I am Working #sol19

IMG_0556I Am Working…on Myself #sol19

August 6, 2019

As the calendar turns to August, I begin this dangerous mental T-chart entitled What I Have Accomplished in the last 6 weeks v.  What I Meant to Do.  Every year, that invisible yardstick of justification comes out and I judge myself lacking, resigning myself to the fact that I will always have way more To-DOs  than Ta-DONES!  I mean, really, what have I been doing???

This year I want to flip the narrative and not just for my own fragile ego.  This year, I want to be the mentor and coach that I should be.  Instead of looking at the half empty glass,  I want to remember that the glass is at least half-full and at most, absolutely refillable.  Whatever was accomplished between that elusive June 19th and that slippery date in August when I work way more than I don’t, is absolutely a win.  So how will I measure this summer term?

I’ll measure it in dog moments and dog walks.  At the beginning of the summer, our poor Lily lab-mix couldn’t walk at all without a very painful three-legged hop, now she can, albeit slowly, take a leisurely five minute walk down the street and back down our steep driveway.

I’ll measure it in book recommendations I can make in the fall and throughout the year.  Forty-five books read this summer and many, many will make it into the hands of teachers and students very, very soon.  Along with reading,  I’ve considered techniques, assessments, analysis, and author craft moves to tuck into a toolkit or a conversation just at the right moment.

I’ll measure it in trips to Starbucks… where I met with a teacher over three lovely sessions of collaboration.  We gave each other encouragement and good ideas.  Accomplished some shared reading plans and a template.  Read many short texts for students and thought hard about what it means to share materials, ideas, and differentiate.

I’ll measure it in quick shares through text, facebook, instagram, meet-ups and the occasional email when I saw an idea that would be a perfect fit for another educator I know or just had to talk it over with someone.  Those quick hits kept connections going and made a soft nest for new ideas to hatch come fall.

I’ll also measure it in lobster rolls, ice cream cones, leisurely chats on our  patio and others, Sunday morning movies, and weekends  that spread out for family because all the chores can be done on a weekday.

I do have a large stack of professional texts that I had hoped to get read.  Some of them I will read over the course of the next few weeks.  Some will be stretched out over stolen minutes, carried in bags for weeks, dog-eared and written in, sometime during the next year.

What have I done this summer?  I’ve grown…  I’ve grown a little more tan.  I’ve grown a little more relaxed.  I’ve grown a little more patient and a little more long-sighted.  I’ve grown slightly more organized and slightly smarter.

So I’ll put away my T-chart and my measuring stick and give myself a certificate for being my best self for the last six weeks.  That best self and the memory of these sunny days will carry me far into the year.  That’s quite an accomplishment.


12 thoughts on “I am Working #sol19

  1. I have the same t-chart and have been feeling like I didn’t make the best use of these summer days. I’m grateful to have read this and for the reminder of being my best self.

  2. “This year I want to flip the narrative and not just for my own fragile ego” – how I love this approach and oh, how different the world would be if more people chose to flip the narratives we tell of ourselves in our minds! The Lab mix walking again – that was an arrow straight through my heart. All in all, a great dose of encouragement today, and a warm challenge to go and do likewise. 🙂

  3. This line is absolutely perfect: Every year, that invisible yardstick of justification comes out and I judge myself lacking, resigning myself to the fact that I will always have way more To-DOs than Ta-DONES! I mean, really, what have I been doing???
    You always measure up in my book! My husband always says, It always gets done and if it doesn’t the sun will still come up tomorrow. Laugh, get outside, be in the moment and appreciate life – those are must-dos for sure. I’m still on the road for baseball … so you know this is all I can measure right now and that is perfect with me!

  4. You have presented a lovely reminder that our days and ways are so much more than the tangible accomplishments, especially when they are rich with caring about people, animals, and life in general.

  5. We had a meeting of our summer writing group today. I read aloud your last paragraph. It may be a teacher thing- we put big demands on ourselves for summer. We all needed your words today. Thank you. ❤️

    • You brought tears to my eyes. That is one of the singularly most thoughtful things any one has written to me. I feel so connected to your group. I believe it’s true that when we believe in our good we are much more able to help others see theirs. 😘

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