And…my vacation starts today! Whew. This year was a tough one. I’ll save my reflections for later, but just the fact I haven’t posted in this space for several months gives an indication of where my head has been. (Yep, buried.) But I’m coming up for some sunshine and air and couldn’t be happier. My challenge is getting to that place of rest where my body and mind can rejuvenate.
Sherri Spelic, who writes thoughtfully about her experiences as an educator in Austria, recently shared a poem that resonated with me: “A Few Words About the End”. It captures the feeling that so many of us experience just as school ends for the big summer break.
It can hard for me to reach the release into independence that Sherri talks about. I am so wound up after an intense school year that I feel more of a gradual loosening. It happens viscerally, day by day and little by little until..there it is. I’ve found that three things help move that process along.
- Time outside: I sit outside on our back deck. I run along the green shaded trail. I swim in Lake Ontario (or any other handy body of water, pools included!). I breathe in, breathe out and feel the spring uncoiling inside.
- Reading paper books: I hold the book, my hands stretch the cover, and my fingers grasp the page to turn it. Somehow, these physical sensations enable more sustained attention. I see my progress through the book. I sometimes take a pen or highlighter to make a note.
- A change in location: Leaving home for a few days helps my brain detach from work and the responsibilities that go with it. I rest. I walk. I realize that there is so much more than my little corner of the world. I feel more free.
It’s time to start.
January 1 is a “let’s get to it” day. Last week, I set my reading goal for the year. I created my January bullet journal pages. I also did laundry, but don’t worry, that’s not just a new year’s thing.
Now it’s time for my #oneword which has become a yearly tradition (see my last three #oneword posts below). I choose #oneword because it provides me with a reflection framework. As I’ve mentioned in this space, I’m a terrible procrastinator and setting myself the challenge of choosing #oneword helps me focus.
I also love the brevity of #oneword. Less is more.
This year feels like a gateway year. My career as a school board employee is coming to an end sometime in the next few years, and I’m thinking about what is next. I want to investigate what it possible. I want to let ideas macerate and mingle.
I’ve always wanted to work on my doctorate – is now the time? What do I want my mark to be on this world? How can I best use my strengths and interests in this part of my life?
This quote from Steve Jobs just appeared in my Twitter timeline and it feels right to use it.
“And most important have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
That’s what I want to explore this year.
Here’s a big shout out to Julie Balen, Ontario educator, who is leading #onewordONT this year through her Google+ Community OneWordOnt Blogs. Join and share your #oneword.
Previous #oneword posts:
GRACE – #oneword for 2017
ESSENTIAL – #oneword for 2016
One Word for 2015
I like to do a little roundup of which posts generated the most traffic each year. It’s always interesting, a little like my #bestnine on Instagram. What others like best is not always what I thought.
Here are the top three of 2017.
My Leadership Inquiry: the new Problem of Practice
Thanks to the work of Steven Katz and Lisa Ain Dack, as described in The Intelligent, Responsive Leader, I describe my own leadership inquiry as I work to become a better leader.
A Simple and Powerful Leadership Truth
This was an insight for me, and may be for others too? I try to keep it in mind every day.
Let’s Have Classrooms Full of Books!
Inspired by visits to classrooms and also the work of Pernille Ripp, a danish-american educator.
What about you – do your year end reflections include a “best of” list?