Becca Wilhite Blog

December 5, 2017

Messy

Filed under: Uncategorized — becca @ 2:24 pm

My school desk is a mess. There are fourteen piles of papers on it. And I need all of them to stay there so I can see them: The pile of stuff kids throw on the desk to grade (late) and the pile of common assessments I need to write (large) and the pule of my phone (many messages) and the little test-ish things I need to put on the calendar (oh, many) and the note to myself about the parent emails I need to send from today (only 5) and the calendar math I’m doing over there (yikes) and the grammar pile and the someone-else’s calendar information pile and the stack of 5 packs of sticky notes (that’s the part I actually love because sticky notes make me happy).

And that’s just the desk in the classroom. We shall never actually speak of the desk in my office because *shudder.*

December 1, 2017

How’s the weather?

Filed under: Uncategorized — becca @ 6:08 pm

Here we are in the Frozen Mountaintops and it’s the beginning of December and kids are grouching because there’s no snow.

Let me make my position on this lack of snow clear: I don’t mind. At all. Not even a little.

But there are kids out there, running through the halls of this school in which I teach and through the house in which I live, who are SUPER EAGER for the snow that falls from the clouds to cover the mountains (as opposed to the snow that comes out of the blower machines and covers a few runs at Park City because it’s not the same).

Related image

So, for their benefit, here is a piece of utter loveliness from Mary Oliver, who has feelings about snow:

“November” by Mary Oliver

The snow
began slowly,
a soft and easy
sprinkling

of flakes, then clouds of flakes
in the baskets of the wind
and the branches
of the trees —

oh, so pretty.

We walked
through the growing stillness,
as the flakes

prickled the path,

then covered it,
then deepened
as in curds and drifts,

as the wind grew stronger,

shaping its work
less delicately,
taking greater steps

over the hills
and through the trees
until, finally,
we were cold,

and far from home.

We turned
and followed our long shadows back
to the house,

stamped our feet,
went inside, and shut the door.
Through the window
we could see

how far away it was to the gates of April.
Let the fire now
put on its red hat
and sing to us.

October 17, 2017

Yesterday, and Today

Filed under: Uncategorized — becca @ 6:43 am

Yesterday I woke up a few minutes before my 5:00 a.m. alarm chirped. And for the first time in many months, I awoke not feeling anxious. It was lovely. And it’s not like I had some great plan for how to make the school day go–I had nothing. But I had nothing plus peace.

And today I sat down with my manuscript that’s getting a tiny bit bigger every time I wrote. And that’s something to be glad about. Plus sometimes I write notes to myself like “which sounds so ridiculously Dickensian all of the sudden.” Obviously, it’s going well.

September 15, 2017

Spoiling

Filed under: Uncategorized — becca @ 1:12 pm

It’s my birthday.
I love my birthday. I’m getting all kinds of spoiled. My desk is currently covered with peanut butter M&Ms, Werther’s caramel popcorn, pink frosted cookies, Diet Dr. Pepper, and pie.

That equals a pretty good day.

July 25, 2017

Moseying

Filed under: Uncategorized — becca @ 7:01 am

When I take a walk in the summer mornings, I bust my way up the mountain for a couple of miles, then I hustle down it again. 10,000 steps, bam. It’s beautiful. It’s quick. It’s virtuous, don’t you know.

When my guy comes with me? We mosey. 10,000 steps together takes much longer. We linger. We look around more. We don’t breathe hard. Those summer (and spring and fall) evening walks are not about the destination, or about counting steps, or about achieving things.

I seek opportunity to mosey these days. In the kitchen. With the kids. On the phone. It’s good to be on the journey.

July 18, 2017

A Thing About Discouragement

Filed under: anxiety,emotion,food,losing it,Uncategorized — becca @ 9:34 pm

Germans probably have a word for that feeling where everything is going pretty well, and all the people you love are healthy and fine, and one small unpleasant thing in your otherwise glad life totally throws you over the edge.

Hey, Germans, what’s the word for that?

Because I had it this week. And it’s making me weepy and mopey and generally incapable of productivity and adulthood.

And I feel the need to put on my happy face and buck the hell up (sorry, Dad). And putting on the happy face isn’t usually this hard.

The thing is, once this over-the-edging happens, everything looks darker and gloomier and there’s no actual reason for trying to get out of bed in the morning and it’s probably a good idea to watch three hours of Riverdale with the 13-year-old and probably also 4-5 episodes of Criminal Minds while I’m at it and probably eat all the food that comes in cellophane packages and definitely ignore all the phone calls and texts and for sure abdicate all the responsibilities and for also sure never write again.

