Letter From Teacher Marty – March 2018

Hello Dear Friends,
Just when I thought all hope was lost and Spring had arrived already, February brought a surprise of some lovely snow. My winter is never complete without some of the white fluffy stuff falling from the sky. There are few things I enjoy more than watching the gentle, graceful fall of those beautiful flakes. Everything becomes hushed and peaceful in the snow. I guess it takes me back to my childhood home and even though we had lots of snow, it never got old and I felt giddy every time the forecast called for a snow storm.

However, Spring is just around the corner now, I am sure of it, even though these last two days have felt pretty cold and damp. Please be sure to keep sending your children dressed for the weather. You have been doing well as most days the kids are comfortable and happy to be outside. We will begin to plant some peas in the gardens soon and hope for a good harvest. The children really love standing in the garden and eating them right off the vines. Growing things is such an interesting science project. We will likely be sprouting some seeds indoors as well so we can watch the whole process of germination.

Hey, we are less than two weeks out from the big day and I am so impressed with how everyone has come together to make this event great. I know the data entry, and the merchandizing teams have been hard at work getting everything entered, the catalogue set up and ready to go and the packages and baskets put together for display on auction night.

Thank you all so very very much. I know we are going to be in good shape come March 11th and will be able to look back and heave a collective sigh of relief and revel in a job well done. And speaking of jobs, I encourage all of you to document the time and tasks you engage in as part of your school job or the auction. Taking on a leadership role in our cooperative community is a big deal and it equates to many professional, paid positions in the outside world. Keep track of what you have done. Add it to your resume. You deserve credit and
recognition for the work you are doing. And please know that I am always happy to write you a letter of reference should you ever need it.

Health Update
Everything is starting to settle down for me health wise a bit now. The number of doctor’s appointments is slowing down. While there are still a few tests that have to be done, the doctors are starting to hone in on what exactly is going on in my body. I have
been pushed up the line to an infectious disease specialist who is now managing my care directly. While her office is far from conveniently located, it is worth it to be with someone who is well versed in the latest information on rare fungal infections and who knows the ins and outs of the science and the treatment options. My confidence in a positive resolution down the road
is much higher than it was even a week ago.

But, because there are still some tests to be done and because the doctors do not want to add any additional stress to my lungs or immune system at this time, I have postponed my ankle surgery which was scheduled for the week before spring break. I am actually glad because I
was not happy about the idea of missing any more school days. My ankle can wait. It will still
be there when everything else is resolved.

As always, I thank you so much for the love and support you have offered me over the last six weeks.

Being Your Own Best Friend
As we have been passing through this winter season, I have had the chance to speak to many of you and have heard how some of you are hitting a rough patch in your parenting journey. Perhaps your child has some challenging behaviors that are new and confusing. Maybe things are rough because no matter what you do, your child(ren) just do not sleep at night and you are so exhausted that you don’t know which end is up. Perhaps your little one has some new big emotions bubbling over and you don’t know if you can listen to one more tantrum without pulling your own hair out. Or maybe it feels like everyone, EVERYONE! needs and wants something from you and you have lost yourself in the morass of caring for others.

If you recognize yourself in these scenarios, I want you to know that you are not alone. You are not the only one who struggles to find the joy in the mundane and often exhausting task of being a parent to little ones and keeping the rest of your life and home running as well. It may look like everyone else has it all together but I can guarantee you that is an illusion. Have you ever noticed how compassionate you are with your friends when they tell you how difficult things are in the life? You do not shame them or hurl insults. You make space for them in your heart and hold them in your circle of love and light. You offer gentle reminders of how important they are, of their competence and most especially of how much you love and care for them. Unconditional love is a wonderful thing. It feels good to offer it and it feels good to receive it.

However, I have noticed how hard it is to offer that same care, compassion and unconditional love and acceptance to ourselves. It is rare that we look in the mirror and say “Wow. Things are really hard for you right now. I want you to know that I see you. I see how hard you are working to keep things together.” It is even more rare to be able to validate ourselves for doing the best that we can and accepting our own value as human beings. It is so much easier to be self-critical. “What am I whining about! I should be able to handle this, with a smile on my face.”

Maybe you have forgotten to put yourself back into your plan for each day. You each deserve to have moments of joy and happiness and if that is hard to find right now, I want you to sit down and make a list of the things you can do for yourself to help you restore your sense of peace, your sense of value and recognize that you ARE enough just as you are.

Self-care is really hard for most of us. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive ‘stuff’. Sometimes something as simple as finding a way to take a 30 minute walk each day can do wonders for your mind. Can your partner work with you so that you can step away – even if
only a couple of days a week? A bubble bath with candles and soothing music? Do you enjoy affirmations? Positive statements you could post on your bathroom mirror to remind you of your wonderfulness?

Is there something, some task in your life that you could cut out for a while? Maybe something that takes your time and energy and leaves you feeling drained? Could you take a break from it? Can someone else in your family take that task over for now?

In essence I am suggesting that you act as your own best friend. Be as kind and gentle and loving with yourself as you are with others. Accept your flaws and imperfections and know that you are truly worthy of the care and compassion you deserve. I love you all so much. If you are in a hard spot right now you can always reach out. I am here to listen and support you as much as I can. And please know that the hardest moments in our lives often seem to happen in hyper slow motion. But the truth is, this rough patch will not last forever. It does will get easier. And in the meantime, my arms are always open if you need a hug and I am always available for a cup of tea and I will bring my open heart, ready to hear you and support you in your path.

Here’s to a happy spring, a successful auction and one heck of a party the night of the 10th!
With love always,
Teacher Marty