Saturday, February 20, 2010

A little taste of NOLA

"What we play is life." ~ Louis Armstrong
Many of you know that Leon and I love New Orleans. We know that people either "get that" or they quite simply don't.

I had the chance to spend three days there last week for the LEA Administrators' Conference, and of course made time late one evening to take in some jazz at Preservation Hall. I thought I'd share a clip to give you a sample of one of the many things we appreciate most about NOLA. So enjoy this little sound byte of the Paulin Bros. Brass Band. And please, tap your toe a little.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

That whole seasonal affective thing ...

For whatever reason, I've never been a big fan of February.

It actually goes back to my early teaching days in Milwaukee, when something about the shortest month of the year with its 4:30PM cover of darkness, classrooms filled with vitamin-D deficient students, and overall interminable gloom just settled in a took up a warm cozy residence in my psyche. It's just always a hard one for me.

Sure, there's plenty to appreciate about February, I suppose. Valentines Day.


President's Day.

My sister's birthday! (That's a good one, actually!) And my Dad's birthday! But those celebrations are within a week of the end of this wintry month, so they really don't count.

It's weird that February brings me such a bummer-vibe. You'd think it'd be March. Now there's a month that was gloomy in Milwaukee. But having grown up in Missouri, March - for me at least - really has always just "felt" like a harbringer of spring. I was Confirmed in March. Granted, it was overcast and extremely wet and cold, but hey - it was also Palm Sunday so it "felt" spring-y. Nope, March is all good.

Right now I am in the holding pattern - almost halfway through February and really ready for some sign of winter's demise.

So, here's my pondering today - how do all of my dear friends out there battle SAD (isn't that ironic, eh?) Seasonal Affective Disorder, I'm not saying I have it - but let's be honest the symptoms seem to be popping up all over! And this isn't a slight to folks who battle depression - we can talk about that in a future post. But the reality is - gloomy cold, hibernating communities breed a sense of "ugh." So how are you beating it? 

Extra workouts? Cooking your favorite recipes? A new devotional/prayer ritual? Extra emphasis on time with friends? Maybe our January new year resolutions are better saved for February as opposed to being introduced in the hectic mayhem of the first month of the year.

I'm curious. And eager to learn because this year seems more difficult than others. I think with the new house, big stresses at the office, an on-the-go toddler, new directions for Leon's career and other "big" ticket issues on the brain, I just feel more inclined to be melancholy this February. So I am looking for some reasonably logical strategies, perhaps a good kick in the gloomy-butt, and maybe a chance to meet for tea with some good friends to help us all pull through.