Like that.

This tipping of the scales (remember — for unreasonable reasons) gives me opportunities to try on darker versions of myself. I put them on like exotic silken robes or fancy hats or even jeans with on-purpose rips in them. Here’s a fun fact: Darker isn’t so good on me.

So I am doing the one thing I feel like I can do. I am taking a little control of my physical self. I am resting. I am eating green things — lots of them. (Also beets.) I am staying away from the Emotional Foods that are generally made of hot, white, buttered starch. I am walking many miles every day. I am yoga-ing both in the privacy of my room and with my lovely yogi friend who practices Wednesday mornings for an hour in a darkened church because she is made of generosity and goodness.

And I guess there’s a little more: I am reading. I am working on school things so as not to get nightmare-y in the 3:00 am hour. I am calling a friend who will tell me that it’s okay to try on the darkness for a while as long as I shuck it back off again. I am asking my man to make dinner because he is willing and good and capable. I am sitting outside on a birdsoaked night watching the sun settle over the western mountains and turn the hills flat and blue.

I am convalescing from discouragement so that I can once again be me, filled with couragement. (Germans, that’s a word, right?)

 

May 3, 2017

More Found, Rather Nonsensical

Filed under: Uncategorized — becca @ 7:09 am

If you’re looking for deeper meaning, look elsewhere. This is a moment in my (former) life – the life when all four of my kids lived in my house and I was better at writing moments down.

_____

How to vacuum perfect lines in my living room carpet: First you have to move out all the furniture. Not all the furniture, because if you try to move my piano, the front legs will snap off. So leave it. Besides, it’s parallel to the wall, so… straight lines. But move out the bench. Move out the couch. Move out the huge ottoman. Move out the two wood-and-leather chairs. Take them to the front room or to the kitchen or just scoot them into the other half of the living room if you want, and then you can scoot them back when it’s time to do that half.

Now the extras: take Katie’s violin stand and her scads of loose music sheets and shove them in the closet. Pick up Ellie’s piano books (which are always right next to the piano so they’re easy to find) and toss them into her piano bag, which also sits right next to the piano, but rarely with any books inside. Pick up blankets, which we always need in the mornings, because in summer we sleep with the windows open and the living room is so, so cold after all night with open windows. Fold and stack the blankets on the kitchen table if it’s clean and a kitchen chair if the table is foody. Pick up the books from the floor. Matthew’s reading Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book” right now, but only in daylight (because it’s a pretty good scare), so it’s sitting on the floor by the big living room window. Move the plants and the three-foot-tall yellow vase into the kitchen.

Now look. You have a nearly-empty living room. Now, starting with the wall the piano’s on, plug in the vacuum cleaner. From the corner where the fireplace wall meets the piano wall, move straight along the wall from north to south, slowly. You’ll see a line forming in the carpet where the vacuum makes all the carpet fibers stand up at attention. When you hit the bookshelf (but don’t hit the bookshelf, really, because it leaves a black mark on the bottom where the vacuum tries to kiss it), turn the vacuum cleaner 180 degrees and move it so the edge matches up with the edge of the line you’ve just created. Then travel along that straight line from south to north until you reach the fireplace wall. Turn 180 degrees again, and shove the vacuum over so you can match up the edge with the previous edge. Repeat until you’ve arrived at the far (west) wall. Step back to take a look at your amazing work and see how nice it looks when all the lines line up.

September 12, 2016

Dr. PimplePopper

Filed under: Uncategorized — becca @ 1:12 pm

This is a thing. I wish it were a thing I made up myself, because DR. PIMPLEPOPPER. But, in fact, my Kid 3 showed it to me last night.

Let us go back.

There is a truth universally believed but partially unacknowledged that there are few more satisfying feelings than getting rid of a zit. Am I right? The grossness factor adds to the overall satisfaction, I’m pretty sure. This is a thing that my kids and I have discussed.

So Kid 3 climbs into my bed last night and says, “I know you’ve had a bad day. This should help.” And she hands me her phone. Pulled up to Instagram. And I proceed to watch video after video after video (after video) of this dermatologist … wait for it … popping zits. Apparently she’s gotten past the HIPA laws because she wears a camera on her head and FILMS THE POPPING OF THE GOOEYS.

It’s horrifying.

And I can’t look away.

It’s so awesome. My life is forever changed.

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