It’s already March 31st?!? My last day of slicing in the SOL challenge for 2016 is here. Noooo! I don’t want it to be over. I have more stories to tell and more connections to make. Can’t we have more time? You know that quote by Dr. Seuss “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”? Well, I think it’s baloney! I can be both sad that it’s over and glad that it happened. And that’s okay.
Every year, my last slice ends up being a reflection of the month, a time for me to look back and take stock of all of the slices I’ve shared. Certain themes emerge year after year, revealing who I am and what I value. This year, more than one third of my slices were about traveling. As someone who lives to travel, this comes as no surprise to me, but what was interesting is that not all of my travel slices were from places I visited while participating in the challenge (every year, I travel during the SOL challenge since Spring Break falls in March). Some of my travel slices were sparked by a memory or a conversation, and were more reflective pieces, rather than ones written in the moment. Those stories have more depth. They’ve had time to marinate, adding more flavor to the story. My favorite slice this year has to be 18 Hours in Rome. That story waited nearly 3 years to be written, and it turned out perfectly. 🙂
Another theme that emerged was writing about work. It makes sense, considering I spend an inordinate amount of time there, and my life sort of revolves around it. My work slices were mainly about being stressed or overwhelmed, which is bound to happen in a school, but some were about my passion for literacy. I’m glad to see that those slices bubbled up to the top, begging to be written, as they truly show who I am and what I’m about.
Living abroad and my apartment, friends’ babies, and reflective pieces about my day, my interests, things I’m thankful for, and my last year rounded out the month. Again, this is me. I am passionate about living a life abroad, and enjoy making my house cozy and inviting. I am reflective, and often look back on my experiences in order to imprint them on my memory, learn from them, or savor them. And my friends honestly make the cutest babies around, so how could I not write about them? 😉
As I pack it in this year, my sixth year in the challenge, I am once again grateful for this space to connect with writers the world over, sharing bits of ourselves with one another. Being a part of this challenge makes me a better writer. Not only does it increase my energy and stamina for writing, but it gives me a purpose and an audience. I learn from other writers, and am encouraged to continue writing each and every day. This is a challenge that I look forward to year after year. I find that, despite everything on my plate, I make time for writing. Without this commitment to daily writing, I make excuses and other things weasel their way into my day, leaving me with no time to write. But in the month of March, I carve out time. No matter what’s going on, I put it aside to pour my heart out on the page, hoping to make sense of this crazy, wild ride we call life. I am honored to do this with all of you, my SOL community. I cannot thank the leaders at TWT enough for hosting this challenge each year. I know it’s hard work, but it’s good work. Thank you.