Tag Archives: reflection

One Little Word 2019 #olw2019

New Year’s Resolutions don’t work for me. Making these grandiose claims about how I’m going to drastically change my life by doing this or stopping that doesn’t feel right for me. I know will eventually break my resolutions, which makes me want to just give up. So instead of resolutions, I try to find a word to guide me through the year. Finding one word to focus on for the year gives me room to breathe, allows to me make mistakes but get back on track, and makes it easier to forgive myself when I mess up.

The process of discovering my One Little Word always begins at the end of the year with a brainstormed list of all the possibilities for the coming year. I allow myself to jot down any and every word that comes to mind, no judgement. After giving myself some space, I revisit my list, reading the words aloud, marking the ones that resonate with me, narrowing my list to about five choices. Over the next little bit, I try them on for size, aiming to find the word that I keep coming back to, the one that seems to choose me. When I’m ready to decide on my One Little Word, I reread my list again, looking up the definitions of the top contenders, ensuring that I find the perfect one for me. Sometimes this process happens quickly, but oftentimes, my One Little Word doesn’t find me for a few weeks. And that’s okay.

This year, my top contenders were nourish, consistency, ignite, transform, and joy. While I liked each one for different reasons, one word stood out above the rest, a beacon for the direction I would like to take this year. After much consideration, my One Little Word for 2019 is JOY!

Joy is defined as:

    The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires
    A state of happiness or felicity
    A source or cause of delight

Over the past year, I’ve lost that spark, that intangible feeling of sheer joy and happiness. While I certainly had moments of happiness and excitement, upon reflection, I realized that I tended to dwell on what I was lacking, what I didn’t yet have or what I hadn’t yet accomplished. I desire to invite joy back into my life, focusing on improving my health and well-being, and in turn, my happiness will grow exponentially. I want to cultivate a life of gratitude. I have so much to be thankful for, and by expressing gratitude for the people, experiences, and things I have in my life, I can discover joy in the ordinary moments.

This quote speaks to me, and I want to live this out in 2019. It’s so true, isn’t it? Aren’t we all drawn to those people who exude happiness and joy, finding any reason to smile, not sweating the small stuff? I know I am! I want to be a magnetic force others are drawn to.

In order to align myself with JOY, I’m going to invite more exercise, celebrations, gratitude, travel, and discovery into my life, while letting go of complaints, excuses, competition, comparison, being stuck, and the idea of ‘busy’. I’m going to find joy in the journey and the ordinary moments of my life.

What is your One Little Word for 2019?

When the Slice of Life Challenge is Over #sol18

I got this idea from a fellow slicer, and thought it was the perfect way to reflect on the Slice of Life Challenge. In my eighth year, I am a seasoned slicer and deeply cherish this gift of writing and community, and today, the last day of March 2018, I am sad that it’s coming to an end.

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
get back to my normal exercise routine

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
deeply miss the daily interactions with the SOL community

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
spend time planning my summer travels

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
miss writing every day

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
have more time to catch up on the work I’ve put off

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
be a better friend to those I’ve neglected

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
try to find a happy medium with my blogging (it doesn’t have to be all or nothing)

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
finish that puzzle I started

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
spend more time writing in my writer’s notebook

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
focus more on my goals for this year

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
miss reading about what karpenglish, shaggerspicchu, elsie, standingtall47, angelina’sgarden, and tomasevichtales are up to everyday

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
read more books

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
strike a better balance

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
have a hard time letting go

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
look forward to next year’s challenge

On Photography #sol18

As an avid traveler, photography is one of my budding hobbies. I haven’t taken a class (I probably should ) and I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I try. That’s what counts, right? 🙂 Today, as I swiped through the photos I’ve taken so far on my trip, I’ve been thinking about me as a photographer.

On Photography

At first
center it
point and click
snap, snap, snap
quantity over quality

Through the years
I’ve evolved
no longer
am I satisfied
with mediocre

Now my photos
have to
tell a story
make the viewer
wonder and
question

The focus now
is less
on the famous
or touristy
and more
on the ordinary

Catching glimpses of
everyday life
made interesting
by the angle
the framing
and the focus

Color and
lines
grab my eye
intriguing me
enticing me
to take the shot

The goal to
get the perfect shot
the right angle
subjects in and
out of focus
framing it just so
better than editing later

More concerned with
quality over quantity now
many shots
don’t make the cut
but the ones
that do
are just right

Here are a few of my favorite shots:

A Reading Kinda Day #sol18

Today was a walk around, stop for a while to grab a bite to eat or drink, and read, read, read kind of day. It’s been a long time since I’ve truly gotten lost in a book and spent the majority of the day reading, and I’ve missed it! All too often, I’ll read in short spurts, distracted by technology or something else I have to do. Lately, my reading life has been in a slump, and while I’m always in the middle of a book or two, it’s taking me longer and longer to finish a book.

