Thursday, November 13, 2014

A (Very) Little R & R

    Photo Credit: Sam Garza, wikimedia commons
The November blogging challenge from @techthought is a great opportunity to take a step back and think about what I am thankful for. Today's prompt, however, is a real challenge: What do you do to take time out for yourself? My husband gets on my case all the time about this, with good reason. I am always the last person that I take care of. However, over the last year I have tried to be more conscientious about taking some time for myself, because if I don't care for myself, I can't care for others. And educators have many "others" to care for! So to take time out for myself, I try to do one or more of the following:
  • a nice cup of tea (chai is my favorite!)
  • non-professional reading (historical novels and biographies along with the occasional romance for good measure)
  • an afternoon at Starbucks with my iPad to combine the two above
  • exercise
  • watching my latest Netflix arrival (which usually sits for about 3 weeks until I can get the 2 hours to actually sit and watch uninterrupted!)
It is unfortunate that I don't get to engage in these activities daily (or weekly for some). As a mom, wife, and school administrator, down time is hard to come by. But I remind myself that even when I can't take quiet time for myself, I am still lucky to have so many blessings: a family, a job, a (messy) home, food on the table, and fantastic friends. 

There are so many who don't have their basic needs met. I do, so in my opinion, anything else is a bonus. 

So here's to having much to be grateful for and to being able to step away from so many blessings on occasion to rest and re-charge--because that too is a blessing to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

An Attitude of Gratitude

Well,  @teachthought is at it again.  Another blogging challenge, and keeping with the "theme" of November, it is all about gratitude.  This month has been pretty crazy for me so here I am on the evening of November 12, almost half-way through the month, and I am finally getting to enter a post.  Our prompt for Day 12 is: Share a photo--or photos--of things/people you are grateful for.  Well, how lucky am I to enter the challenge on picture day?!  I have to say, I have much to be grateful for (as we all do).

The family...
At the top of my list is my family: without their constant love and support there is no way that I could do the job that I do.  Not that I am "great", I have much to learn.  However, my husband makes sure that I have the time I need to spend at work and willingly steps in to care for our son--even when our son wants NOTHING to do with dad.  It is tough to be an Administrator.  Not having to worry about my family all the time is a gift.  I am truly blessed!

My "Ladies"
Along with my family is an extended group of women who are nothing short of amazing.  We are supportive of each other, we cheer each other on and wipe each other's tears.  They are my surrogate mothers and sisters. At one point we all worked together.  Over time, some have moved on while others have remained.  Time and space do not deter us, however, and I am proud to call these women my friends, confidantes and  muses.  Everyone needs a group of friends like this!

Another group that I am grateful for is my PLN that has been developed on Twitter and now has been made even stronger via Voxer--I'll call this my "Vox-itter" group.  @Voxer has allowed me to take some of the relationships from @Twitter to a deeper level and get even more out of them than 140 characters will allow.  The growth from this "inner sanctum" of awesome is unbelievable and something that I am extremely grateful for.  Since we are spread out around the country I can't include a picture...but just imagine the Voxer logo HERE.  :-)  Regardless I am grateful that this group pushes me to transcend my comfort zone on a regular basis and become even better at my job than I imagined.

#catholicedchat official logo
And finally (and no slight to them!) is a group of educators that I have connected with via #catholicedchat.  This group has helped me to remain mindful of why I do what I do, particularly WHERE I have chosen to work.  We gather at 9:00 am EST (yes, that means 6:00 am PST!) every Saturday.  While my attendance has been sporadic at times, the learning I take from this group is so
meaningful, and we are a forgiving lot so attendance isn't tracked.  It is so refreshing to share with educators who understand the unique issues present in Catholic schools, "get" mission, and have such supportive words and creative ideas.  Along with my Vox-itter group, this group of educators has pushed me further than my years of experience ever did.

I could go on, but I think that this is long enough.  We all have many people and/or groups that we are thankful for in our lives and in our careers.  If I were to mention every student and every co-worker that has taught me a lesson, this post would never end.  So instead I have chosen to focus on a few groups that are particularly meaningful at this stage of my journey.  I am happy to have been given a reason to pause and reflect.  Our days get so cluttered with tasks that at times appear mundane.  Being able to stop and give thanks is not only important, but something of a luxury.  Without remembering who  has supported us and moved us forward, we can not be effective in our current roles, nor can we have hopes of advancing.

Who are you grateful for?