaching them is making things happen for their projects. In other words, this class has been worth their time and their dollars. I’m not an impostor after all.

For now, anyway. For now. There are still 5 classes left.

I’m not writing all this to brag. I’m writing this in gratitude. I’ve been doing a lot. It’s nice to have a good, solid win and remember that I’m doing all of this stuff for a reason.

Perhaps I am simply happy to report that somewhere in our big, crazy world, something went right last night. It’s fleeting and small… so small, it’s not worth mentioning. But isn’t it nice to know anyway? There are places in the world where things are going right.

I know that I wrote on Monday that it’s “all crashing down.” That’s not really the truth. What’s really happening right now is that it’s all coming together. I’m hitting my stride, one that’s really fast paced and will have to be sustained from now until the end of the year. I think that last night gave me a little boost of confidence. It’s nice to have a burst of momentum going into the crazy two months ahead of me.

My Quiet Thoughts are on small, but solid wins. I think we have to bring life back to scale sometimes. It’s right and appropriate that the great and important be a focus of our attention at the moment. I will not belittle the stakes of our time and this moment. However, when all is great and grand and important, we lose the small and quiet and important. We forget to be solid in our personal here and now.

I realize there is a dangerous idea in what I’m writing. One could argue that choosing to go inward and micro in a time when the world is burning is selfish at best, aiding and abetting at worst. I don’t want to suggest that we look away from the larger narrative, nor shirk our duties to bring about a better world. I’m just reminded once again that our individual lives are lived action to action, moment to moment, one contribution at a time. Every small thing builds to something bigger. It takes time and care and thought.

And in a world when the big feels so big, and the narrative is so grand, sometimes orienting in the small and the solid is helpful for orientation. I taught 2 solid hours last night. I accomplished something and feel better. Today was different and tomorrow will be, too. I’m going let last night remind me that I’m still here, still useful.

I asked on Wednesday about where you live, Dear Reader. Today I’m asking, what have you done? What small, solid thing can you look on this week and say, with certainty, “this is a thing I have done and done well. From this I can do more. Knowing I can do this, here are more things I can now do.” I’m asking because orientation is important. Find your here, then choose your direction.

It is a cold night here in MetroWest after a golden day and clear skies. Color is at peak here, with all sorts of colors in every direction you look. The air is brisk, the scenery is beautiful, people are in their flannel (including my husband), and it’s cozy without the hassle of ice and snow. Tomorrow, the wind will blow and the rain will fall as a Nor’easter passes over us. I purchased some stouts and barrel-aged porter for the occasion. I also broke out a stick of Crisco shortening and put together some pie dough for chicken potpies tomorrow. I cannot wait for golden crusts and bubbling filling.

This Friday, I wish you sleep. It’s been a week and sleep is the only cure for some of the restlessness that I know you’re feeling. Commit to a nap this weekend, Dear Reader. Yes, I’m quite serious. Give yourself permission, right now, to get the rest that you know you need. Between the news and the work and the worry and the high emotions that everyone seems to be carrying with them… aren’t you tired, Dear Reader? Be tired. Listen to yourself. Then rest. Sleep, Dear Reader. The world needs you to be at your peak performance and you can only do that if you’re taking care of yourself. I wish you good, cozy food this weekend. Mac n’ cheese or a grilled cheese sammich with tomato soup or some sort of stew or a bisque or your favorite heavy, spiced food from your favorite restaurant. I always endorse curry, especially on a weekend like this. Thai, Indian, Jamaican, Japanese… you can’t go wrong with any of these. Let something good warm you up and sit on your stomach and slow you down for a minute. Bonus points, of course, if what you consume is homemade by loving hands. EXTRA bonus points if you have a curry recipe you can share! (Ok, I officially have a craving.) I wish you time with a good book or a favorite Podcast. Lore has me utterly spellbound right now. I wish you a hug that lingers, a kiss on the cheek, and eyes that won’t leave yours for a minute. Don’t be afraid to feel someone’s love this weekend, Dear Reader. Don’t be afraid to let that love remain with you for a good long while.

Love isn’t a rational thing. You are loved simply because you are. You are loved and admired by people who tell you so and people who don’t. You are cherished with a depth that may be unfathomable to you. Even if you spent this day by yourself, isolated because of your own choosing or the choosing of others, it does not mean that your day was absent of love. There is always someone who is thinking of you, wondering after you, uttering your name into existence in the hopes that you will be well. I say this all to say: when the world feels too big, the narrative too grand, your efforts too small… know that even in your smallness and your humbleness, you are quite precious. You are loved. What you do in this world matters. For someone in this world, you are the light that holds back the darkness. So shine brightly, Dear Reader. We’re so grateful for your infinite beauty.

Until Monday, take care of yourself, Dear Reader.

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