I read Ruth's post this morning (HERE) and paused. I loved it, I really did. I had a conversation about failure with a friend recently. I don't consider failure a negative, I really don't. My failures are what I learn the most from. While sometimes they can feel like set backs, I think they are critical for growth. And this year has been full of them.
Looking at Ruth's post, I thought of my own writing life. It has been a mess. Last year about this time I was pretty set on writing a book for teachers. I was blogging regularly. I had absolutely written more for Choice Literacy than I have this year. So what happened?
I still love writing, but I have learned that I tend to go all in on one area of my life, and it leaves me lacking in other areas. If I am tweeting a lot and keeping up with my PLN, I'm neglecting reading. If I'm reading a lot, I'm not writing. And so on. So this school year I have worked a lot on balance.
It began in August. After writing about 15,000 words towards a professional book, I felt like I had lost my footing. I wasn't sure what direction I was taking, but I didn't like it. Then a friend's health made me reevaluate. When I was writing, I was writing a lot. I wasn't present in my life. I began to pull back.
When I paused, a new mindset fell into place. A book might come one day, but not today. This blog will be posted to on a less regular basis. I tweet less. I have written fewer articles. I've read a lot, but not as much as before.
And yet, I have gained so much. I've been with my boys more. I've began to exercise regularly. I work to spend more time with people around me. To really enjoy the life I am living.
I've lost some important people this year, and so have many in my community. The saying at the top of this post is one I now cherish. Some attribute it to Buddha, some say it is a Buddhist saying, but I really don't care where it came from. It is what I am trying so hard to live. I doubt I will care if I wrote that book when I reach the end. I'm sure the number of books that I read won't cross my mind. But those I love will. The way I lived my life will matter. And that is what I will place at the center. Everything else can fall in around that.
As I finish this school year I realize that I'm not where I thought I would be at this time last year. Technically, I failed, and yet I have learned more about myself than I ever thought I could. What a gift it has been.