Tuesday, January 17, 2017

#OneWord 2017

A new year is a new opportunity. Right? - I always think of something I read somewhere that asks why we wait until Monday or the first of the month to start again on a diet or exercise or another goal. Funny how it feels like a new slate at the beginning of something, whether it is the day, week, month, or year. However, we have the opportunity to make that choice at any time. That is what I learned last year with my #OneWord for 2016: CHOOSE.

A new year provides a new opportunity for direction, as well. A new school year is one of my favorites - a blank spiral notebook, sharp pencils, full sets of markers and crayons in each box that haven't been dumped yet, pens filled with ink. Fresh, new, untouched... yet. However, it all has a purpose and is led by that sense of direction. All it takes is focus and perspective to drive you toward your next level. If that is learning, action, behavior, decisions, whatever - that is what I felt drove my #OneWord for 2015: PURPOSE.
So here I am... digging deep to find the #OneWord for 2017 that speaks to me. With two years of purpose and choices driving my every move - I feel I need to really enjoy the results of the decisions I've made intentionally and be present. With busy boys in sports, grad school, a new position at work, a husband that travels for his job - I am stretched and spinning most days. I find I do not have time to shop, watch a movie, exercise, chat with friends, or read a book (that isn't related to grad school or work). I depend on my house cleaning ladies. I am the person that brings plates and napkins to the potluck. My kids are buying their lunches or making their own. I celebrate online grocery orders and hot Starbucks skinny vanilla lattes. I'm the mom at practice that appears uninterested and unengaged but is working on a grad school project using my mobil hotspot while keeping on eye on my child from the car or the bleachers. Please don't judge me. I'm doing my best. I'm thankful I get to chat with my kids in the car during the drive. Pinterest projects? Not right now. As everything just presses on, I get caught up and lost in all the demands and need to remember to just be.
So true. It is my choice to be happy. Nobody else can make that choice for me.
I have the power to allow or deny how someone else will make me feel.
As an educator, I completely agree there is not enough time to teach ALL THE THINGS so we attempt to fit in learning at every moment of every day. Yet I am one that felt in class, sometimes we just need to be. When we stand in the hallway, waiting - no need to drill facts, just be. Take a breath, think for a moment, relax and reset.
(This was completely validated in my Shadow a Student Challenge - being a student is exhausting!)
Presume positive intent. Always.
You don't know someone's story. And everyone has a story.
Even children. They are people, too.
As a mom, my boys are often wanting to be entertained - on a device, talking, singing, watching TV, or throwing a ball. For example, standing in line at the store -
BOYS: Can we have candy? Can we go look at toys? What are we doing next? Can I have your phone? etc.
ME: Um, no. Practice patience. Just. Be.
What a relief. Sometimes I need permission.
Be me.
While learning more about coaching in my role as Instructional Coach, we identify skills, learn the reason for those skills, then practice. One such skill is listening to someone in a conversation. Sure, I thought, I am a great listener! However, as I began the exercise, the facilitator stopped us and asked what we were thinking about and I realized I was trying to solve the problem or remember key ideas or I was trying to decide what I would say next. I WASN'T listening! Ohmygosh. I was so mad at myself. I realized then I have a lot to learn and began to really reconsider how my even my strengths have room for growth.

I heard the song 'The One and Only'
the other day on my 90's station.
New perspective on that song.
In my new role, I am emerging from the place of 'I don't know what I don't know' to finding my groove and better understanding my role. After spending months of trying to be like others or filling someone else's shoes, I realize they hired me. I am enough. I am not someone else. I need to be me.

Then it occurred to me. When Christmas Break arrived, grad school was on a FOUR week break (YES!!!!) and work was on a two week break. I was thrilled to be home with my boys, catch up with some friends, watch weeks of DVRed shows, see movies, read a book, enjoy the sunny Texas 'winter' weather, do chores around the house that have piled up since summer. Yet, there I was almost filled with anxiety because I had NOTHING TO DO yet time to do everything. And I hear myself saying 'Just be.'

Do you see it coming? Surely by now you must know what my word is. BE.

Be lazy.
Be a Mom. (even if it is the Most Okayest Mom)
Be a good wife.
Be a daughter.
Be joyful.

Be thankful.
Be sad.
Be optimistic.
Be a mentor.
Be an inspiration.
Be a leader.
Be a learner.
Be passionate.
Be irritated.
Be content - grab the book, get another cup of coffee, snuggle up, escape.
Be a friend - reach out to those I love that I miss and haven't seen due to buzy-ness.
Be present - unplug, enjoy, soak it all up
Be real.
Be me.


And a little funny...
This. THIS is how I should enjoy a holiday!

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