2017 Stories – 25 – Overexcitabilities

This post is going to be a bit weird so feel free to skip it but since, for me, it’s an important story from 2017, I wanted to make sure to document it. 

My kids go to a school that focuses on “gifted” education. To get in, you need to score two standard deviations above the norm on an IQ test. And while none of us in this house believe in any value that comes from scoring higher on an IQ exam, this school happens to be a very good fit for my kids for a multitude of reasons so we look past the fact that it considers itself to be a school for the gifted. 

Two weeks ago, I was at the school for an all-day Parents’ Association meeting. On the agenda we received, it said that the day would culminate in a talk by our school’s activism teacher who would speak to what it means to be gifted. I figured I would sneak away right before the talk and drive to work instead.

As things worked out, there wasn’t an easy moment to escape so I stayed for the beginning of the talk and about ten minutes in, she said something that completely changed the way I saw my life. (My *own* life from when I was growing up, not my kids’ lives now.)

She put up the above slide on “overexcitabilities” which is a poorly worded name but what it means is that gifted kids/people experience the world in a qualitatively different manner. It’s not better or worse, it’s different. This might have been a “nothing” slide for many others in the room but it was a major shift for me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a story around not belonging and not being like others. Especially around my childhood with my family and friends from that time.

What I realized looking at this slide was that I wasn’t just “feeling” different. I actually was experiencing life differently. It wasn’t a feeling, it was a fact.  I don’t really know how to put into words what this means for me and why it was such a jarring moment. It mostly made me realize that I was different and that was ok. It made me think differently about my belonging issues differently. Like I was trying to belong into a world that I wasn’t even experiencing the same way as the ones in it. As I said, hard for me to explain. 

I also feel obliged to take a moment here and point out that I am not saying I am gifted and aren’t I awesome and all that crap. All I am saying is that I was different. I actually was. And this came with a lot of suffering at the time for me. A lot of trying to reconcile the world people around me felt and the one I felt. Seeing this slide made it all come together for me. 

She then put up this other slide and while I have many of these (rapid speech, major issues with smell and sound, and definitely an intensified emotional connection to the world) it was hard for me to tell how generalizable these are. Maybe everyone falls into one or more of these buckets so I am not sure how much of a “thing” this is. Nonetheless, it was interesting to see a slide that talked about some of the quirks of my personality.

I didn’t get to stay for all of her talk because I had to drive back to work but I am so glad I was there for that one moment. Even if none of this revelation is true, I know that what matters most is not the truth but the way we think of life so if all this did was change my perspective, it’s exactly what I needed.

I will also say that I am not sure if any of this is true for my kids, but if they feel even a small bit of what I did as a kid, I am so grateful that they are going to a school that’s paying attention to the fact that people experience the world in different ways. 


Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Living Intentionally 2017 – 25

Weekly Intention: And I am off. As you read this, I will have hopefully just landed in Sydney. This is my work-very-hard-and-make-it-count-that-you’re-without-the-boys week. I try to get as much work as possible in there so I can really make the most of being away and also enjoy my family without guilt when the week is over. So my plan this week is to work hard, journal my trip, sleep a lot, and look forward to seeing my family again.

Things I want to get Done: Here’s the list for his week.

  • Work: catch up to email.
  • Work: document (unplanned, wrong).
  • Work: finish off planning phase one.
  • Work: follow up with the team from the class.
  • Work: do phase one of fall plan.
  • Work: do phase two of data collection
  • Work: do posters.
  • Personal: start travel journal.
  • Personal: meet with Gabrielle.
  • Personal: rest as much as i can.
  • Family: miss family a lot!!

This month’s intention is:  June: Shine Through: Let yourself be seen this month. Express yourself. Be true to you. Own who you are. This one really resonates with me right now.

Ways to Shine this week:

  • One: Bold: Bold and open and really present at work this week.
  • Two: Open: open to the possibility that things will go wonderfully for the next three weeks.
  • Three: Heal/Nourish: I plan to nourish a lot on the plane and exercise in sydney.

I am looking forward to: a good week at work.

This week’s challenges: working a lot. being without the boys.

Top Goals:

  • Work: taking some time to think about my categories.
  • Personal: doing my travel journal.
  • Family: talking to them daily.

I will focus on my core desires (bold, mindful, nourish, love) by: remembering that the universe is on my side.

This week, I will say yes to: showing up. being present and doing all i can.

This week, I will say no to: worrying about things outside of my control.

I am worried that:  something will go wrong with my trip, my luggage, my hotel, my work, the family arriving, their trip and luggage. with out planes. just in general, i want us to all be healthy, make wonderful memories and have things go as “planned” as possible. 

This week, I want to remember:  just being together is all that matters.

