Tag Archives: Poetry

Stress Relief

It’s that time of the year where the stress has built up. It’s been almost 12 weeks since we came back from Christmas break, and we are all in need of a holiday. After school, I was frustrated. My typical response to frustration or a stressful day would be to come home, stew about it, veg out on the couch watching Netflix and eating junk food, feeling sorry for myself. But today I chose a different response. I chose to honor my commitment to the gym despite feeling cruddy.

Stress Relief

grumpiness started
to make itself at home
the chocolate chip cookie
doing little
to stave off the feeling of frustration
dreams of the couch
coming to my rescue
played in my head

but I have an appointment
do I cancel? or do I go?
begrudgingly i went
convinced I’d do my thirty minutes
and leave

the beat started off slow
then sped up
motivating me to row
faster than normal
picking up speed
with each passing minute

endorphins taking over
the stress started to thaw
my training session
over too fast
but i was ready
for more

Breathing a Sigh of Relief

Months of preparation

Countless hours of rehearsals

Making sure everything is just right

Stress and worry taking its toll

Will they remember their lines?

Will they get the timings right?

Will the audience be impressed?

Performance day is finally here

Sweating and pacing as the audience arrives

Did I remember to put deodorant on today?

Finding my seat, it’s time to begin

With each performance, my shoulders relax a bit more

All that practice was worth it

Everyone is doing their best

The audience seems to like it

The finale is up next

Will they pull it off?

This was always the shakiest part in rehearsals

They did it!

The audience is clapping and cheering

We all breathe a huge sigh of relief

It’s over

We made it

Happy and smiling after the show. Parents were so impressed and excited about the students’ performance today!

When the Slice of Life Challenge is Over #sol18

I got this idea from a fellow slicer, and thought it was the perfect way to reflect on the Slice of Life Challenge. In my eighth year, I am a seasoned slicer and deeply cherish this gift of writing and community, and today, the last day of March 2018, I am sad that it’s coming to an end.

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
get back to my normal exercise routine

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
deeply miss the daily interactions with the SOL community

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
spend time planning my summer travels

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
miss writing every day

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
have more time to catch up on the work I’ve put off

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
be a better friend to those I’ve neglected

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
try to find a happy medium with my blogging (it doesn’t have to be all or nothing)

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
finish that puzzle I started

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
spend more time writing in my writer’s notebook

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
focus more on my goals for this year

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
miss reading about what karpenglish, shaggerspicchu, elsie, standingtall47, angelina’sgarden, and tomasevichtales are up to everyday

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
read more books

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
strike a better balance

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
have a hard time letting go

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
look forward to next year’s challenge

On Photography #sol18

As an avid traveler, photography is one of my budding hobbies. I haven’t taken a class (I probably should ) and I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I try. That’s what counts, right? 🙂 Today, as I swiped through the photos I’ve taken so far on my trip, I’ve been thinking about me as a photographer.

On Photography

At first
center it
point and click
snap, snap, snap
quantity over quality

Through the years
I’ve evolved
no longer
am I satisfied
with mediocre

Now my photos
have to
tell a story
make the viewer
wonder and
question

The focus now
is less
on the famous
or touristy
and more
on the ordinary

Catching glimpses of
everyday life
made interesting
by the angle
the framing
and the focus

Color and
lines
grab my eye
intriguing me
enticing me
to take the shot

The goal to
get the perfect shot
the right angle
subjects in and
out of focus
framing it just so
better than editing later

More concerned with
quality over quantity now
many shots
don’t make the cut
but the ones
that do
are just right

Here are a few of my favorite shots:

Days Like These #sol18

Days Like These

It’s days like these I love
waking up
when I want to
in my own time
easing into the day
no beep-beep-beep
breaking the silence
disrupting
my quiet, peaceful slumber

It’s days like these I love
being alone
no agenda whatsoever
free to do
what I want
when I want
taking my time
or rushing around
it’s up to me

It’s days like these I love
exploring a new city
no map to guide me
no predetermined list
of must-sees and
must-dos
just going where
I’m led
pulled by my desires

It’s days like these I love
resetting me
forgetting my many
responsibilities
and just living
in the moment
reflecting on my own
happiness
on days like these

The Countdown is On #sol18

The Countdown is On

One more day
just one
until
Spring Break is here
The words
that make
every teacher
around the world
jump for joy
do a little jig
high five everyone they see

One more day
just one
until
I’m packing my bags
carefully selecting the
perfect outfits
for my two trips-
one for work and
one for play

One more day
just one
until
the weight of the
term is lifted
just for a bit
and I can breathe a
sigh of relief

Just over a day
until
I’m boarding the plane
for country number
thirty-six

Singapore
here I come
in just
one more day

The World Through My Eyes #sol18

Next week is Spring Break, and I’m really looking forward to my trips to Singapore and Penang, Malaysia! I’ll even get to add another country to the list…Singers will make #36! Since I have been thinking about my trip, I started reminiscing about my past travels, which prompted this poem. Rather than write about every country I’ve visited, I decided to limit to places I’ve been in the last two years. In no particular order, here’s my poem, a glimpse of the world through my eyes.