Today, as I read, I got swept up in the story. I found myself stopping for longer stretches, breaking out my book to read, tuning out the noise around me. And boy was there noise today! I heard cappuccino machines steaming, blenders whirring, spoons clinking, patrons gabbing, music blasting, fans spinning, motorbikes speeding, horns honking, drills drilling, and hawkers yelling. Somehow the noise took a backseat to the story, becoming the soft backdrop, rather than the main event.

I managed to read over half of my book, and I plan on reading more tonight before bed. Of course, reading is on my agenda tomorrow. Frankly, other than trying more delicious food, it’s the only thing on my agenda. By the way, I’m reading Turtles All The Way Down, John Green’s newest book.

Here are a few shots of my day, in between my reading sessions.

Days Like These #sol18

Days Like These

It’s days like these I love
waking up
when I want to
in my own time
easing into the day
no beep-beep-beep
breaking the silence
disrupting
my quiet, peaceful slumber

It’s days like these I love
being alone
no agenda whatsoever
free to do
what I want
when I want
taking my time
or rushing around
it’s up to me

It’s days like these I love
exploring a new city
no map to guide me
no predetermined list
of must-sees and
must-dos
just going where
I’m led
pulled by my desires

It’s days like these I love
resetting me
forgetting my many
responsibilities
and just living
in the moment
reflecting on my own
happiness
on days like these

Life-long Learner #sol18

For the past couple of days, I’ve been attending the IB Global Conference in Singapore. Different than a workshop, where you are focused on one topic the entire time, the conference allows you to dip your toes into many different topics throughout the conference. At the moment, I’m trying to process all that I’ve learned. My thinking has been challenged, and I realize that I need some time to reflect on the new information I’ve gleaned, synthesize it, and decide whether it’s valuable and applicable to my school context.

So far, what’s excited me most is this whole idea of student agency and how we can empower students to take charge of their own learning. I’ve listened to teachers and leaders present their experiences with an entire grade level who co-teaches in an open, student-centered space where students make their own schedule for the day, share their experiments with letting students choose what, how, and when to learn, and heard about how the shifts in the PYP will put student agency at the forefront.

Another idea I’ve been drawn to this weekend and been thinking a lot about is how to differentiate professional learning for teachers. Attending a few sessions centered around PD has given me much to think about. One thing I’ve come to realize is that I need to change my teachers’ perspectives on what PD is. I am energized to unpack the ideas I’ve gathered, pair it with the research I’ve read and my own ideas to come up with a bigger understanding.

Since this week is my Spring Break, I’m looking forward to having some time to really reflect on everything, rather than jump back into school like I usually have to do. I hope to post more of my thinking in the coming days and weeks.

The World Through My Eyes #sol18

Next week is Spring Break, and I’m really looking forward to my trips to Singapore and Penang, Malaysia! I’ll even get to add another country to the list…Singers will make #36! Since I have been thinking about my trip, I started reminiscing about my past travels, which prompted this poem. Rather than write about every country I’ve visited, I decided to limit to places I’ve been in the last two years. In no particular order, here’s my poem, a glimpse of the world through my eyes.

The World Through My Eyes

Indonesia is motorbikes, gado gado, macet, and the call to prayer.

Belgium is waffles, street art, and fruit beer.

Albania is colorfully-painted buildings, a perfect mix of old and new, and all the fresh fruit, veggies, and bread you can eat.

Montenegro is rocky beaches with crystal clear water, road trips, and weekend getaways with the girls.

Hong Kong is dim sum, the mid-levels, lots of hills, and like China, but better.

Mexico is beaches, pina coladas, and tourist traps.

Italy is stunning architecture, gelato, and literally the best homemade pasta of your life.

Canada is water taxis, clean and manicured, and friendly.

Senegal is bright colors, traffic, pushiness, and sand everywhere.

USA is home, comfort food, baseball, and familiarity.

Thailand is the land of smiles, tuktuks, mango sticky rice and kao soi, and three-showers-a-day hot.

The Netherlands is the most amazing cheese you will ever taste, bikes for days, and canals.

France is croissants and crepes, The Lourve, and walking two hours to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night.

Morocco is an assault on the senses, mint tea, and getting lost in the medina.