Here I sit in my morning chair, cup of coffee on the table, chihuahua cuddled up next to me.  I love my life so much.  I love watching the bird in the tree.  I love my fake Christmas tree with its pretty lights.  I love the luxury of a weekend before a week off.  A 2nd week off.  Plans for the day.  Meet with friends.  Enjoy a massage.  Grade a set of math tests.  Heaven.  

I have been waiting for my word of the year to come to me.  In the past, I have forced it, and then not been able to remember it throughout the year.  That’s okay.  But this year, I wanted a memorable one that fits me and grows with me where I’m headed.  It was given to me yesterday.  What a surprise!  A word that is used against me as a professional in the area of public school teaching.  Mastery.  

My word of the year is definitely Mastery, but I am not yet sure why. When I looked it up there were some other words that I considered, namely mastermind, mind, and simply master.  But since I was given “mastery”, I’m sticking with it.  I like that it comes for the same root as “maestra”, or teacher.

I have long thought of myself as “jack of all trades, master of none”.  Not, of course, in the handyman trades, but in a more academic, physical, spiritual, creative sense.  I am a dabbler.  I have come to terms with that in my fifties and seen its value. Now that I am quickly approaching a new decade of life, it seems that mastery is drawing me.  I seek to master life.  

I’m not done teaching, but I will be moving on in 5 years. I want to be a philosopher.   Or a poet.  A new breed of philosopher.  A new breed of poet.  I simply want to be a new breed.     After I’m done working with youth in a public school setting, what will I do next?  Share myself in a new way.  A way I make up all by myself.  I think I can amuse, enlighten, entertain, inspire with my thoughts.  Does anyone read anymore?  Will I have to do a podcast?  Make videos?  We shall see.

December 29, 2018



The sugar thing

According to my “HOWMANYDAYS” app I haven’t had sweets for 13 days.  Deep breath.  Sometimes I really want them.  Yesterday there were brownie bites in the staff room.  I almost had to reach out with one hand to pull the other away.  And it wasn’t because I really wanted to eat a brownie bite.  It was habit.  How many things do I do by habit that are not good for me?  Yes, I totally understand that brownie bites are not the devil.  Nor did the devil put them there to tempt me on Friday morning at 7:30 am on the week before the last week of school.  This 100 days of no sweets experiment is a gift to myself as a way to learn about me.  To shake up my patterns a little bit and see what sticks out.

Summer is coming and for me that means moving from  tightly scheduled days to no schedule.  Every summer ends with thoughts of regret that I “didn’t get more done”.  I think a very productive summer would be to unearth habits that no longer serve me.  Accept them, love myself and let go.  So I do have a structure.  It’s the structure to eat no sweets.  That is a loving structure in which I can move freely.  Move freely towards my unending goal of ever growing peace and happiness.

My 100 day commitment included:  1 hour of meditation a day, blog every day, and no sugar.  It didn’t work for me.  The sugar thing turned out to be the thing.  I am grateful.

Baseball Game

Day 5.  Friday.  What I have learned about myself so far is that I habitually eat sugar without much thought.  This became clear at the A’s game tonight.  Frozen custard.  Dibs. Cotton Candy…(now I never eat cotton candy and find it disgusting, but I always consider it.)  It seems so tempting on those long poles traveling around the baseball park.

I imagine that everyone has something that they do habitually that’s not that good for them..  Give it up for 100 days and see what happens.

Safeway is not always safe

ARRGH!  Safeway was a bad dream tonight.  Went in all calm and happy, but a little hungry.  And the sugary sweet stuff was calling.  Jumping off the shelves.  At every turn.  What are those cookies doing in the toilet paper aisle?

And it makes me wonder.  Is it possible that I never eat this stuff again?  I’m not saying that’s the plan but it’s a thought.    I mean, I never drink alcohol.  I never smoke cigarattes.

So far I haven’t had a lot of physical or emotional symptoms.  Can’t wait!

2 percent done!

