M.A.S.H.

I have a student at my work who is a little negative Nancy. She never seems entirely happy from moment to moment, nor easily satisfied. For example, one day we were coloring during free time, and she mentioned wanting to have her old teacher back. I asked what did she like about her that made her want be back in her class? She replied “Well she let me draw and color during free time.”

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Gotcha…

A few days ago it ended up being just us two girls and a handful of boys in program. For first period they all wanted to play basketball. Normally I play with them (grandma shots and all), but of course, my negative Nancy was unhappy that we all wanted to do something physically active…during physical activity time. She slumped onto a bench nearby and crossed her arms. I decided to see if I could help shift her mood.

“Have you ever played M.A.S.H.?”

I took out some paper from my work binder and gave her first turn. She chose potential jobs, number of children, pets, and “types” of future husbands. When it was time to count off she declared that picking a type of husband was the hardest part.

I might have to agree with her on that one.

When we finished the first round she was appalled at the job she landed. “Whyyyy did I get THAT job?!” Imitating her signature whiny tone I answered.

“Becaaaause, you CHOSE that job!”

Then, it was my turn.

Now this is where it got kind of cool. My girl initially picked some pretty mediocre shit. She had never played the game, and was understandably unfamiliar with how to fully engage it. So as my turns went on, and I had named a horse as one of my pets, “a wild warrior” as a potential husband, and one of my jobs getting paid to travel it started to sink in for her.
There were no limits.

What were her dreams like at this age?

Amazing!

We played back and forth for the entire period. By the time we got to her last turn she was clapping in delight, as she landed an “artistic guy,” a pet dragon, zero kids, and a job as an artist. When I asked if she thought these things could come true she shrugged, but then mentioned with a slight smile, “But it’s what I WANT.”

 Later that night I thought about our time together and how my turns went. The initial ones were more in the area of magical outcomes, more silly to reflect the lightness of the game to my Nancy, but also with a hint of truth to which I would not share with even the closest of friends. Sometimes children keep the best secrets. One turn midway I realized was what I thought I wanted, and the very last turn ended up being most of things I currently, really wanted.

Well, maybe I can’t have a pet wolf.

But perhaps one day I will have the opportunity to pet one.

Maggie xo

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A 1st World Problem

For many of you reading, if not all, we do not know what it truly feels like to be starved. So before you read the following short story please understand, that I understand how this experience pales in comparison to real world issues of hunger.

With that disclaimer, please enjoy and possibly relate to my experience…

Human Moments: Sticky Fingers

9:00am. No breakfast. No time to fully prep but I did make a small sandwich to take to work. 11:00am. Small lunch. Felt more like a snack. Maybe I can run out and grab something else. Nope. No time. I had to go to the store after work. No dinner. Not yet.

6:30pm. First thing I pass is the deli. Okay, let me get 5 pieces of the general chicken and I can eat it while shopping. Then I felt embarrassed. So I quickly walked around the store gathering what I needed while catching a whiff of the spicy sweet chicken teasing me with its smell in the cart. Get out of my way kid. Why is she blocking the exact area I need to get to?! Crap I forgot the apple juice and it’s on the other side of the store. SIGH. I’ll get it right before I check out. Who is calling me?? It’s getting busy. I need to get out of here. Then, excluding my oh so special self with this next thought…

Why does everyone have to shop after work?

7:30pm. As I stick my card in the chip reader (and wait. and wait) I feel someone close by. Okay man behind me in line. Why are you standing so close? SIGH. Just think about the yummy new chocolate cashew milk you bought, Maggie. In about 30 minutes you’ll be seated with a tall glass of it, and dinner.

I hurry my cart towards the store exit, and just as I was about the leave the same man whom I deemed as annoying for standing so close to me tapped my shoulder, and handed me a bag I had left.

It was the chocolate cashew milk.

Wow! I thanked him for essentially chasing me down, and felt a slight surge of excitement knowing my chocolate milk was not forgotten. I threw the groceries in the trunk except for the chicken. The chicken got the passenger’s seat.

Damnit, I still forgot the apple juice.

I rip open the container at a red light and shove a piece of chicken in my mouth. The song on my playlist switches over to a little jazz number, and I feel a wave of calm take over. I thought “This is a nice song, why don’t I listen to it more often?” I suddenly felt more relaxed, and enjoyed being a passive listener versus the usual which entails my belting out any of my songs with reckless abandon.

Having chowed down on my 5 pieces of foul by the time I pulled up to my house, I grabbed the rest of the groceries, sticky fingers and all. Greeted excitedly by my nephew, niece, and a hyper little terrier I felt a familiar shift in my mood….was it them? I feel…less annoyed.