The World Through My Eyes

Indonesia is motorbikes, gado gado, macet, and the call to prayer.

Belgium is waffles, street art, and fruit beer.

Albania is colorfully-painted buildings, a perfect mix of old and new, and all the fresh fruit, veggies, and bread you can eat.

Montenegro is rocky beaches with crystal clear water, road trips, and weekend getaways with the girls.

Hong Kong is dim sum, the mid-levels, lots of hills, and like China, but better.

Mexico is beaches, pina coladas, and tourist traps.

Italy is stunning architecture, gelato, and literally the best homemade pasta of your life.

Canada is water taxis, clean and manicured, and friendly.

Senegal is bright colors, traffic, pushiness, and sand everywhere.

USA is home, comfort food, baseball, and familiarity.

Thailand is the land of smiles, tuktuks, mango sticky rice and kao soi, and three-showers-a-day hot.

The Netherlands is the most amazing cheese you will ever taste, bikes for days, and canals.

France is croissants and crepes, The Lourve, and walking two hours to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night.

Morocco is an assault on the senses, mint tea, and getting lost in the medina.

What I Believe #sol18

This is my second attempt at a What I Believe poem. My first is here.

What I Believe

I believe kindness always wins.
I believe people change and grow– sometimes together, sometimes apart. Both are okay.
I believe we have to be our own biggest cheerleader.
I believe our words reveal who we are inside.
I believe everyone should travel to a new place alone– at least once in their lifetime.
I believe a home-cooked meal is love.
I believe we are all a little too hard on ourselves.
I believe everyone is a writer, but many of us just don’t know it yet.
I believe eating plants gives us energy.
I believe I wasn’t meant to live life in one place.
I believe in saying thank you.
I believe in finding someone who complements us rather than completes us– we need to be whole on our own.
I believe in hard work.
I believe disconnecting is good for the soul.
I believe in doing what makes your heart happy.
I believe in taking risks– we don’t grow in our comfort zones.
I believe in second chances.
I believe a beach, a good book, and no agenda make for a perfect day.
I believe we learn from kids more than they learn from us.
I believe in saying sorry when we mess up.
I believe everyone should keep a writer’s notebook to capture their thoughts– you’ll thank yourself one day.
I believe we all have slumps, but we can’t allow ourselves to stay there forever.
I believe listening– truly listening to someone– is a lost art, and if you find someone who does, you should hold onto them.
I believe smoothie bowls are life.
I believe in investing in your own health.
I believe how people react to situations says more about how they’re feeling than anything else.
I believe everyone is beautiful– it’s our job to find their beauty rather than their flaws.
I believe you don’t truly appreciate your family until you’re older.
I believe in making people laugh.
I believe telling our stories is how we share our lives with one another.

slice-of-life_individual

Why I Slice #sol18

Why I Slice

I slice to slow down.
I slice to be a part of something bigger than myself.
I slice to figure things out.
I slice to remember.
I slice because it pushes me as a writer.
I slice to capture fleeting moments.
I slice because comments fuel me as a writer.
I slice to experiment with new forms of writing.
I slice because it makes me happy.
I slice because having a deadline forces me to write something, anything.
I slice to reflect.
I slice to catch up on my slicer friends’ lives.
I slice because it gives me a glimpse into one month of my life each year.
I slice to show a snapshot of real life- the ups and the downs.
I slice because it allows me a space to be vulnerable.
I slice because it’s a part of who I am.

Today marks the start of my eighth year as a part of the Slice of Life Challenge. I look forward to the challenge every year, and this one is no different. I’m writing to you from a new country, Indonesia, so I expect there will be slices about my new surroundings, culture, and school. There will also be the everyday kinds of slices about my life as an expat and an educator. I can’t wait to revisit my favorite slicers and discover new ones. So glad you all are on this journey with me. Have a great month of writing, and when the words won’t come, just remember why you slice.

slice-of-life_individual

Numb

People in pain
My people
Why can’t I take it
away?
It can take them
away

My mind reeling
When will it
stop?
Everything is fine
Until it’s not
And then what?
Am I supposed to just
pretend that life is okay
even when it
most certainly is not?

Not able to write
Unable to do much
of anything
Numbness takes over
to block out the pain
But it comes back
in waves
when I least expect it
Sadness, anger, disbelief
Fear, worry, dread

That age-old question
surfaces
Why do bad things
happen to good people?
I wish I knew

Life is a series of
ups and downs
I know that
But the downs
shouldn’t be this bad,
right?

For now, I don’t know
what to do
what to say
how to act
But I can show them I love them
be a listening ear
love them through it
That’s all I can do
I hope it’s enough

 

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