Sunday, July 24, 2016

#OneWord Mid-Year Reflection

This year my #OneWord for 2016 is 'choose'. In January, when the year had just begun and is like a clean, blank slate, I wrote about my word (here). Now that the year is halfway over, I want to do a little self-assessment and see how I'm doing with my choices. 
Over the past few years, I've felt led to do something different. I sought out advice and direction from anyone who would meet with me to listen, but I quickly discovered that no one had the answer I needed. Only I have the answers I need. After much thought, discussion with my husband, and prayer I made some choices. It was SO scary! I'm such a stickler for routine and consistency but BOY it's exciting! Looking back to January, I challenged myself:
This year I need to CHOOSE in all areas of my life: 
*Choose to have a good day
*Choose to stop at the gym
*Choose to listen to a friend
*Choose to play with my kids
*Choose to empower myself and others
*Choose joy
*Choose to continue to grow professionally
*Choose to go on a date with my husband
*Choose what is right for my students
*Choose to be present at home
*Choose to move forward
I think so far this year I'm doing a pretty good job!

One reason for the neglect of my blog over the past six months is due to me spending my time working towards my master's degree. What a big decision that has been! I never, ever, ever, ever, ever thought I'd return to school. In fact, I used to say I would never... funny how life teaches you to watch what you say. : ) After much thought, I chose to return to school. It has impacted many of the other things listed above, such as going to the gym, date nights, spending time with my kids... but it has taught me to be present when I am doing those things. When I actually get to the gym, I focus on being there. I've decided that taking a walk with my kids does two things at once - exercise and time talking with them. My husband and I make certain we take time for each other without devices or distractions (other than a quick pic!). Plus, I want my boys to see that you spend your whole life learning. My parents modeled that for me, just as their father and I have returned to school and hope to inspire them as well.

I've tried hard to choose carefully those who I surround myself with. I want to be surrounded by people that I can laugh with, be ME, push me to grow and not be stuck, and who remind me to be HAPPY and thankful. I decided to change how I dressed, what I read, how much TV I watched. I try hard to watch what I eat, but I also love food - so... still working on that. : ) I'm trying to be intentional about how I spend my time for my family, my friends, but also for me. I spent all spring semester soaking up my students and how we could learn together... and then I did it. I applied and interviewed for new positions. Y'all. I never thought I would do anything other than teach in a classroom! Yet, over the past few years, I knew there was something more. Recently I began to feel almost trapped by a classroom - DO NOT get me wrong, I love teaching and love my students so much - but I want to share what I learn from others to everyone! I want to work with them and provide support for them to try and grow and learn. I'm thrilled to begin my new position as an instructional coach in a week. I have so much to learn and I'm ready for the opportunity.
As I was sitting in church today, I noticed they handed out stickers that represent the vision of the church. At Compass, the vision is 'navigating people to God' and I thought - what a fantastic goal, for many reasons. It also made me think of my upcoming position as an instructional coach. 
I decided to place this sticker somewhere to be a visual reminder for myself. While the sticker has a meaning to me shared by my church, it also is a reminder of my vision:

I strive to be a change agent* by empowering others, building relationships, connecting, collaborating, and inspiring others to grow from where they are.

As I continue on this year, I'm excited about the choices I'm making. These choices have an impact on my entire family. Time to study has resulted in my husband and the boys spending LOTS of quality time together fishing, going to movies, and hanging out. (Some of my best memories of my dad is when we went for pizza while my mom was in school working on her master's degree) Since my position location will be new, we moved our boys to attend their home campuses, and they are both really excited about the new adventures ahead. There is a lot of anticipation building in our home! My focus on choosing to move forward, continuing to grow, and remembering to soak it all up in the process is making me more aware. Which reminds me, I better finish my homework while the boys are out fishing. Then I am going to choose to enjoy my last week of summer to be as refreshed as possible for my new adventure! 
How is your #OneWord making an impact on your year?

*I first heard about a 'change agent' from George Couros @gcouros and I immediately related to that term. 
THIS is what I want to do. If you have ever read Platypus Police Squad (or your kids have) by Jarrett J. Krosoczka @StudioJJK that's the image I always get. HA. I love it! If you have not yet read Innovator's Mindset, please do! I highly recommend it (see here).

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