Friday, May 21, 2010

Caffeinated Randomness: Simple Joys

I've been at a conference in Denver the past two days and SIMPLE JOYS have been the name of the game...

Yesterday the room started to smell REALLY BAD! The presenter finally acknowledged this around 10am and told us that there was a lilac tree outside if we wanted to make center-pieces for our table. I have enjoyed the past two days sitting in a conference room so much more with beautiful and fragrant lilacs in front of me on the table.

This has been a two-part conference - the first part was two days of training in April and this is two days of training in May. The trainings have been at the same hotel, in the same room, with the same presenters each time. One HUGE difference met us Thursday morning, however. In April, the presenters put little "fidget toys" on our tables (slinkys, play-doh, foam connectors - just little things to play with during the long lectures). Our table (full of early childhood educators NOT used to sitting still for 8 hours for 2 days) REALLY missed the fidget toys -- so I ran to Target at lunch at bought us fidget toys -- koosh balls, play-doh, Hello Kitty stamps, slinkys, and stretchy balls... other tables are very jealous and we've had much more fun than we would have without toys.

One of my classroom preschool teaching assistants has been out of work all this week because her daughter has Crohn's Disease and she has been in the hospital having a flare-up/complication. The daughter was in the hospital (and the mom was out of work) for three weeks in April and now they're back there again. I learned that the hospital was just 5 miles from my hotel where the conference was, so I zipped over to surprise the daughter and the mom yesterday afternoon. I brought them the lilacs from our table and had a quick visit with mother and daughter. It just felt good to see her, make that person-to-person connection after communicating via text all week... not really a simple joy, but it felt pretty simple. Please keep this girl in your prayers.

Last night, all the girls I'm here with wanted to watch the season finale of Grey's Anatomy. I am not up-to-date on Grey's, but I've watched it on season's past - I figured I wouldn't have too much trouble catching up... I was right. It was certainly an intense episode, but it was a great time of bonding with the girls I work with - cuddling on the couch and hiding behind pillows as a gunman was roaming around Seattle Grace Hospital.

Today was a beautiful day and I took my lunch outside to eat in a little park near the hotel while finishing a book. It was delightful - and I saw our presenter nearby walking in the grass in her bare feet - simple joys.

This afternoon has been HARD TO STAY AWAKE! At our afternoon break, another director and I collapsed on the grass in the sun outside and set an alarm in case we fell asleep. We didn't fall asleep, but decided that, to have a chance of being more awake in the afternoon, we should roll down the grassy hills on our stomachs, like kids do. We rolled, and laughed, and landed dizzy, and had a great time! We felt like silly kids!

I feel like I don't indulge -- or at least acknowledge my simple joys every often. This has been a really good trip - time away from school, time with great colleagues, time with good friends, time with beautiful weather, time with great training, time with fun fidget toys, time with intermittent breaks when I can enjoy the beautiful weather, time laying the the grass, time finishing a good book, time spent smelling beautiful lilacs, time seeing one of my teachers...

I wish you a beautiful weekend full of simple and beautiful joys! It is my hope for my weekend too! :-D

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  1. It is really the simple joys that make life beautiful. Thank you for sharing your simple joys... they sound like they added up to a wonderful time at your conference!! :)

  2. What a beautiful two days of simple joys! I should concentrate more often on the little joys of life. Thanks for sharing yours...they made me smile :o)

  3. Hope you have an awesome weekend.

  4. Brooke,

    Loved this post because it brought back my corporate training days, we always had playdoh and things for them to play with and I even topped the tables with poster paper and supplied markers and crayons.

    I used to get teased alot by the adults I trained that they were back in grade school but after the first day, they were hooked and it was fun to look at what they were making.

    Truth is you learn more from the lecture if you are doing something while listening. 71% retention rate and let's say I had the highest number of outstandingly trained customer service reps.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  5. Oh I just love lilacs!!
    have a beautiful (sweet smelling) weekend!


  6. Fidget toys?! Great idea. Hope your friend is getting the help she needs with he disease!


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