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.
I’m so glad you’re getting back into blogging. You’re such a talented writer with some wonderful messages to share.
I love your goals an insights for 2019. I haven’t read Gretchen Rubin’s book yet but I’m a big fan of her work and often listen to her podcast. I think she has a real knack for explaining things so clearly and helping others to take actionable steps towards self-improvement.
I started blogging myself in 2008 so I’m surprised our paths haven’t really crossed in the educational blogging space yet but I look forward to following your work this year!
Thank you so much for your feedback! It means a lot to me because I’ve been admiring your posts about blogging and digital citizenship since I stumbled upon your blog earlier this year. You are a key Edublogger and connected educator, and I want to thank YOU for sharing your valuable insights and resources!
I too listen to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast from time to time and I love that her sister co-hosts!! You’ll enjoy THE HAPPINESS PROJECT … her book, THE FOUR TENDENCIES is just as good. I want to read more of her work!
I’m also surprised, by the way, that we haven’t crossed paths sooner but, like I say, my own posting has been more sporadic. That’s changing, thanks to the #blogging28 and inspiration from educators like you in my PLN!! I really look forward to continuing our sharing and collaboration.
Happy New Year!
Thanks so much for your kind words, Theresa!
I’ve heard a lot about The Four Tendencies and I’ve taken the quiz. I’m a ‘questioner’. What about you? I feel like I have some tendencies of an ‘upholder’ too. Maybe you should write a post about this topic sometime!
Happy New Year to you too!
I’m definitely an upholder … I’m pretty good at holding to my own expectations and the expectations of others – to a fault, which I think Rubin does a great job of offering ways to manage those tendencies. That’s not a bad idea for a future post…it sure would make for a reflection to better understand myself and others!
By the way, I love that there are many commenting days on the #blogging28 challenge. It pushes us to do more of this for people like me who haven’t commented enough when I appreciate and enjoy someone’s blog – the feedback and support is invaluable and motivating.
I like this positive post. It encourages me as I too consider writing more on my blog in 2019, starting with the #blogging28 challenge. It is nice to make new connections, starting with you and Gail today.
Beautiful quote about writing here: “Writing heals, soothes and strengthens. Writing spurs clearer understandings of ourselves and those around us – especially when we use writing to reflect. ”
All the best as you live out those 9 commandments and reach your resolutions. (I like that they are so doable!) I’m guessing several of them can be done as you write more on your blog–create, learn, share passions to help others. All the best!
Hi Denise, Thank you so much for stopping by and for your feedback! I think that’s what is truly great about blogging, and what I missed, was the encouragement from other educators … either from reading their positive posts or comments and feedback on blogs and Twitter. I’m happy we connected, and I can’t wait to see what we each come up with during this #blogging28 challenge. I’m looking forward to our long-distance collaboration beyond the challenge too!! (thank you, social media!!) Boy, isn’t teaching wonderfully different from when we first started? Who’d have thunk … that we’d be able to connect so distantly!
Yes, I’m really going to try to hold myself to these commandments and resolutions this year. I’m sure I’ll slip but like you say, writing and blogging will be helping to create, learn and share passions. Well said and so true!!
Happy New Year,
This was what I needed to bring things back into perspective. I love your energy and optimism for the upcoming year. I’m going to commandeer some of your goals for mine!
**I definitely need to laugh more. (Much too serious in 2018)
**Create something new every day. It seems like it’s a little daunting, but I think I can do it.
**Learn something new each week. I definitely want to want to add tools into my toolbox so I can appreciate this goal.
I love it!
Thank you for stopping by and reading my post! I really do have high aspirations for this year, and getting feedback from dedicated educators like yourself attest to how great this year already is. Commandeer away … we teachers could all use a little more laughter, a little less serious as we create and learn from each other each day!!
Happy New Year!
Hi Theresa, You’ve inspired me to look up and read the work and podcasts of Gretchen Rubin. Her work sounds very up-lifting.
I think we all need to laugh more, to stir up the positive energy so we can take clear actions to better the world. I love your commandments too — clever reminders of the actions you want to take. Your first one, “Tell at least one person a day how grateful I am to know him, her or them.” relates to being kind and being real and love is all — three of your goals. I think as we express our appreciation of others more, that we can also appreciate ourselves better, and not be too hard on ourselves. And that is just as important.
Thanks for writing so well and encouraging others to blog and share. Happy New Year, Sheri
Thanks for stopping by my page! You’ll enjoy both Gretchen Rubin’s books and podcasts. I can’t recommend her enough. I just listened to her latest podcast yesterday afternoon when I was cooking in the kitchen (my fave time and place to listen to podcasts).
I really appreciate you offering your comment and encouragement. You are so right – the more we express appreciation to others, the more we appreciate ourselves … and are appreciated back too.
Happy New Year!
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I’m pretty excited to have found this #blogging28 challenge. It is bringing me in contact with such high caliber people. And, I am finding all of these wonderful blogs to follow and check out! Reading yours and others has been a learning experience for me. I see all kinds of great examples of good blogging practices. One of my favorite take aways is how many links you and others weave into your blogs. This is something I would like to work on for my own.
It was nice how positive you are. Your writing makes me and others feel good. Thanks for sharing your heart. Take care.
Thanks Theresa for this nice post and the ideas which you have shared about life and the new year.
I hope you will succeed and be happy with your new blogging activities