Feb 8, 2016

Chevy Chase Beach Cabins and Reality.

Reality. Yeah, how much fun is that? I have come to realize lately that I am not the most realistic person in the bunch. I have had several reality checks in the past few months and at first I tried to ignore them but now I am realizing I need to sober up and accept the necessity of reality in my life. What brought all this reality talk on?

You see about 9 years ago I found a place in Port Townsend, Washington that I have ended up loving with all my heart. I was living in Indiana at the time I found it. I was searching for a most perfect place to stay when I came to Washington to visit. A place with a view and charm. I spent way too much time looking on the internet for something that was in my price range with my requirements. I stumbled upon Chevy Chase Beach Cabins. They seemed so perfect. I had never done anything so crazy in all my life as to think I could take a vacation by myself but I booked it. I was cleaning houses at the time and I carefully saved a nice pile of cash in a box to pay for two nights in these beach cabins.

 I can not rightly remember what time of year it was when I first arrived at Chevy Chase Beach Cabins. I have been there many times since and it all blurs together. But I will never forget the awe I felt at the location. See that picture I posted up there? That is what you see as you walk from your car across the impeccable lawn towards your cabin. I stand there every time and not to be too dramatic, but I sigh and get a small lump in my throat. i took this picture last time I was there. I wish I could take you all with me to these beach cabins. They call them cabins but honestly they are the most adorable little houses/cottages. I always stay in "cabin" #10. The cabins are decorated impeccably. The grounds are beautifully groomed. The views, the private beach, the kitchenette, the claw foot bathtub, quaint downtown Port Townsend that is not far away, the television, the fabulous supply of dvd's the owners offer, the Rose theater that is downtown Port Townsend, the fabulous shops in the downtown, the yummy places to eat, the sand dollars I have found on walks on the private beach, the bench on the hill overlooking Discovery Bay, the Olympic Mountain range in the distance, the amazing people who own it all, the ferry boat ride to get there. I can not say anything bad about Chevy Chase Beach Cabins at all.

I have been back several times since that first time. Every time I go I long to share it with someone. I fear sometimes I may burst with my need to find someone who would appreciate this gem as much as I do. I try to go at least once a year now that I live so much closer to Washington than I have lived in a long time. This trip to Port Townsend is a special treat for me. It rejuvenates me more than I can tell you. I never go during peak season. I am a frugal girl. I always go in the Fall or early Spring before prices change.

Why am I blogging about this?

 Because I was supposed to go there this last weekend, but to make a super long, complicated story short I cancelled my reservation at the last minute. Which was costly, but necessary. I have to face the reality of what my life is now. I really do not want to. I have been fighting it for all I am worth. It takes some courage to look at your life and be honest about where you are and then to stop fighting where you are. I keep thinking I can go do these things that single moms who live with their parents really should not be doing. I made this reservation around Christmas time. I decided it would be my Christmas present for me. When you are a single mom no one really remembers you at Christmas and I decided rather than feel sad about it I would just take the opportunity to treat myself. I looked carefully at my calendar. I found a date next to a weekend when there was no school in our town. I thought of everything. But it turns out not really everything. My parents ended up going to California and no matter how I tried to arrange things for my girls so that I could go without having to worry about them nothing seemed to go right. Reality.

Reality is something that is real. It is the state of things as they are or appear to be, rather than as one might wish them to be. I have to start facing this reality...you know the;

 "what's what,"
" the way of it,"
 "the nuts and bolts,"
 "like it is"

 Not just with Chevy Chase Beach cabins. This reality check has made me think about other things I need to be realistic about :

Relationships. I definitely need to be realistic about those. Stop having hope.
The amount of Reese's I eat.
I am a school bus driver, that not only drives a school bus, but washes 6 buses a week to make extra money.I wonder what you would all think if you saw me out there in the pouring rain with my rain boots on scrubbing away at the bus.

Reality and I need to make peace with one another. You should all be so proud of me. Maybe there is an award for grown ups who finally embrace reality.

Since I can not go to Chevy Chase Beach Cabins for awhile now I am posting the link to their website so that you can check it out and go in my place. You will not be disappointed.   http://www.chevychasebeachcabins.com/

Feb 7, 2016

Changing Your Mind About Math?

Do we ever know where it starts? So many of us have declarations of things we hate, or things we can't do. Sometimes we know without a doubt where that hateful relationship started but sometimes we don't. I have no idea when or why I started deciding I hated math all I know is for most of my life I have vehemently declared that I hate math and that I am not good at it.

When I started back to college last September I knew Math was coming, I could not avoid it. Every week my darling Math teacher starts the week by posting inspiring notes to us for that week. The first week she told us about how she did not always love math and she explained how she came out of that phase with the help of good teachers that made her feel like she could. While describing this change that came over her she talked about how important it was to think positive. I lingered on that idea of thinking positive for a moment and then I moved on...I was pretty sure that thinking positive about Math did not apply to me.

Then in her notes to us for the next week she talked about how Math requires patience she quoted Albert Einstein who said, " It's not that I am so smart; it's just that I stay with the problems longer." Hmmm now my brain was really pondering....positive thinking? Patience? Math? Could I really do this? It would require a Herculean effort to change my thinking about Math. She really inspired me with her thoughts about patience.

I decided to put it all to the test. I had to know if I was wrong about me and math. I decided to try to say out loud that I can do Math. I determined that I needed to think positive...I can do this...not I can't do this. The little Jennifer that could. I decided to work hard and stick with the problems longer. I really do want to do well in Math. For the first few weeks of assignments and quizzes my plan seemed to be working. I carefully read everything. I did loads of practice problems on Khan Academy. I said out loud to other people that I could do Math. I begged my visiting teacher and her husband to come over and help me. I cornered a Math teacher in my church congregation and asked her to help me. I struggled. It all went well until story problems showed up. And I have to tell you I ...can't...do them. Yes, I just ruined everything and said can't. Last weekend I was in the middle of my first exam and I was staring dejectedly at the four story problems I had to answer. I had worked on them for 30 minutes and had come to the realization that I was going to have to just guess. I am so mortified about this but I guessed. I got two out of the four problems right and got 86% on my test. I hate knowing that I did not do the work to get those answers.

Throughout my whole life I have always been frustrated and sad when I want to show someone the joy of a yummy food, a hike, a view, a book, a movie, you know all those things we love to share and occasionally I would come across people who when I invited them to try they would say things to me like:
 oh I don't do that,
 I can't do that,
 I don't like that,
 never have,
 never will,

 I know everyone can not simply like everything but maybe we can? What makes us decide to not like?  How do we decide what we can do and what we can't do? What we like and what we do not like? Is our brain really that powerful?

We had to choose a book for the personal finance part of the math class I am taking and the book I chose was a book written in the 1930's called "Think and Grow Rich." This book talks constantly...almost too constantly, about the power of our mind, our sub conscious. It insists that you simply have to tell yourself something over and over and it will be so. It claims things like,"There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge." And how about this one, "Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought." Apparently it worked for Andrew Carnegie.

What if this really works? Do we all have a super power in us that we just do not believe in? Can hard work and positive thinking be the answer...to everything? So if you do not like brussel sprouts can you change that? Can you make anything work if you want to? If I can do math after so many years of declaring that I can't there may be something to this....except when it comes to story problems :)

I have been trying to think about other things in my life that I have always declared that I do not like them or can not do them. Leftovers...I have always been pretty confident that I am not the kind of girl who eats leftovers, except leftover dessert :) Arizona...I have always declared that I do not do dry, desert, and hot all together. What has made me decide to take a stand on these things?