The hanger is real.

Maggie xo

Real Genius

I’m back teaching summer school

and my TA is a T.N.

Total. Nerd.

I don’t mean the cute Joseph Gordon-Levitt type. I  mean the kid who wears a shirt that has a periodic table with the quote “I wear this shirt periodically,” a joseph-gordon-levitt-02mouth full of braces, is as pale as he is skinny, and doesn’t know how to answer a simple question such as “Do you like working with kids,” but can go off on a tangent about the chemical composition of carbon dioxide in an alka-seltzer tab we’re using to make lava.       I am not even sure I know what that last sentence means.

He drives me crazy.

For 3rd and 4th period I teach a Chemistry in the Kitchen class to 1st and 2nd grade children. We basically put together  stuff that comes from the kitchen in hopes of the following:

1) An explosion.

2) An overflow of ingredients.

3) That it is something we can eat.

It’s a SUPER basic class, and because my specialty is reading and language arts I pride myself on having kept it simple for the last 4 years I’ve taught it. Now this kid shows up and does one or more of the following every day:

1) Corrects the terms I use like “pyramid” to “tetrahedron.”

2) Half cleans up when I ask him to clean up stuff. He only seems to focus on the immediate area around him, and not the entire classroom.

3) Spends 1-2 hours coming up with formulas for simple experiments I ask him to set up like making soda with a bit of baking soda, fruit punch powder, and water.

Let me touch on the last one and finally get to my point. Again this kid drives me crazy. He can be hardly helpful at times because he will sit at the back of the classroom writing out formulas or doodling pictures of the experiments he is supposed to actually ya know, be setting up in real life.

However, the day we were supposed to make the fruit punch soda I taught him something, and he taught me. After spending the first two hours of school writing out formulas and doing taste tests to see if there was a perfect scientific calculation formula thingy between the baking soda, water, and fruit punch he told me it was impossible to make the fizz without the drink tasting super bitter.

So asked him,

“Hey…did you just put the two into the water to taste? Like did you NOT calculate anything and just add in what you thought might work?”

“Um…huh? I tested a few samples from my calculations and-“

That’s a nope.

We went into the classroom. I put a teeny bit of baking soda, half a cup of water, and most of the fruit punch packet in the water. Voilà! Fizz, and a horrifyingly too-sweet drink any kid would love. He tasted it, paused, and replied “Uh ya that tastes pretty good.”

What did he learn? Sometimes its NOT about the perfect calculation for the perfect formula for the perfect result.

The real genius in life is understanding that sometimes the perfect result comes from an imperfect process.

Kinda like my life…

What did I learn? Patience. Although he drives me crazy this is a 14 year-old kid still figuring things out. Rather than forcing any ideas into his head I allow him the space to explore his position in our class in his own nerdy way. I also make sure to praise him highly in the occasional occasion his expertise come in handy.

I’m sure one day this kid will turn out to be just as cool as I am.  He will blossom into one of those confident nerds and meet someone who finds his interest in YouTubing Chemistry crash courses fascinating (this is a current hobby of his).

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and he’ll be just fine.

Maggie xo

My Papi

It’s the time of year again where I get to brag about my dad.

My Papi.

Best dad ever.

If you have a father, stepfather, uncle, or any male figure in your life you can say is the “best” this is the day to show how much you appreciate them.

Because unfortunately for many,

They don’t have this opportunity, or they can’t. FB_IMG_1428727035407

Along with being the best dad ever he has a very “unique” sense of humor that
only those who spend enough time around him understand.

That it’s straight up weird, and doesn’t have a real solid pattern of logic to it.

One fun expression of his humor is the dry “in your face” type stuff he does, and it totally messes with me.

So for this Father’s Day I’d like to mess with him, and share with you the side of him that messes with me.

And I have to say on paper it’s kinda funny….

*Papi once had me check the fire alarm in our house to see if it worked. I held my ear up close to listen for the beep when it did that LOUD INSANE BEEP right in my ear. When I yelled at him as to why he didn’t warn me about that he looked me dead in the eye and said,

Well now we know it works.

*When I cook for my dad or the whole family it is a nice experience for me. Coincidentally though, every time I cook Papi takes some convincing to eat because he never seems to be hungry at that time. I think he’s jealous because I am an awesome cook, but the ironic thing is

He taught me how to cook.

*I had a friend stay over one night and left in the morning before she woke up. She found a kitty poop on my bed and when she told my dad he told her to

Leave the poop for me to find

*Papi calls any man I date Miguel. Do we know a Miguel? No. Did I ever have boyfriend named Miguel? Nope. Now, when I actually had a date with a guy named Miguel…this;

Really messed with Papi’s mind.

