02 March 2008

Just another manic Sunday

Hold on, isn't it Monday that's supposed to be manic? Tell that to the butterflies in my stomach, which are beginning to flutter away now that my main stress event is past.

But not all stress is bad. This was actually good stress—it was my turn to teach today at church. I work with a small group of girls ranging in age from 12-18. I've had assignments in many different capacities with this organization for most of the last fourteen years. I've been president three times in two different congregations, and I've worked as counselor to another president, and I've had umpteen jobs as camp staff. Right now I'm the low woman on the totem pole, so to speak, the expendable assistant camp director, but I join the girls for their class on Sunday and their mid-week activities. Last Friday we went to a university production of James and the Giant Peach, performed by a traveling troupe that specializes in American Sign Language theatre. (Sad to say, they reworked Roahl Dahl's plot almost more than I could bear. Rrrrr!) Today I got to present the lesson, a free-style one, not from our usual curriculum. I seem to keep getting handed free-style weeks. Maybe the other leaders know how [ahem] great I am at following directions and so let me do my own thing. Suits me fine.

I had a really interesting week leading up to this class. I felt a queasy undercurrent of panic every time I thought of it. What am I going to teach them? What do they need to know? Honestly, I am at my ease when I write, but I am out of my element when it's time to open my mouth and make something comprehensible come out. I often get trapped by fear of failure, of dropping the ball. We don't get that many moments to work with these kids before they're grown and flown.

At any rate, I was given a very general topic to focus on: Individual Worth. I began to notice last Sunday that I was getting little bits and pieces of . . . something. I could feel my lesson floating around out there. Sometimes I could see it with my peripheral vision, but as soon as I'd turn to look at it straight on—poof! Gone. But every day I'd get a whisper, a hint, a puzzle piece. Drinking a cup of Yogi Tea on Wednesday, I read a dangling fortune that said: "Your infinity in you is the reality in you." I'd be in a conversation and something would grab my attention and I'd go frantic to find a piece of paper to write an idea on. My lesson was more like a scrap heap of thoughts till yesterday morning, when a Big Idea hit me while I was in the shower. Everything finally made sense, and I was excited. I spent most of yesterday and part of this morning working it out.

I've still got a whole lot to learn about teaching, but I think it went well enough. We had some good discussion and a sweet feeling attended us. I think some valuable concepts were spoken about with enough clarity to hit home. We taught each other.

My girls are such fine people. I know it goes against the grain a bit, but I love young people, hormonal misfortunes and mood swings and mystery notwithstanding. I wasn't wildly successful at being a teenager myself, so I guess it's something of an irony that I love them now that I could be their mother. I'm a survivor of adolescence at least; maybe that means something.

So, that's the way March rolled in for me. All in my head instead of out in the sun. Now it's time to roll up my sleeves and get to work—on renovating my house, on visiting with out-of-towner company, on beefing up the Morning Stories Blog, on enough work and reckless whims to overwhelm me if it wasn't suddenly spring, and everything a-popping with new life, and fresh air, and renewed energy for come-what-may. My husband is now down very sick like I was with the flu (don't know what took him so long). I will sand and paint the living room floor this week, then our new windows will arrive, and then it will be time to paint. I'm glad I'm busy. It feels like the right time to go a little too fast. But that means today I'll have to get organized if I intend to keep myself on track.

But before I break out my pencil and my at-a-glance calendar, I need a Sunday nap.

Happy March.

15 comments:

compulsive writer said...

Love this post! I'm sure the young women you work with love you because they get how much you care for them. There's a lot of teaching just in the loving and being.

And now I'm thinking the Sunday nap sounds good to me, too...

Hope Rob is feeling better soon. Happy remodeling.

b. said...

Your girls are very blessed!
I think it is no accident that you get the free-style lessons.

I had a 15 minute power nap, and may take another'n.

Mirjam said...

As an eye and ear witness I have to congratulate you to a job well done. Your lesson was beautiful, motivational and so true. When you teach I can always feel touched to the point that I want to do better... Thank you so much.

Amy said...

I agree that those young women are very lucky to have you. It's so exciting that you're getting a new living room. I PROMISE that someday I'm going to make it back to UT, and when I do I'm going to come park it in your new living room with my knitting needles, whether you like it or not! :)

Geo said...

C-DUB. That's a good thought about the loving and being. We have a great group of leaders right now in YW, so there's a lot of loving and being, and so, a lot of good teaching going on. It's so good for me to be part of this.

B. I pretty much have only free-style jobs at church anymore—this one plus ward historian. It's like the Lord knows I have ADD and is letting me have a rest from serious structure for a while. I'll love it while it lasts.

MIRJAM. Coming from one of my true heroes, that means a great deal. I spent part of last night taking the hour (and my preparation) apart and discovering holes to mend in my efforts. So it's especially good to get your encouraging feedback.

AMY. I will HOLD you to that promise, and I will LOVE it! Even if you bring glow-in-the-darks!

Am'n2deep said...

"Your infinity in you is the reality in you." Profound and truer than true!

I often get to prepare lessons, talks, or presentations pretty much free style and I smiled at your preparation experience because it could have been taken from my own--all those little pieces floating around that you have to write down, building little by little, until boom the big inspiration hits that ties it all together--and inevitably it is most often in the shower that it comes to you. I know this process very well. :)

The stars must be aligned up for us in much the same way, because I am also busy cleaning out the old and bringing in the new--the painting begins tomorrow and I don't even have to be careful as the carpets will be replaced--I love that kind of freedom to paint as messy as I like!

Geo said...

AM'N. Hey! We both get new clean environments! Exciting!

I started thinking as I read your comment that maybe being a teacher is a great justification for getting a hot tub. Warm water = inspiration. That's good enough for me!

Jamie said...

Glad you're back in the saddle, Geo! We miss you all. Have fun with visitors and house-fixing and all that. Being busy can be fun--anxiousy engaged in lots of good causes. Give Rob a big "get well soon" for us!

Jamie said...

PS: I forgot to tell you--I had this really cool thought last week, a "bridge" moment: I made two little scrap books as new baby gifts last week--one for a former YW of mine who had a darling tiny perfect baby girl last Monday in Bozeman, and one for my former Mia Maids teacher who is expecting her first grandbaby at any moment. I thought about how many great people and experiences have come into my life thru the YW Program, and how I'm "in the middle" of these three generations right now. It's cool...

Geo said...

JAMIE. You are beautiful and pivotal, just like always. Even when you're old, you'll be a bridge, I predict. I love you, dear. xo

Emily said...

Mmm, Happy March to you, Geo. Your living room plans sound so ambitious, they make my back hurt. Please post pictures, won't you?

Love the way you described the evolution of your lesson -- writing is the same way for me...I just have to let my ideas casually coalesce (without thinking about it "head on") until suddenly -- bing! I'm ready to write. (I work with the young women, too -- love it. Love them. Throw another common log on our friendship fire :)

Hope Rob recovers quickly, that flu bug going around is Nasty.

Geo said...

EMILY. I really do wonder why it is that so many of my favorite bloggerettes, at least the Mos among them, work with the YW! Curious and lovely.

Thanks for the nice note! It's good to hear from you.

Lucky Red Hen said...

Me likey Sunday naps.

Geo said...

LUCKY. Me TOO. How come I sleep better on Sunday afternoon than any other time of the week, day or night?

I wish I was taking a Sunday nap RIGHT NOW.

andi said...

In like a lion, out like a lamb. Sounds like you are right on course.