New Year’s Eve 2017

“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul…”

-G.K. Chesterton

The last day of the year always hits hard for me. It’s a whirlwind of emotion – excitement that the year is over, nostalgia for the good moments that I’ve experienced, anxiety about the future, a bit of loneliness, gratitude for the wonderful life I have…and the list goes on. I don’t know when this particular holiday became such an important thing for me, but it has been my favorite for a long while.

The concept of being able to start fresh, with a clean slate, appeals to me. Having set many goals for myself and having failed at achieving many of them, I like the idea of having a fixed moment when I can reset and feel like I’m being given a chance to start over. I know that many people would disagree and say that I don’t need to wait until NYE to make this happen, that I can, in fact, start over with every new sunrise. I agree, but NYE offers a specific calendar moment that stands out and happens to be a day  when the world slows down just a bit to pause and celebrate and reflect – and that’s what I love about it. I’m surrounded (well, virtually at least) by people who are taking some time to think through the year, to “close out the books” (a phrase I heard recently on The Good Life Project podcast), and to set intentions for the upcoming year. There’s a much bigger movement taking place around the world at this time and I love being a part of it.

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Am I a Bad Teacher?

Teaching is a difficult job. In every class, I face a wide range of learning levels, personalities, and skills to engage. Every week is different based on how life might be going at that time…for the students and for myself. It’s perfectly normal, then, that there are times when I feel I’m just not doing enough, saying enough, planning enough, etc.

That feeling has hit me quite recently. I look through other teachers’ lesson plans and wonder why I have trouble being as creative, or I show impatience with a misbehaving student and wonder why I can’t shower my students with love and laughter more. Of course, we all have bad days and days when there’s so much that needs to be done that we don’t have time to address things in the way we would like, but I’ve been a bit disappointed in myself for not having more patience or more creativity or more whatever else I think an ideal teacher would have.

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Wonder & Awe

“The mountains are calling and I must go.”

-John Muir

I spent Memorial Day weekend in Western North Carolina. I felt my ears pop and large mounds of land sprout up from the Earth as we drove north. I spent 3 days surrounded by nature; a mile-high bridge across a mountaintop, a steep drive up a mountain to a secluded cabin, stargazing from a farm in the valley, and even ziplining through a forest. All of these experiences made me feel a sense of awe and wonder at the world I live in.

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