Tag Archives: transformation

Exhausted on day 12

Standard

I am exhausted. Like take a nap at work exhausted (I didn’t BTW). There is no reason for me to be exhausted. None at all, but I am exhausted. I started my day planning my nap.

I woke up this morning so tired. I was also cold.  I stumbled out of bed and to the shower.  Turned it on so the water, warm in the basement, could travel up the pipes, cold from disuse for the past 24 hours, and be moderately warm when it hit my back as I washed myself for the day ahead.  The water covered me with warmth like bed sheets keeping me from the cold December morning. I don’t remember most of my shower. My eyes were burning like I hadn’t slept in days. I felt like the morning after being up all night for finals, a baby who wouldn’t sleep, or any number of other reasons people don’t sleep and feel tired in the morning.

I thought about that nap all day. I left work on time and went to my mom’s to take a nap but instead ended up doing other things. When I left to go get my son at school I napped(-ish) while I waited for him to come to the car. Then headed to target for milk (I have teenage boys,  need I say more?). Finally. I get home and to my bed. A nap!

But that was to be put off so I could help get something from the carport and into the basement. Finally, after wanting a nap since 545 this morning….at 455 this evening I get a nap. A laying down, under covers, pillow under head nap. But I could only rest for 20 minutes because I had a wedding rehearsal to go to.

Normally this sort of day would be one to complain about due to having to cram so much into one day. But reflecting on my purpose this month I have no reason to complain.

I get to choose all of those things. I have the luxury of napping. I have the luxury of buying milk for my children. I have the luxury of attending weddings and celebrating beautiful things.

All of this because of a nap.  I wanted to just nap.  I had the blessing of working with students all day at a job I enjoy.  I could quit if I wanted to do so.  No-one would track me down if I quit.  I would be able to find another job with reasonable ease.  I may even make more money at the new job.  I am truly blessed.

In case you haven’t noticed I am raising money for IJM to free people from bondage.  People who do not have the luxury of showers, warm comfy beds, jobs they want to go to in the morning, weddings to attend, and so many things I often take for granted.

Fotor_141843950234384

Today’s dress is a repeat.  I am already deciding what next year’s campaign will look like.  I don’t know if in a year I will finally be brave enough to wear the same dress 31 days in a row.  That is a big commitment with all the holiday festivities and teaching high school.  Making the commitment this year to participate in the adventure has been eye opening and refreshing for me.  I am so glad I am not even half way done and more is yet to come. The writing every day is helping me stay focused to my purpose.  If even one person can be freed during the campaign then that one starfish has been saved. I don’t want to take things for granted any more.

That being said, I am still exhausted and I have another long day ahead tomorrow.  I am going to bed.

 

 

 

Today was Sunday funday!

Standard

Fotor_141800361630461

 

I am changing.  Quickly I am becoming someone else.  It is a good metamorphosis. I am excited to see what becomes of me.  I am boldly stepping out of a shell.  I am realizing things about myself that I never knew existed.

WOW!

Talk about transformative, the last 7 days have been a whirlwind of change.  I have felt the incredible urge to share the story of the dress and therefore write about it AND share that writing.  Putting myself at risk for possible judgement of my writing style and ability.  That is a scary thought for an English teacher.

If you read back over the blogs I have posted in the last 6 days you will see change and if you go back even further you may even see a different writer.  I know that this change is due to all the thinking I have been doing about the choice to wear dresses for 31 days for a specific cause.  But it is going deeper than that too.  I am noticing things I never knew about myself. Things I am not quite ready to share here (but I am sure to share as I go along this journey).

That realization makes me think about the journey to freedom that the slaves go through.  IJM  posted on their facebook today that they had dozens of families graduate from an after-care program that lasted 2 years.  Could you imagine?  It is an after-care program that helps with career options, counseling, learning how to self-advocate, and I am sure so many other critical skills that we take for granted.  Could you imagine all the changes and incredible transformation that is happening in the lives of these people who were once in bondage?

I know I am overwhelmed with all that has transpired in my mind this week but I cannot even begin to imagine what is happening in their minds.  What that new idea of freedom tastes like!

After being rescued the, now free, people are given support and expected to work to earn a living for themselves.  They get to pick their job! They are so transformed that they likely do not recognize themselves or their families.  But they are free.