June 2017 – Rock Notes – 12

You can read about the start of this project here.

karenika.com


Rock Notes is a Monthly Project for June 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Weekly Reflection 2017 – 24

How I shone this week: This week felt like it flew by. We had a lot of doctor appointments and a trip to David’s school and then several trips to work and some self-pampering. All in all I feel exhausted but also accomplished and relieved. A chunk of what I was doing at work is finishing. We all had our eyes checked. Finished dentist and orthodontist appointments. Spent a lot of time doing Math with both kids. And I also journaled a lot this week. I am looking forward to a bit of quiet time on the airplane hopefully.

Things I wanted to get Done:  This Saturday I was still bruised from my “not shining” moments so I decided not to work. But I think I still did okay on my todo list. With the exception of exercise, I am doing well.

  • Work:  Not a lot of documenting still but I’ve done more of the planning meetings, data collection, organizing. I did a bit of my plan for the fall but need to do more.
  • Personal: No exercise this week at all. I went to one of the book clubs, prepared my travel journaling, packed all of us, went to mani/pedi.
  • Family: Took photos! Didn’t register David yet but got him setup for deciding. Will wait a bit longer. Did all the doctor appointments. wohoo! 

I celebrate: being almost in vacation mode!

I am grateful for: the journaling, the trip, my family.

I nourished myself by: taking some time for my mani/pedi/hair and spending lovely time with the kiddos.

Reflecting on my worries: ready or not, i am leaving for Sydney tonight. Hopefully I didn’t drop anything on the floor 🙂

I let go of: worrying for the sake of worrying this week. 

Core Desire Check-in (bold, mindful, nourish, love):

  • bold: i did journal a bunch about this, still exploring what it means to be bold outside of work.
  • mindful: mindful of our vacation and how/what I want to do with my family.
  • nourish: right now i think i need sleep the most. i need to change my eating habits so I can get better sleep.
  • love: i love my family so much and will miss them a lot while i am gone.

What made me laugh this week: book club and nathaniel and a lot of laughing at work this week.

What I tolerated this week: several extra trips to work, especially on thursday, i went in for an hour.

My mood this week was: flowing. 
I forgive myself for: not getting it all right.
What I love right now: sitting in the backyard and listening to the birds sing at this moment. I am about to leave summer for winter so I am enjoying the few hours I have left for a while.

Here’s to a lovely week 25. We are almost halfway through the year. It both feels like it flew by and feels like we still have a lot of it left! Enough to get plenty done!

June 2017 – Rock Notes – 11

You can read about the start of this project here.

karenika.com


Rock Notes is a Monthly Project for June 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Books I Read This Week 2017 – 24

 

 

 

 

I read The Barrowfields because I’d already returned it to the library once and didn’t want to again. It was an interesting and worthwhile story but it’s not at the top of my list for 2017.

i read almost no non-fiction last week so this week I read four! It started with Radical Candor which I loved. I don’t manage people and I had checked this out before and returned it but this time I decided I wanted to give it a try and it was very interesting, thought provoking and worthwhile. I passed it on to a few managers 🙂

I moved on to Chemistry which was wonderful. Very different in style and challenging to listen on audio. But I liked it. It was very sad at parts and very lovely in others.

On a whim, I ordered Craft a Life You Love this week. I am not a follower of Amy Tangerine, I only knew a tiny bit about her and while I like her style, it’s different enough from mine that I didn’t really feel a strong connection to her. I am so glad I got the book. It was awesome. I really really loved it. I loved the thoughtfulness around it. I loved all her ideas, stories, writing. It was a great book and related to so much more than crafting. I am so glad for this random purchase!

I then read No Time Like the Present. So many lessons here for me and I wanted more so I moved on to Bodhisattva Mind. Pema Chodron is amazing. And she was no less amazing here than usual. These two books made for a very thoughtful but peaceful Saturday.

And finally, A Million Junes which I loved. Lovely magical realism. Sweet story. I really enjoyed this one.

here’s to another great week of reading, especially on the airplane!


Books I Read this Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

June 2017 – Rock Notes – 10

You can read about the start of this project here.

karenika.com


Rock Notes is a Monthly Project for June 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Nourish Me – 24

Mind:

  • I read: nothing at all online this week. Lots of fiction but nothing else.
  • I learned: I completed the Glow class. I journaled a lot. I learned new things at David’s school.
  • I watched:  A bunch more TV this week while I was really sick and exhausted. I’m looking forward to watching Anne Lamott’s TED talk. 

Body:

  • Exercise: I exercised none. not one. boo.
  • Food: Considering how sick and bust I’ve been, I think I’m doing okay here. 
  • All the others: still doing ok on all other things. 

