Back in July, I announced I would reattempt a monthly version of One Little Word. My word was FREEDOM and while I had every intention of writing a reflection post, school started up the last days of July which meant no dedicated time to writing.
I made little to no effort in committing to a word August-October, but revisited this focus for November. 2020 has seemed very much like the months are on repeat with limited signals marking beginnings and endings. However, PERSPECTIVE was an incredibly well-timed decision for this month.
November provided me the opportunity to gain perspective in three key areas of my identity: motherhood, teacher, and writer.
For the better part of November, Eli was sick with an ear infection, then roseola, and then strep throat. Yep, three weeks back to back to back. I panicked and relied on Dr. Google for every symptom.
I was a mess for most of those three weeks as I felt I was getting the runaround from our doctor who isn’t seeing sick patients. On top of that, urgent care staff downplayed what I knew as “off” behavior for my son. However, my mom’s calm demeanor the entire three weeks saved me from a true and absolute meltdown. In retrospect, the spiral of anxiety I caught myself almost lost in was for naught. As my mom so lovingly reminds me of often, remaining sober minded is the most effective way to get through a situation.
God’s kindness toward me: mothering while being mothered. #perspective
Our district was fully remote from August to October; we returned to the building with a handful of hybrid students while others opted to remain online. Simultaneous teaching is exhausting, and there is no roadmap for how to successfully engage and build community in this setting. It can be demoralizing and defeating.
With the expectation to limit Zoom meetings to 15-20 minutes, it seems impossible to fit everything in. I try to start off with a get-to-know-you, discussion, or would you rather question. However, if we organically begin a jovial conversation for even a couple of minutes, then I’ve now lost time to teach, explain instructions, and take questions.
What I reminded myself of in the month of November was what I knew August-October, but often abandoned in the name of ensuring skills mastery: social emotional learning and building community is always worth the time it takes. #perspective
My thinking was challenged in November regarding my identity as a writer. I started a Padlet to give myself another platform to have readily accessible – as opposed to feeling that I can only engage in “writing that counts” when I write in a specific notebook while at home in my office chair/desk.
I was so rigid about what writing looked like, but I think that probably changed when I started the Time to Write workshops and realized how different this journey looks amongst different writers. I love how easy and accessible the Padlet platform is, and I still feel the sense of accomplishment that I wrote for the day.
Writing should be exactly what I learned about reading – when you can, when the moment inspires, when the time can be stolen to do so. #perspective
Similar to my writing habit, blogging took a major back seat – or wasn’t even in the vehicle – once school started. I originally planned on having a detailed schedule to stick to about when, how often, and what to write about when it came to the blog, but all of it didn’t matter once I experienced the bone-deep exhaustion of physically being on campus and then going home to Eli, Kyle, dinner, cleaning up, and hell, just resting.
I am most often quick to give something up if my original hopes of consistency fell through, but I’m going to try my best to push through this. Sure, I have abandoned the blog for a couple of months, but November’s Time to Write Gratiku challenge is something I posted on the blog every Monday.
My overachieving self (from the summer) rolls eyes at FOUR blog posts being an achievement- but it was zero the previous couple of months, and four is better than nothing. #perspective
Here’s to continuing to seek and gain perspective as I grow and lean into 2021 with hope.