Friday, April 24, 2009

Springtime in Atlanta

I had the best day today.  I woke up at 8:30, wrote in my journal, ate some whole wheat toast with guava jelly, and read my morning emails.  Then I went for a 3-mile walk with John.  I don't know what the temperature was, but it got up into the mid-80's here in the Atlanta area this afternoon, and it was pretty toasty even at 10AM.  Still, the walk felt GOOD.  Shortly after we got back, my piano tuner arrived.  Her name is Holly and she is AWESOME.  She took care of both my sweet little Kawai and John's stodgy Yamaha.  (Facts is facts!  But they both sound wonderful now.)  I had to leave before she was finished; Nathan's kayaking practice started at noon at Lake Lanier, and I was his chauffeur today.  I dropped him off at the boat house, pulled my happenin' red Honda Accord up under a shady tree, rolled down the windows, and started reading.  I polished off The Mysteries of Beethoven's Hair and read the chapter on Dialogue in Fiction Writer's Workshop.  (Laugh if you will, but I am going to write a best-selling novel one day.  Make that one day SOON.)  Anyway, something happened while I was out there.  I can't explain it, but there was a moment which I felt the most incredible sense of well-being.  All my problems were still there, and I knew it, but somehow I was at peace with the world anyway.  I think it was a combination of the walk earlier in the day and the sunshine on my shoulder and the way the world smelled and the birds singing and the bees buzzing and knowing that my piano was going to sound like a million bucks when I got home.  Whatever it was, I'LL TAKE IT.  Those glimpses of bliss and clarity are much too few and far between!  Anyway, it was gone by the time I got home.  I barely had time to eat a few bites of a very late lunch before the piano students started arriving; then it was dinnertime (pasta with red sauce and a salad--thanks, John) and a trip to the mall, where I helped John pick out a new pair of glasses (Happy Birthday, Dear John!)   And now I am tired and anticipating a long and challenging day tomorrow.   But it really happened.  And I shall not forget.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring Break

It is spring break in Gwinnett County, Georgia! I don't really follow the school calendar when planning my teaching schedule--my Monday students would miss at least a fourth of their lessons if I did--but I do take spring break week off. It's a long time between Christmas and spring break, and all of us, students and teacher, are ready for a change in routine by the time April rolls around.

Unfortunately, I generally spend most of my spring break working on my income tax return. Since I am self-employed, I don't even have to wait for a W-2, so I really don't have a good excuse for procrastinating. Except that the weeks and months between January 1 and April 15 are always SO jam-packed. Even when I'm NOT blending families. Anyway, I have spent the better part of the past few days adding up receipts and entering figures into Turbo Tax. The good news is that it appears that I don't owe Uncle Sam anything this year. As a matter of fact, I think the first quarterly installment of my 2009 estimated tax payment is going to be covered. What a relief.

So I'm not quite finished, but I put it aside for today. Annie had an appointment for a tour of the Atlanta campus of Savannah College of Art and Design this afternoon, so while John and the girls were there, I did some much-needed housework and laundry. Annie and Val take care of their own clothes, but I am in charge of everyone else's, and although I was pretty well caught up before I left for the MTNA conference March 28th-April 1st, things have really piled up since then. I also walked a couple of miles. It was warm and beautiful outside today--on the heels of SNOW FLURRIES on Monday, how messed up is that??--so I took full advantage of it. I used to walk three miles every morning, and I'm determined to get back into that habit, regardless of the weather. I started today. Also, I had a nice dinner waiting when John and the girls returned--barbecued chicken wings, mashed potatoes, peas, and a "chocolate tres leches cake" (glorified chocolate cake mix). Everyone seemed pleased.

Of course, the day flew by, and I didn't accomplish half of what I was hoping to, but at some point in the afternoon, elbow-deep in soap suds, I realized that I was happy--really, truly happy. My life isn't glamorous. It isn't always pretty. But I'm doing what I want to be doing. I love my job, I love my kids, I love my John. We have good health, a roof over our heads, cars to drive, and food to eat. I am thankful. I am content.

I really need to post more often. Daily would be great. Weekly would be an improvement. Maybe I can find some reasonable compromise between the two.