Soul:

  • I rested: I am better with being sick (though still a bit sick) but I do feel exhausted. I think I need to understand what’s stopping me from getting a good night’s sleep.
  • I connected: with parents in nathaniel’s new class. with parents in david’s class. with parents at the school in general. I’m working on this. 
  • I journaled: a lot! I am so proud!
  • I made art: a lot of fast art this week. It was interesting to see what I could do in a short amount of time!

I’ve been thinking about these posts. They are too repetitive making me realize that I am not doing too much here and not trying new things and not expanding or going deeper. I will have to figure out how to change this when I am back from my trip.


Nourish Me Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

June 2017 – Rock Notes – 9

You can read about the start of this project here.

karenika.com


Rock Notes is a Monthly Project for June 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

2017 Stories – 24 – End of Sixth Grade

 

A week after the little boy finished second grade, this big boy finished sixth grade. Sixth grade! How did that even happen?! I can’t believe my kid is going to be a seventh grader! 

This was a milestone year for David. He started middle school at a brand new school and really stepped up his game. He went from having no homework to practically two hours a night. He completed a collection of challenging multi-month projects throughout the year and he learned so very much. He adjusted to the new school, the new expectations, and the new work beautifully. I couldn’t be prouder if I tried.

Monday night was his culmination, where we get to see some of the work he spent his time on during the second half of the year. We started the night at the Social Studies lab where we watched his video on the artifact he researched (The Enigma Machine.) On the way out, I took a photo of his previous math homework which studied patterns:

 

We then went to the library to see the monument he and his friend built in honor of Oppenheimer. (seeing a pattern?) 

And then all of his writing from the second half of the year. Poetry, creative writing, Washington D.C. observations, and more. As well a sculpture he did in art class.

 

We ended up at the cafeteria where he displayed his Solar House project. Where he researched, documented and built a solar house in the country he was studying (Puerto Rico). He was given a budget for this three-person house (a grandmother, a mother and a daughter.) He had to make the floorplan, calculate the angle at which the sun would hit the house, do all the math on how much he could spend on every bit of building the house (as well as the land.) Study Feng Shui on how to decorate the house, and design a brochure in Spanish. 

I think it’s fair to say he was quite proud of his end-product.

We even strung some lights to make it stand out and we built some mini-furniture for the bedrooms and the living room.

quite a fantastic ending to quite a fantastic year. Super super proud of you, my son! Onward to seventh grade!


Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

June 2017 – Rock Notes – 8

You can read about the start of this project here.

karenika.com


Rock Notes is a Monthly Project for June 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Living Intentionally 2017 – 24

Weekly Intention: Here’s the last week before my big trip. This week we have a conference at David’s school, an orthodontist, a dentist, a doctor’s, a hair, and three eye appointments. And if I can pull it off a mani/pedi, too. Not to mention two trips to work, two book club meetings, a birthday party and a barmitzvah. Yep. I also have to pack and pack the kids and get all my stuff in order. Yep. It will be a fun week. My intention for this week is to be super productive in my moments. I want to be mindful and do only one thing at a time and be in one place at a time. And then do a really good job of being there.  

Things I want to get Done: Here’s the list for his week.

  • Work: still more documentation (unplanned, wrong), planning, followups, data collection.
  • Work: more meetings for planning.
  • Work: follow up with last week’s class.
  • Work: figure out my new plan for the fall and what to collect.
  • Personal: go to both book clubs.
  • Personal: journal the rest of the pages.
  • Personal: prepare travel journaling plan.
  • Personal: pack me. pack the kids. 
  • Personal: make mani/pedi appointment.
  • Personal: register David.
  • Family: Family photos.
  • Family: register David.
  • Family: a bazillion doctor’s appointments.

This month’s intention is:  June: Shine Through: Let yourself be seen this month. Express yourself. Be true to you. Own who you are. Thinking more and more about this each day.

Ways to Shine this week:

  • One: Bold: I wonder what it means to be bold with this fall plan.
  • Two: Open: open to the possibility that all will be okay.
  • Three: Heal/Nourish: I plan to nourish a lot on the plane 🙂

I am looking forward to: being on the plane for 15-hours, is that bad?

This week’s challenges: just getting everything done will be challenging this week.

Top Goals:

  • Work: understanding the gap.
  • Personal: preparing for the trip.
  • Family: being more purposeful about our days.

I will focus on my core desires (bold, mindful, nourish, love) by: remembering who i am and what matters most to me. i think i lose focus on that at times.

This week, I will say yes to: doing the work even though i really really don’t want to.

This week, I will say no to: making it personal in a negative way.

I am worried that:  it will just not happen. i won’t be ready for Sydney. I’ll drop something on the floor. 

This week, I want to remember:  i am so incredibly lucky.