Tuesday, June 25, 2013

On My Mind

What do you do when you have so much going on in your brain that you can't think of any ONE thing to write about?  That's how I'm feeling right now.  Here's why:

  1. Last week I attended the All Write conference in Warsaw, Indiana.  Some of my literacy heroes presented, and I'm still thinking about all of the learning, conversation, laughter, and friendship that comes out of those two days of learning.  I'll be thinking about this stuff all summer, planning how I can incorporate all that I learned into my coaching work next school year.
  2. On Saturday, I attended the commencement ceremony that marks the end of my Ed.S. coursework.  Last spring I suddenly decided to go ahead and get my school administrator's certification and joined a cohort that was forming at National Louis University.  The ensuing year was stressful but full of learning.  As I sat in the auditorium and watched the Ed. D. students during the hooding ceremony, I wondered if I had another commencement to attend down the road.... I won't say never....
  3. On Monday night I had dinner with three of my friends, the first time we'd been together socially since school got out.  I was reminded of the importance of letting loose.
  4. In between, I've been thinking about whether or not I'm making the most of my summer, this precious time when my girls and I (and Dan on his days off) can spend time together and do things we just don't have time for during the school year.  I worry, though, that I'm spending so much time thinking about the things we COULD or SHOULD be doing that I'm missing the opportunity to just go DO!

So what about all of you who've been lucky enough to be out of school for at least a couple of weeks... is your summer filling up or are you taking the opportunity to relax a bit and do things for yourself that fall by the wayside in the midst of a school year?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


School has been out for two weeks now, but in many ways I feel as if my summer vacation has really just begun.  Last week was full of professional development meetings and completing my internship hours for my administrative certificate, so I was at school for a great deal of the week.  The weather has also been conspiring against pool-going and picnic-taking, so when the sun shined bright on Sunday morning, we all headed out to the forest preserve for a bike ride.
We're lucky to live in an area where there are miles of well-maintained (for the most part) bike trails that wind along rivers and lagoons and through forests.  It's easy to forget that busy roads and intersections are nearby when you're gliding under a canopy of green with birds calling above.

Because I'm usually biking with my family, I don't wear earbuds on these trips.  This gives me the opportunity to get lost in my thoughts while I ride.  On Sunday, I spent some time thinking about balance.  Balance, of course, is important on a bike.... you can't ride if you don't have any.  Balance is just as important in life.  If one part of my life is taking over my time and energy, my family suffers, and  summer is a great time to work on reinstating that balance.  I can spend time with my girls, just doing whatever strikes our fancy on a particular day without feeling overscheduled like we do during the school year.

I also spent some time thinking about how the bike trail in many ways mirrors the bigger world.  Along the trail you find people who are friendly, who pass you with a smile and a nod.  Several of the "real" bikers cheered Abby along with a "You're doing great.... keep it up!".... something she needed as we approached mile 15 of the ride.  Others, while not overtly friendly, were polite and considerate, letting me know they were coming up on my left so I wouldn't be surprised as they passed us.  Then there were the boors.... those people who seemed to believe the trail was theirs, those who didn't bother to let us know they were passing or who looked at the four of us as if we had no business being on a public trail on a beautiful day.  These are the same types of people I encounter as I move through my life.  The  trick is to focus on those friendly, supportive people who help you along the way.

So yeah.... it's summer.  The craziness of dance recital weekend and Abby's birthday is behind us, and the month of July stretches before us with the promise of a long weekend at Kyle's for the Fourth of July and our vacation to Louisville and Mammoth cave, then the girls are off to Camp Woodbrooke for two weeks of fun without Mom or Dad.  I just have to remember to slow down and enjoy it.