This month is about so much more than a dress for me and all the people who are working to the end of slavery in the world.  It is about transformation in our minds and extending kindness.  It is about awareness in subtle and not so subtle ways.  It is about finding out what you may not have known about yourself and others.  It is about assisting others who cannot help themselves without you.

Will you help?  You can of course donate money through my campaign but you can also learn about what IJM does and get involved there.

It is about so much more than just money.  Just awareness of this world-wide problem informs our everyday  movements but that is post for another day.

Saturday: waffles, visits from friends and family, Santa’s Workshop, & shopping

Standard

Fotor_14179036520190

Today was one of those normal Saturday’s: busy and relaxing.  How is that dichotomy even possible?

Well, I got to sleep in, make a delicious pot of coffee, make a simple (but thrillingly received) breakfast for my family, do a little Christmas tree decorating, hug a friend and my mom, go to an event sponsored by my church to shop for a family we are sponsoring, & take my boys out to dinner & shopping (yes that was good).

The coffee and waffles I made were so delicious and while we ate in shifts, we all got a chance to talk and enjoy each others company.  That is such a wonderful way to start a weekend (or any) morning. Especially since my boys are growing up and going to be moving on soon enough.

Then, as if the day hadn’t started wonderfully enough, one of mah honks came over to say hello and give me a hug (she “just happened to be running errands”). Oh how I love mah honks! (PS that’s her in the picture above)

I scooted out to the Santa’s workshop my church set up for those of us who adopted a family for Christmas so we could shop for them.  That was so amazing: a room filled with donated toys, puzzles, & games for all ages and interest levels.  The planning and organization that went into it was fantastic!  And THEN the first question of the day:

“You mean you have to wear them on the weekends too?”

“For 31 days!”

“What are you doing? Why are you wearing a dress?”

So the sharing commenced about IJM, Dressember, & my fundraising campaign.  How wonderful that was for me to share with them about this little thing I could do that could impact so many people around the world.

And to up the ante on my day, my mom came over to tell me about her recent vacation and again to give me a hug.

Man, I love my village!

I got home tonight from being out of the house for about 9 hours.  That, in and of, itself should be exhausting. If I could add more fuel to the fire and complain about it a little it would be this: I drove for 3 hours of that 9 (and I may be underwhelming that number a bit), it rained the whole time, I was driving the 95 corridor (for those of you who do not live in this area it is the main thoroughfare for the mid-atlantic states), & I had two boys in the car with me.

However, I will not complain beyond what I typed above.  My boys were perfect in the car.  My eldest kept good music playing in the cd player (yes, I am that person) & conversation going and my youngest in the back quietly played his video game.  The rain, while tiresome, is also a comfort (and brings flowers in the spring) and makes me drive slower on the highway.  The shopping I was doing was pleasant shopping for others (and a tree topper for my family).  While I was shopping my boys were in guitar center (they are both amazing musicians!) “shopping” for themselves.  It is nice to have confident young men who can take care of themselves while “maaaahhhhm” (what they have chosen to call me) shops.

All of this in a dress; an outfit I would not normally choose to wear on a rainy cold Saturday.  Thinking all the time about how I was wearing a dress.  Walking around, sitting in Five Guys, riding in the car, all these things are “better done” in pants.  But today, I was oddly comfortable in a dress.  As I shopped, I thought about all the people I was doing this for.  I know my impact in the grand scheme is minuscule but if I am able to help one then I have done enough.  As I said in my first blog, one starfish! But maybe it isn’t even helping that one so far away in the bonds of slavery, maybe it is helping a student, friend, co-worker, or random person in Starbucks find worth in themselves.  Maybe finally noticing the worth in myself will help others see the what they are worth as well.

A week of school is in the books

Standard

Today was wonderful! I can truly say I had a great day. I have now spent 5 days wearing dresses and I haven’t passed out, lost my mind, hurt anyone, or spilled anything on them. I am even wearing them long after I get home. I am cooking, cleaning, and doing my general after school lounging in them.

Today was dress down Friday (jeans and spirit wear, I work at a high school). My breakfast buddies (Friday mornings are sacred!) asked why I was still “dressed” up. They all know that I love any excuse to wear jeans to work. I was so confident in telling them about why I was wearing dresses! Amazing start to my Friday!

Later in the day a student came in late (we were taking a test) and asked to speak to me I  that hall. With tears in his eyes he told me that he hadn’t told anyone abut that he felt like he could trust me and so he told me why he was late. My heart broke you this young man who was so willing to show me his heartache in the hallway if school.  Without going into details, he felt like I was trustworthy and would care about him. He isn’t the first student to say those words to me and he won’t be the last.

