Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking Ahead

It seems that I repeatedly see comments on Facebook that people are ready for 2017, that 2016 cannot be gone soon enough. I can understand the sentiment. 2016 was filled with many negative, or sad, highlights. But it was also filled with joy, with love, with amazing memories I will treasure.

That being said, I love a new year. Just as I love the start of the school year, I also love the start of a new calendar year. To me it is full of possibilities. I don't do much in the way of resolutions - I think we've seen with #nerdlution that I'm rubbish with those. I'm great for about the first two weeks, but after that, nothing. What I do instead is pick a word. This stems from Ali Edwards blog (HERE) where she began to pick one little word as her goal for each year back in 2006. I always pick a word. Sometimes I even get my word written on jewelry to remind me of my goal for the year. Some words I've used in the past are:


This year my word is present.

This is something I've been struggling with. I'm so busy, as we all are, and I take too much on. I fill my time with a million tasks and don't pay attention to what's in front of me. Even things I love - reading and writing - aren't great if that is the only thing I fill up my time with. So I'm working on it.

In 2016 I didn't pick a word, I'm not sure why. But looking over the year I was already working on present, or presence, but didn't realize it. I read less. Now I know I'm always telling my students to read, but I read a ton. I think, at times, I read for the sake of reading. I'm trying to slow down, to savor books more. I'm trying to go out, be with friends, not just stay in and read. I no longer do Goodreads book goals, but looking at my stats I know I was a moderate success in taking some time back from reading. I read 382 books in 2015 and 283 in 2016. Next year I hope to read less. Bizarre goal, but a necessary one.

I've written less. I count beginning to write publicly as a transformation in my teaching. I absolutely became a better teacher when I began writing. But then writing took over. I blogged 4-5 times a week, wrote for other places besides this blog, I wanted to write a book. Writing was what I filled my time with (when not reading). In 2016 I looked at my goals. I don't want to leave the classroom. I don't want to speak to crowds regularly. I don't want to be a consultant. Thus, I don't need to write a book. Maybe one day, but not now. Teaching is my goal, it is what I'm here to do. So, writing a book went to the side. Looking at my blog, you can see I no longer update 4-5 times a week, or a month even at times. And while I wish I blogged more at times, I love what I'm doing more.

Present. I think I laid some good groundwork in 2016 in this regard, but I have more to do. So thanks for being ok with less posts, but I promise to still be here. My goal in 2017 is one post a week, maybe two, which would be an improvement. I'm guessing I'll make it some weeks, fail on others. More than that, what I do want to fill 2017 with is:

Time with family and friends
Dates with Chris
Watching my boys do what they love
Books (in moderation)
Writing (in moderation)

I need to restore my balance, which is so hard as a mom, as a teacher, as a person living in this age of constant connection, but I'm working on it. 

How about you? Do you do resolutions? Do you pick a word? Let me know in the comments. Wishing you and your family a glorious 2017.