Zoom in and Out-My Life in Cubbies


It is suggested that a writer take a look at something very closely, perhaps a hand, or strands of hair, a table setting, and then begin to zoom out to see what unfolds in the scene.  Details are an important part of life and my life is generally on a micro setting, zoom in, zoom in some more and look at every detail.   It is a difficult and rare occurrence for me to zoom out and take in the whole picture.  In fact, it is downright scary to look at the big picture of my life because so much of it is out of my control.  I prefer to keep my life in cubbies, resembling my comfortable teaching world with its lesson plan books divided into little uniform-sized boxes, the cubbies in my classroom offering storage space for items to go home in neat plastic bags to my student’s homes, the year’s 180 days divided into months, weeks, days, hours and minutes.  Each segment of time like a neat and tidy bundle all wrapped up, self-contained and complete.

Life isn’t necessarily neat and tidy and sometimes everything just won’t fit into a category or into the place it should be and it unravels, its loose threads spreading in all directions.  During these times, I struggle to find something to organize, to get control of and to satisfy my soul.  Here are my latest accomplishments:

1.  My diet.  Since I have started the Jenny Craig diet, my eating life is divided into boxes for each day-breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack.  This is so comforting! Add to that the fact that I do not have to prepare the meals or decide on them and the freeing feeling escalates within me.

2.  My exercise program.  Along with the diet must come exercise so I have committed to daily exercise of some sort.  It is easiest to just walk, or go to the gym and spend 40 minutes on the elliptical trainer but yoga is a great way for me to calm down and let my mind take a vacation and if I “forget” to go to the gym and it begins to get dark, I have my little portable stepper here to hop on for 20 minutes.  No excuses!

3.  My shoes.  I finally bit the bullet and took all of my shoes out of my closet, sorted through them and created two big give-away bags.  I then brought my organized-mother’s shoe cubbies (I remember she was so thrilled when I bought that for her and Gary put it together.  “Isn’t this just the most wonderful thing!”), and proceeded to neatly put my shoes away.  It is a thing of beauty.

4.  My files.  I spent a good deal of time researching a good filing system and revamped my household files.  My motto:  “A place for everything and everything in its place.” The happiness exudes as I file away the bills.

5.  My emotions.  These too must be kept in check in compartments within me, like a public storage facility, my emotions are kept in storage because even though I don’t need them right now, I am not quite ready to part with them and occasionally like to delve in and take a look, savoring the confusion, the loss, or the sadness and sending tears in all directions.  Then I can push them back inside and lock them up again.


Filed under Life thoughts

4 responses to “Zoom in and Out-My Life in Cubbies

  1. Kim

    I have definitely inherited the organization bug from you, though I’ve never figured out how to compartmentalize emotions. It’s just not in me, I think.


  2. Nancy

    I put out the questions…
    Does everything have to be organized, in control? What would really happen if you were out of control for some little things? Sometimes it is fun to just go with the flow all willy-nilly!!! What do you think? Sometimes something very meaningful comes from the crazy imperfections of life, don’t you think?


  3. I do so enjoy reading “betweenthewords” for there is much to read there,between the words.A little of this and some of that combined and packed away into those little cubbies to be taken out and examined,then returned and kept in check untill the next time…..Hmmm might a little dash of choas be in order at times? But that’s just my thinking,I may be envious of your control as I tend to flow with the river,calm here and suddenly raging there…perhaps that is why I enjoy your writings as I do.So much the oppisite of how my befuddled mind tends to work.


  4. I also love reading your blog, Amy, because you are so incredibly open and honest. I hope that writing it helps you in this very difficult time. It is a joy to get to know you better not only through our personal contact, but through your writing – writing is more intimate, in a way. Your honesty and willingness to let people know you speak to your generosity and immense gifts as a teacher. Children see through people faster than anyone – and I am sure children respond so well to you because they trust you absolutely, and know that you are a reliable guide to the complexities (especially emotional complexities) of life.


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