I miss blogging! I used to blog quite regularly – on my first website, Grading Girl, and on this site, TLC – Technology, Literacy and Citizenship, home to my professional reflections. (Dare I say I’m contemplating creating another site … perhaps more on that later). I’ve had my students blog regularly, spoke about blogging in the classroom at conferences and taught two courses for teachers in my district on blogging in the classroom. It’s hard to believe, in fact, that this year will mark 10 years since I first began dabbling in writing online!
Writing heals, soothes and strengthens. Writing spurs clearer understandings of ourselves and those around us – especially when we use writing to reflect. Blogging in particular offers an accessible, digital opportunity to share some of those reflections with authentic audiences we might not otherwise reach. And whether that audience consists of one, 10, 200 or 1,000s, the act of writing in itself is a growth opportunity.
This holiday season, I’ve been especially reflective. My family experienced a surprise, major health scare less than a week before Christmas that abruptly reminded me how life can change in an instant, and how we take way too much for granted. I’m very grateful to say that everything turned out positively, a true Christmas miracle really, with my special family member recovering well and growing stronger each day with a smile.
I often fall back to old books like old friends when I need guidance or inspiration or a gentle reminder. One of my favorite reads from a few years back is Gretchen Rubin‘s The Happiness Project. (I can’t wait for Gretchen’s latest book coming out very soon!) Early in The Happiness Project, Gretchen talks about articulating overarching commandments to live by to help maintain those specific resolutions we make each year. This idea for creating better versions of ourselves with guiding principles really resonates with me this year. So today, I’m reflecting on 2018’s lessons, surprises and blessings as I look forward to 2019’s daily opportunities. Some of these are principles I’ve already been striving to live by but, upon reflection, I’ve come up with these nine as most important to me right now. Similar to Gretchen Rubin’s philosophy, I think these will help maintain my specific resolutions. I’m sharing this publicly to make myself more accountable … another blogging bonus.✨
My Nine Commandments (no special order):
- Be kind. The old adage that everyone is going through something rings true. Being cognizant of that helps spread good will and strengthens relationships.
- Be more REAL and approachable. The world needs more real!! Over this past summer, I read Tara Martin’s book, Be Real, and continue to be inspired by her mantra for educating sincerely, from the heart. I’ve since had students create Martin’s awesome #BookSnaps as a fun way to share their independent reading books and am consistently searching for more ways to be real, approachable and open … both in and out of the classroom, at work and home.
- Laugh more. Life’s too precious and short to worry. The only things to worry about are those occurrences that side-swipe us so suddenly that we won’t have time to worry … so don’t bother with that which we have no control. Smile and enjoy each day for what it is.
- Life can change in an instant. Live presently, enjoy each day. Life proves this truth time and again.
- The glass is half (or more) full.
- Do what ought to be done. I stole this from Gretchen Rubin’s list but it resonates! Any task undone seems more daunting than it actually is.
- Enjoy each step in the process.
- Timing matters.
- Love is all.
Thank you to Edublogs for continuing to offer a most user-friendly, accessible platform for students and teachers! Thank you to Kathleen Morris for posting and sharing this motivating January Blogging Challenge. Thank you to my PLN friend, Gail Dessler, for inspiring me to actually follow through! It looks like the daily do’s on the calendar really won’t take much time. ↓ Per usual, tasks seem more daunting than they actually are once we set out to complete them. I’d love for more educators to join us in the process!! Who’s in?!
Finally, I’m delighted to say I will be bringing blogging back this upcoming semester with my students; I’ll have even more reason to post on the benefits of blogging in education!!
And as for my 2019 resolutions, here are some of them (no special order)😊:
- Tell at least one person a day how grateful I am to know him, her or them.
- Hug more.
- Drink more water.
- Create something every day.
- Learn something new each week.
- Take on a unique experience each month.
- Travel somewhere I’ve never been each year.
- Share my passions more to help others.