Later in the day I went and visited one of my cohorts and we talked about books, artists, & Dressember.  My colleague was excited about this journey and wanted to know more.  As we talked the words, “Are you trying to inspire me right now” were uttered in my direction. My direction!

Then after a family night of Chinese food, Santa Clause 1 & 2, & an attempt at decorating the Christmas tree (not successful I might add), my daughter called!! That was an hour and a half of a blessing. We prayed together at the end of our conversation ❤ <3.  I love that our lives have intersected.

I know that feelings like the feelings I had today do not last.  I know that when we are experiencing amazing things there are really HIGH points and really LOW points.

I realize that this post has very little to do with the fundraiser BUT THIS….if I was in bondage none of this would have happened.  If I lived in a different country it is likely that I wouldn’t have the wonderful students and co-workers that I do.  But my life isn’t different.  I am seeing my life for the first time as a blessing and as a gift that I can no longer take lightly.  I must DO.  This month I am doing, what will I do next month.  How will I effect those around me? How will I effect the world? I have no idea but I will do something.

Look at the picture of my dress.  I didn’t take a photo of the whole ensemble today but this shot is the epitome of who I am.  I am who I say I am.  I try my best not to put on airs for others.  I want to be as authentic as I can be.  My mix of patterns is how I see myself, a nice mixture of colors and patterns all somehow connecting and making sense although they shouldn’t.  It is the beauty that is everywhere if you choose to look for it.  I hope that you will stop by my donation page and check out what Dressember is doing with IJM.  Donate if you can, but more importantly, learn about the cause, tell other people about it, & find out how you can help.  Every little bit counts.Fotor_141783536467348

day 1 and done

Standard

Fotor_141747343532475

 

I have made a decision to wear a dress everyday in December to raise awareness and to raise money with Dressember and International Justice Mission .

I do not really like to bring any sort of attention to myself and I do not like to have pictures posted of just me anywhere so this is a huge step out of my comfort zone. Ever since I was a young girl I have HATED wearing dresses.  They were constraining and I couldn’t run “fast” in them or play in the mud in them.

To “say yes to the dress” without anyone I knew around me doing the same (people I see on a daily basis) was something I knew I was going to need emotional support on, but how was I supposed to talk about it without seeming arrogant or self serving? I had been thinking about doing it since the beginning of November.  I finally made the decision the week before Thanksgiving.  I didn’t talk about it until after Thanksgiving and had signed up for my donation site.

I talked a little bit about it with my daughter and her friend.  They were both very supportive and excited about it for me.  I talked a little bit about it with my BBF’s and of course they were excited for me to partake in this event.  But even I still didn’t (and maybe still don’t) fully understand what it was that I was going to be undertaking.

I have plenty of dresses so that wasn’t a problem.  Last year I seriously thought about participating in Dressember but talked myself out of it due to the temperature of the month of December and it was a commitment I wasn’t ready to take.  This year the decision came fairly easily.  I sort of told myself I was going to commit and I signed up as a participant and that was that.

The harder part for me I think are the comments that may come during the month. Don’t get me wrong, I am not anticipating nasty comments, but the “you look so beautiful, you should wear dresses more” or “oh, are you doing this with such and such?” I am a little defensive about things and these comments would make my defenses pop up like red flags.

I need to back off, I need to “take a chill pill”, I need to not think “so much of myself”.  I NEED to remember that I am not doing this for me or any discomfort or personal gain.  I am not doing this so others can identify me as any particular type of person.

I have decided to take a picture for the next 31 days and post them here, on my facebook, twitter, & instagram to get the word out about the cause.  I have decided to give up my vanity and make sure to have a picture a day taken of me, IN A DRESS! I will share links and bring awareness.

I will talk to my students about the venture.  They complete a research paper that is built around social justice.  It will be good to hear about an organization that started as “a quirky style challenge” turned into something much larger than just fashion.

I will constantly remind myself and others that I am doing this because there are those in the world who don’t have the freedom to speak, let alone choose what they wear (among relatively minor prohibitions).

Most of all I will do this to take the focus off of me.  I am going to try writing a blog or two about this experience without using the word I or me.  Put the focus out and on others so that minds and lives can be transformed.

I am doing this because the world needs change.

Every starfish deserves a chance, but that is a story for another day.

 

My fundraising site