Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Seeping into my bones...

I have been thinking a lot about the cold lately. Not the nasty virus that is the bane of existence to anyone who works with small children, but the temperature kind. I am a self-professed wimp when it comes to chilly weather, which we have had the last few nights here in Amarillo. It was 40 degrees when we went to the playground this morning and I had on a sweater, a coat, a pair of gloves and a beanie. Yes, I am a wimp. I DO NOT like being cold.

It occurred to me that I don't mind when a room is cold when it is hot outside and the AC is on. I wondered what the difference is. Cold is cold, right? After thinking about it, I came to a conclusion. There is a difference between natural cold and artificial cold.

Now I am no science aficionado. I am taking a biology class at the moment that is kicking my tail. But here is how I understand cold. It doesn't really exist. Cold is really just the absence of heat. It can be infinitely hot but once you hit absolute zero that's it. You can't get any colder. You have a total absence of heat. This is natural cold.

Artificial cold is different. In the summer when the AC is on, the room is still surrounded by heat. There is still heat outside. So it is not so much an absence of heat but a covering of heat. The room acts as an oasis in the midst of vast amounts of heat. The body knows it is really hot outside and the cold is just an illusion.

So here is the reason I can stand artificial cold but am terribly bothered by natural cold. Artificial cold is only skin-deep. Just step outside and the sun melts it away and warmth is quickly restored. Natural cold is all pervasive. It seeps into my bones and tissues. Even when I am in a well heated room. I can feel the cold licking at me from the windows and doorways. It causes discomfort on a cellular level that makes it almost impossible to remove. This is why I don't want any part of me to be cold. This is why I will be covered from head to toe if possible.

So here is my science of cold. Again let me stress, I am by no means a science expert. But then again, I always have an alternate explanation for everything. Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Precious moments...

The last couple of posts have been kind of self-deprecating. I am not like that all the time, but I do have my days. Doesn't everybody? So I have decided to write a more upbeat and, I hope, entertaining post.

As you probably know, I work at a school. My students are toddlers so we have many adventures together. I love my students, each and every one. Even the ones that make me want to tear my hair out at times. Sometimes, these tiny little humans amaze me. So I have decided to share some of my favorite moments.

One of my students is an 18-month old boy. He is the cutest little thing. And I mean little. He is our youngest student and our smallest. On Thursdays, the school librarian hikes down to the basement from the top floor and reads to us. During one of these storytimes, this student climbed into my lap. Sitting next to me was one of the other 18-month olds. She put her tiny hand on my leg. The student sitting on my lap looked at her, forcefully shoved her hand away and said, quite proudly, "Mine!" I was laughing too much to get on to him for being hateful.

Another of our students is a blond-haired boy who is 2. He has beautiful curls and a light dusting of freckles on his nose. If you have ever listened to Five Iron Frenzy, they have a song called Dandelions. This boy reminds me of that song every time I see him. One day he said something to me and I just giggled and told him he was a cutie patootie. He grinned at me and said, "Yep. I'm cute."

Not all of my favorite memories are funny. Some of the ones I cherish the most are when a child crawls into my lap because they just want to be comforted. I love it when one of my students runs up and give me a hug just because. I also love it when they reach up and tenderly touch my cheek. I love it when they say my name though sometimes it is hard to understand.

I am blessed to have the opportunity to share part of my life with these children. They are so innocent and untainted by the world. They have such faith in the adults around them. I am honored to be one of their caregivers. It saddens me to think about leaving them.

I have thought a lot recently about finding another job. My roommate is now gone and I have the whole apartment to myself. I love it. I would really like to keep it that way. To do that, I need to make more money. A second job is out of the question. I already work extra at the school to help pay the bills which means I work about 10 hours everyday. Plus, I have classes and church activities. I am already so busy. Adding another job to the mix would probably push me over the edge.

But I hate the thought of leaving my students. I have been praying a lot about what I should do. I'll figure something out. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Slideshow woes...

Have you ever felt like you have missed out on something? That because of some mistake or inaction on your part you have altered the course of your life, but you have no idea what it was? Have you ever had reason to celebrate with a friend, but was having trouble doing so because of your own sadness?

I can say yes to all of these questions. In fact, I did just that on Saturday. My roommate got married a couple of weeks ago. Being that they are both from the Minnesota area, it was only natural they were married there. So in order not to snub all their Amarillo friends and family, they had a reception last Saturday. She was kind enough to invite myself and my mom.

I was ok until the slide show. As I watched the pictures of their 4-year relationship, I began to feel strange. There was picture after picture of them together. They looked so happy and so comfortable together. I realized towards the end of the show that what I was feeling was jealousy. Why it took me so long to realize this, I don't know. Unfortunately, I am familiar with this particular emotion.

After the slide show was over, I had this sinking feeling I was missing out on something wonderful and mysterious to me. I began to think about all the hearts I had broken. I began to think about all the people I had let myself drift apart from. As my heart caved in, I felt terrible dispair that I had missed my chance.

I know this is probably not true. I know many people who have gotten married for the first time who were older than 27. My roommate is one of them. It just seems that there are so many more who had been married for several years by the time they were 27. You are probably thinking the same thing I am right now. Maybe I dwell on this too much.

So tell me...how do I stop dwelling on it? I know most of you will say pray about it. I do that. Everyday. But surely there are other things I can do. Anyone have any suggestions?

I have had time to think about it since then. I don't feel jealous anymore. I now have a great apartment all to myself and I love every minute of it. But there are some days when I wish I had someone to share it with who was more than just a roommate. I have gotten to the point where I am satisfied in my singleness...most of the time. I still have my moments.

I know he is out there somewhere. I believe God would not give me such a strong desire for companionship if He wasn't preparing someone just for me. I ask all my readers who pray to pray I can be content in my situation until the time when God deems it needs to change.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fatty, fatty two by four...

There is nothing like school pictures to shatter your self-image. Now, I don't think I am ugly. There are even some days when I feel like I might even be pretty. But every time I see a picture of myself, I have trouble believing that for a while.

We got our school pictures to day. My individual ones aren't too bad, but the group pictures...ugh. Just thinking about them, I can feel my self-esteem drop another point. I look huge. In the faculty picture, I am standing next to a pregnant woman and I am bigger than she is!!! Every time I see a picture like this, I wonder if I really look like that to other people. I don't see myself as that big when I look in the mirror. Does the camera really add ten pounds?

I always try to explain it away. The lighting is bad. The angle is bad. I shouldn't have worn that particular outfit. Maybe I look so big because I am sitting next to 2 year olds. But deep down, I know that there is at least some truth in the image before me.

I have always struggled with my confidence. Ever since I hit puberty and lost my youthful thinness, I have be kind of sensitive about how I look. When someone tells me I look nice, I rationalize in my mind that they are just being nice or just like the shirt. When someone, especially a man, tells me I am beautiful, I blush and stammer out a thank you. Then I wonder if they really mean it or if they are just trying to get something from me.

The other night I was watching Biggest Loser. When the contestants weigh in, they are wearing very little clothes. You can see the rolls and imperfections of their bodies. I remember thinking, "I could never show myself on national television like that and I don't even weigh 200 pounds." I remember thinking how self-righteous of me. Maybe God is trying to remind that I am not perfect either. I'll admit, I could stand to lose a few pounds. I had a doctor tell me one time I needed to lose 40 pounds.

Well, I guess that is all the self-deprecating things I think of. Thanks for reading.