Happy Easter Papi!

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Maggie xo

Mom: the real Shero

Moms…

How do you it?

I am not a mother, and after my earlier/mid 30s when my biological clock lost its tick (which excuuse me feels more like a BANGING) I now rest easy knowing it may or may not happen.

Because being a mom is tough, and I know that even at 35 years old I personally am not ready to take on all that entails.

So again I ask…

How the hell do you do it?

You know the top answer I receive when I ask this question?

“I don’t know…I just do.”

This is where the awesomeness comes in.

You might not recognize it all the time Mamas, but still you know you do it all,

and that’s exactly how you do it.

You are resourceful.

A teacher.

A leader.

THE leader in many cases.

The entertainer,

re-director,

Cooker (mayyybe)

cleaner,

and boo-boo healer

(for any age)

You are

our comfort,

protector, and a source of

significant support.

You are loving,

loved,

and needed.

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Maggie xo

Clearly 35


I turn 35 in one week.

I don’t feel 35.

And I certainly don’t LOOK 35…

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But here I am. Turning 35.

There have been moments I have been really down on myself-because most 35 year-old women have the following: their own place (or a roomie), an established career, a significant other, and if not with, in the works of babies.

Babies are freaking everywhere when you hit your mid-30s.

Everywhere.

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Overall I am pretty happy though. Because at this time last year I was a few things I am no longer: financially unstable, working at a place I was burnt out from,  and generally kinda confused about everything in my life. In some important areas.

So when New Years hit this time around, I decided since I was already mostly there I would continue to make CLARITY my 2015 “theme.” Clear on all areas of my life.

and I’ve learned that with Clarity still comes some confusion!

But it’s more what I like to label as “forward confusion.”

For example, I attended a meetup I was uncertain about directly supporting my path, but since it was CLEAR in my gut that it would be good for me, I went. The clarity came after when a woman I met from the group gave me an unexpected reading so powerful it still sits with me right now, encourages me, and has further connected me with plans for my future.

So it’s all good.

At 35, in 2015 I am going to keep it moving in forward confusion.

Because so far on the other side-there has always been Clarity.

Maggie xo

Every Day

I have a good laugh every day.

Every single day.

It’s not something I force myself to do-because honestly I’m naturally pretty damn funny. Just made myself laugh right now from a text I sent someone else. With the intention to make them laugh… but it just happened to be really freaking funny alright?

The following are just a few things that make me laugh:

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Crying children
Awkward Family Photos
Awkward Family Photos
When someone makes fun of me
When someone makes fun of me (I am terrible at math)

The thing is-when you laugh every day certain things start to happen. You find it easier to get through tough stuff. You notice there are more opportunities in your life to have a laugh. There is no longer an honest effort to have a laugh on a daily basis; you just do. You also start to really resonate with how funny YOU are in you’re own funky unique way-and you become so easily entertained by your own humor it creates a better sense of self.

You are okay being alone. Because you’re not lonely.

So laugh.

Every day.

Maggie xo

Gratitude Something

(My apologies for the 2am publish-still getting the hang of scheduling!)

My life sucks-a red light. Really? This red light is the last straw to my bad mood and all the other crappy things going on my life. Burnt out from my job, heart is broken, I live with my parents, and have gained about ten lovely stress pounds.

This red light just validates that my whole life is in shambles, and I have nothing good going on-even in the streets.

A little dramatic, don’t you think?

Ever notice how much negative crap comes your way when all your focus is on the extra little crappy things…and that’s on top of  the crap that already exists? It’s like we manifest it, almost wish it, magnifying every little hiccup on the road just to make things worse. Well I gotta tell ya, that kind of mindset landed me in the ER thinking I was having heart attack at a perfectly healthy age of 33.

Stop trying to pinpoint and wallow in the extra bumps along the way when there is already enough crap going on your life.

This is my gratitude, or happy journal.20140920_185006 I got it at Target for $2.75. I started it on 7/30 thinking I would *try* to write down at least five things on most days. Fast forward to now and I have written in it every single day since then. I am fortunate to have plenty of time to do this, but what I also observed was that after a week or so it became something I could document a lot more quickly than when I first started it.

This tells me that the more you look for things to be grateful for the easier it will be to spot them. Some days it is something so small! Like oh yea I had jalapenos with dinner tonight, they were awesome, and I like my new nail polish. Other days it is deeper like the friendship of an awesome gal in my life, or recognizing how healthy I am both internally and externally.

