Lessons in Laundry

I hate laundry. Not so much the washing, since a machine actually does that, but the managing, the folding, the putting away. In my spare room I have three piles of clean laundry and because of this, I now call it my dressing room since this is where I run from the shower to find clothes instead of my bedroom closet and dresser like a normal person (Are there any normal people out there?). Each time I walk past this dressing room, a bit of my soul dies at the site of the testament of my laziness and apathy. I have all of this uninterrupted time in the summer to fold and hang my clothes and when I do muster the energy and passion to clean this room, I feel light as a feather, and happy. So why do I procrastinate and withhold this feeling of levity and joy from myself? My inner brat proclaims that this is my summer and I’ll do what I want!  Waiting for inspiration to begin a seemingly mundane task is a sad, sad state of affairs. Does anyone ever feel inspired to load their dishwasher? Why does it sometimes feel like it takes courage  to tackle the laundry?

“Courage is like — it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.” — Marie Daly

After all of my years of adulting, and years of procrastinating, I had an epiphany last Tuesday: If you want something to work well and feel positive in your life, you must give it regular attention. Don’t laugh at me if your adulting brought you to this conclusion waaayyyyy sooner than it did me.  I mean, we all know this, but it really hit me while I was attempting to tackle my so-called dressing room.  What we avoid, grows and nags in our minds, sucking up precious energy. I’m talking about everything in your life. The towering laundry piles, the weeds in your garden, the science lesson that bombed, the new classroom management plan that failed, again. Relationships with friends, loved ones, our children, our students all need our regular attention. We know this, yet we waste our precious time bingeing on Netflix and social media or pouring ourselves into only one area of our lives, ignoring the rest. Where is the waste for you? We all waste our time in exquisitely specific ways. We must choose our priorities and then give them regular attention daily or weekly if we want to live richly and live well.  I know this. You know this. So, what in your life, in your home, in your classroom or in your heart is bothering you? Put some energy toward it. Even a little. Spend some time with it daily until it feels better. Set a daily or weekly reminder in your phone so it is scheduled. Make courage a habit. Maybe, join me in setting or renewing this intention for the 2018/19 school year.

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Notes From The Universe

 

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My First Teacher Blog

Mid July is when I begin to feel rested from the previous, just finished school year. I begin to hear the little voice in my head tell me that it is now time to start planning for the next school year.  So, this summer I decide to dig in to stuff by Alice Keeler (go slow!) and Matt Miller (ditch that homework!), as well as getting more familiar with Genius Hour.  I have all of this time to read and view all of this free (and not free) PD, though admittedly, just like last summer and the summers before, I quickly become overwhelmed by all of the things I want to try in my classroom. Trying one thing at a time is necessary but proves to be difficult for me. Change is slow and hard, but the payoff for students is immense.

One of my goals this year is to connect more with other educators and to reflect on the new, meaningful, fun things we try this year in class, hence my first teacher blog. Feels a little scary and beyond my comfort zone to begin a publicly shared blog (I guess a non-publicly shared blog is just a diary), but I am also excited for the challenge and connection to other teachers that it will provide. Collaboration makes our teaching better and our students stronger. I look forward to connecting with you!