Keeping Track of Myself

The light streams in the east facing window next to my writing space. And if I look to my left, I see copper wind chimes. Still. Perched just outside on an arbor that is at the forefront of the hillside. The photo in the header, what I saw as I walked up to my cluttered desk this morning, inspired me to open up my neglected blogging site. A new look for a new year. And with that, a reflection the year that has passed.

Last year my teaching life changed to include a new type of student and new content. Both fascinated and overloaded me. So much information swirled around me. I felt like my student, Steve”,  who had so much going on in his head he couldn’t decide what to write about. When he did start to write, he’d get distracted by another idea. Exactly. Too much stimulus did not allow my mind to settle enough to write.

I learned a lot last year. A lot of content and pedagogy around each domain. One of the costs of all that learning required me to step away from blogging. Last year my writing life changed from blogging to list making and notetaking.  A surprising benefit of this overwhelming stream of informational was that reading for pleasure became a necessity.

Last year, I learned about myself. I was overtaken by new learning. And in the process, l lost my bearings. Today I feel like I’ve pulled out of the swirling current of content to take a look. Take a breath. And realize the flow of learning and children will continue. Get over it. It’s on me to seek out still waters, to pull out, look back, and find myself.

The year ahead looks no calmer than the year that has passed. Personally and professionally it will be turbulent. As always. But this year I’ve made simple, measurable goals around areas that matter to me.

Reading: log books read on Goodreads.
Writing: a post a week, journal most days. poem a week
Making: a weekly photo that could become something
Family/Friends: daily contact with three individuals, a gratitude journal to keep track
Professional: three professional reads; one conference.

I shy away from metrics, but this year I want to capture what was done and what was undone. That is something I resist for many reasons. Mostly because I’d rather look ahead assuming the past could be better. But this year I’m giving it a go.

Here’s to a new year and new goals designed to capture memories and keep track of what matters.

 

4 thoughts on “Keeping Track of Myself

  1. I love this so much because it’s just like you. I’m so glad you had some time to look out at these beautiful chimes and realize you needed to regain the stillness, the reflection that writing allows and gives. Your goals are realistic and solid.

  2. I love the contemplative nature of this post. Such good goals for creativity. I’m especially struck by the intention to take a photo a week that can become something. Makes me think of the idea of “becoming something.” Makes me wonder what I’m in the process of becoming this year.

    Carla, a retired high school English teacher living in northern California.

  3. This is such a thought provoking piece. How do we regain some kind of calmness and control? How do we handle these kinds of difficult and turbulent times? Setting some goals seems like a good way to go. I think your goals are challenging ones. Good luck to you in 2019!

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