It’s day 2 of 100 days.  Deciding to completely cut out sweets is easier than deciding to treat or not to treat.  Today, that is.  Remind me when I’m crying at the next birthday party with  a big chocolate cake.

One thing I’m noticing is that I’m caring a little more about what I’m ingesting.  That little  pause that I take to make sure it’s something non-sugary is a pause for me.  To ponder my food choices.

I’m not against sugar, and am fully expecting to develop a more mindful relationship with the treats.  But for now, just a cleanse, so to speak.  I wonder what other ways I will be finding to treat myself without sugar.  Got any ideas?

100 DAYS without treats

My dogs love “treats”  it’s not the actual treat, I believe, but the love that comes through the treat.  My “treats” are sweets.  Ice cream, candy, cookies.  And once in a while a donut or cake.  But I’m not sure whether or not that’s good for me.  So, I’m going to not eat them for 100 days.  It is day 1.  I also committed to myself to write at least one sentence a day about how it feels.

Right now I am a mixture of virtue and fear.  I did it!  And at the airport where I always treat.  There’s the virtue.  But what will I do when…(fill in the blank).  Answer, I will do whatever I do and honor my commitment.  And have fun with it.

Stay tuned…



A few years back, I learned about the concept “Word of the Year”.  I always choose one.  Not a choice, really, if you do it right.  Sit quietly and it is given to you.  I thought my word was passion.  But part of the ritual of deciding on your word is to research it – find its meanings and etymology. So I couldn’t choose passion, because it comes from the Latin for pain.  And most of the definitions are related to pain.  Think Passion plays.

Words mean what we want them to mean, of course.  I love to play with both words and numbers, but there are different rules of play.  Numbers do become popular and are sometimes given meaning ,”twenty-one” for example, but  in general the rules of play are straightforward.  Words are more flexible.  “Find your Passion” has become a catch-phrase for those of us who are spiritual but not religious.  Or those who love Oprah and Chopra.  It’s that common 21st Century usage which brought me to the word.  The nagging feeling that if I could settle down and find a passion  I would be better.  I could follow my bliss and be of real use in the world.  Now I’m free!  Molly has let go of her futile search for her passion.  Passion means pain and I don’t have to eat kale.

So I came to enchantment.  ‘Twas a synonym of a synonym of a synonym of passion.  I wonder if there’s a word for “synonym of a synonym of a synonym” – trisynonym perhaps.  Enchantment has a dark side as well – think Snow White or Rapunzel.  But I settled there because enchantment implies magic.  Mystical Merriment is my game and enchantment is my aim. One definition of enchant on is: “to impart a magic quality or effect to”.  Enchantment is the art of enchanting.  I am a practitioner of the art of imparting a magic quality or effect.  My heart is laughing as I sit and ponder a year of imparting magical qualities to all in my path.  Watch me.

Opposite of a graveyard

I had a powerful experience while walking the dogs this evening.  There’s a housing development being built near the marina a few blocks away, and for the first time, the gate was wide open.  A wide paved path led into an area where 40 homes are being squished together in classic Bay Area style.  Many homes in various stages of completion.  A few sidewalks and gutters.  LOTS of wood.  When we got to the end of the pavement, I turned back and ventured into the dirt.  Picking our way through, I started feeling the energy of possibility.  We were walking around alone in a place where very soon there will be life everywhere.  As I looked into the framed rooms and new garages I felt increasing excitement.  Visions of kids playing, dogs barking, plants growing and love happening flooded my mind.  It felt like the opposite of a graveyard.  I love the peace and stillness of a graveyard – and it was quiet and still around me – but it was not like a graveyard.  “A BirthYard”, I thought.  What a wonderful thing!  I was reminded of a time, 12 years ago, when my current home was under construction with many others.  I used to walk through all the time with Mecca (my late pit bull) and dream that I might live here some day.  It was the birth yard of my current life, and I didn’t even know it.

Oh, and Taco peed on a piece of wood, so we will always be a part of someone’s home…IMG_0875