It doesn’t have to look like a Pinterest project, a clothed mason jar with pretty ribbon tied around it, be a bullet point list of ten things written in a journal, or a tagged post on Facebook for everyone to see. (But if any of that works for you then you should definitely do it). It does not even have to be documented! Just take note every day, and pay attention to the not so negative, non-crap going on in your life. Imagine what that might do to your mindset.

Have a gratitude something, designed by you, for you, and open yourself up to the possibilities of noticing more POSITIVE into your life!

Maggie xo

P.s. It just came to my attention that it is World Gratitude Day-how fitting; I will be writing the word synchronicity in my journal today  🙂

30/Somethings

30 Things on Womanhood

A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.”
― Coco Chanel

1. In the beauty department we have an endless amount of choices-painted nails or not painted, jeans or skirts, or both!

2. Our presence can be of great comfort to anyone because we wear our hearts on our sleeves; at least many of us do.

3. We live longer.

5. Girl-friendships…need I say more?

6. As difficult as it can be to reach that point of fully resonating with our worth and potential once we get there-we are unstoppable!

7. We pay less for car insurance.

8. We say what we mean and we mean what we say.

9.  Becoming single is almost always a guarantee we will to improve ourselves. Both internally and externally.

10. Often we know before we know, and then when we realize we know, we are 100% certain of what we know.

11. We have doors held open for us. A small but  simply sweet gesture we get to experience on hopefully many occasions.

12. We make our loved ones feel safe in a different way that stems from a place of nurture.

13. Cooking is now optional. Wear the apron or order in!

14. If you look up a woman’s love in the dictionary it SHOULD have the word “loyal” somewhere in there…

15. We are considerate, even when we don’t have to be.

From followers via Facebook and Twitter:

1. “I like our nurturing caring nature. Our ability to put our children before us.“~Jennifer

2. “I’m wary of gender stereotyping, BUT in my experience…we seem better at nurturing, putting the well-being of others first (especially family), multi-tasking, plus empathy and finding things! But in terms of nature (vs nurture), I am most grateful for my basic biology. I would have been sad to miss out on pregnancy and breast-feeding my babies.” ~Anjali

3. “I also love our ability to multi-task like a goddess, even when we are running on empty!” ~Helen

4. “A woman’s strength knows no boundaries. It is limitless in the time of need. For herself, for her family, for others.” ~Marissa

5. “Curves.” ~FB

6.  “We can carry a whole other life inside of us then feed from our bosom, pretty incredible if you think about it. Maybe one day I’ll know first hand…” ~Nickie

7. “As a woman, we know without being told or understood how strong we are. Look at what we have to endure during childbirth. Even if you haven’t had kids of your own, you are still capable of immortal strength. Also the range of our compassion is boundless because we can be tough as nails or soft and pliable depending on the situation.  Being a woman is the best gift I have ever been given in life because my legs looks damn good in my 4″ heels.” ~Rochelle

8. “Make up play! (being able to hide flaws if we want).” ~Krista

9. “I can wear a bunch of different hats and that is really fun! I  am always me but have options on how that shows.” ~Twitter

10. “Sometimes we are judged for tears but for the most part I can cry whenever I want and it does not make me look like less of a woman!” ~May 

11. “I agree with Nickie . It is pretty freakin awesome that we could grow another human being and be their main food source for 6+ months. We create life and that life depends on us to live.” ~Vanessa

12. “Boobs! Come on who doesn’t like boobs they serve so many purposes lol.” ~Twitter

13. “Women know how to get the party started. They also know how to plan and end the party.” ~Hub Pages

14. “It’s just nice to feel beautiful and we can make that happen in so many different ways.” ~Jas

15. “EVERY WOMAN…SHE IS ME, SHE’S BOLD AND STRONG, AND LOVE CREATES HER DESTINY! I AM SHE, AND SHE IS ME!” ~Christine

woman

Maggie xo

Questions

Short one today, but with some meat. Hope you’ll enjoy these quick bites!

Maybe you can help me out and comment with some answers or similar ponderings you share with me.

Questions

Why do the instructions sometimes make things MORE complicated?

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How come children ask you questions like “Are we playing tag?” When you just said something like “We are going to play tag.” Right in front of them. And they suggested it.

Does everything really happen for a reason?

Why do men like to hit on me at the gas station?

If every cloud has a silver lining how come I haven’t struck it rich yet when it rains?

Why does my hair look the most fabulous when I am home watching Netflix?

Speaking of beauty matters… 

  Why is it even when I follow the EXACT directions on YouTube..?                 

Nailed-It-Laura-Eye

Magdelena xo