pandemic reflections

A New Methodology

I took a hot moment to look for these photos. I looked through my photos, Facebook photos, then back to my photos again. I posted this image onto my Facebook page on February 20, 2020. I had this conversation right before the pandemic. Can you believe that? It’s been more than 4-years ago and this image and conversation had a huge impact on me. It’s almost like I just finished “my degree” in figuring out my research agenda and program. Does that sound pathetic or heroic? Doesn’t matter. I have arrived. It took immense change and unravelling.

As I blog on February 29, 2024, Leap Year, everything that has happened since that conversation I had four-years ago (and then some) led to this very moment. Much like the first image, that’s how life (and my research agenda) had been. Moments or pieces that did not seem to quite fit together. At the time, I was also too busy trying not be be myself. That’s another blog post (which has probably popped up here and there already in my blog, but I’m more awake to it today). I don’t want to discredit any of these individual moments and research/writing opportunities. They are all valid and in their own way valuable. It’s funny to hear my write that statement… “all valuable”… because I’ve been “so lost” with my work that I did not value my own dissertation. It’s silly to say that out loud, but I am more motivated than ever to return to that work and continue investigating my doctoral research at the university.

Wow. It feels so different when I don’t feel like I have to impress (or please anyone) but myself. I get that now. I had a conversation a couple of years ago about being “selfish” and I never understood what that actually meant in the context of academia until recently. I feel more calmer, more confident, and more certain with the direction I want to take. I guess this is where “boundaries” come into play. It’s super difficult to create boundaries, thus make decisions, if you do not know what you value, what’s important to you, and what direction you are heading in. Hmm… I’ve been finding a lot of solace lately with life and work events. I don’t mean to separate the two worlds. They are both interconnected. I will say, I’ve had some catalytic and transformative conversations lately and reached a “tipping point” to move forward and take action.

One of those conversations happened this week, which interrelates to the one I had 2-years ago and 4-years ago. It’s been on my mind for quite some time and I’ve been wanting to find some resolution or clarity to the matter. These glass beads were meant to represent my research program. I have all of these different and wonderful things that I’ve been working on and been interested in, but there was no apparent thread that seemed to tie them together. From time to time, I tried to piece the beads together. It’s like puzzle pieces. You can’t force pieces to fit together. Then I had a wonderful conversation with a new colleague and I was talking about my family, recent experiences, and “the perfect curling shot.” She said I should consider AUTOETHNOGRAPHY as a methodology for research. I was so drawn to this idea that I looked it up the next day and started doodling. The premise of this methodology aligns well with “the perfect curling shot” but also with everything else (separately).

Everything seemed to fall into place (see image below) and the “perfect curling shot” is a counterexample to everything else. It’s the north star, shall we say, and I found a connection with the rest of the beads (and my life) by creating a research question that ties it all together. I just made sense to me, all of a sudden. I’ve found some peace and feel a lot of joy and wonder. I did it. Although I’m not going to disclose my research question quite yet, I will learn more about this methodology and write about the “perfect curling shot.” I love the idea of learning and understanding more about culture through the lens of our own experiences. I can see a very fulsome research agenda and program and I am stoked to delve in. Some of this delving involves reading and writing everyday. I can do that!! #leapyear2024

Being Happy

What’s hiding behind the trees? Is this what’s it’s meant about seeing the forest through the trees? I’ve spent the week recovering from the week previous. I did not expect to need so much rest, but apparently I needed it. Today, I feel 1000 times better than I did yesterday and a 1000 times better that I did the day before. Repeat the sequence to the beginning of 2024. Wowza. You do the math!!

I also thought I would have been blogging about “beading with the kid” but that will have to wait as well. It’s not the right time or my inspiration. Today, I am going to be plowing into writing about teacher leadership and building up my momentum by writing in my blogs to recognize and appreciate the joy I feel. Admittedly, the joy comes from the little things and that’s what I’m holding on to. Right now, I’m rested.

Gosh. When I’m not feeling happy, I’m distracted by looking at places to live on MLS, looking at jobs at other universities, or deliberating returning back to teaching mathematics in K-12. Looking OUT (where the grass may be greener) is not an effective way to find happiness. What I am learning is, being happy comes from within… and feeling rested helps. LOL. I am reminded about what’s important to me. Do what you love. The little things make the difference. Just enjoy and savour.

My friend called me last week. She’s in the middle of some major treatments and dealing with a condition that has transformed her life beyond one’s imagination. Her life pivoted in a moment and it has never been and never will be the same. She had a “good day” because she was not able to engage in a treatment that day and felt well enough to give me a call while her family was out. I was honoured and humbled. She wanted to talk about the ordinary, but truth, the ordinary is not extraordinary. I loved connecting with her again and miss our long conversations we used to have before. If anything, the phone call was more about enjoying and savouring the moment.

I am brought back to my curling game. Do what you love. Be in the company of good friends. One moment at a time, in the zone, and not in the grip of worrying about outcomes, people’s opinions, or the perception of high stakes and risk. I love that feeling. I imagine myself “throwing the rock.” If you’re lucky, you might see me doing that in the hallway, in my office, or at the mall. I do that to remind myself of the “good feelings” of the game and being in the zone. It’s this place, curling as a metaphor, is what’s really important to me. Also, it’s a place where I am happy. Curling continues to teach me life’s lessons… including Alasdair MacIntyre. Yes!! The goods internal.

Regaining Access to My Website

Sunday, December 3, 2023 – Taking Risks and Feeling Great!!

Oh my goodness… I cannot believe that I have managed to regain access to my WordPress site. Whew. My heart is pounding rapidly. I am thrilled and filled with excitement. Who knew it would have this affect on me. What serendipity!!! Woohoo!!

First of all… I was contributing to my work WordPress site with OpenETC at I created this site to continue with my weekly #pandemicreflections but also model what e-portfolios could look like with students.

I am just shaking with excitement and joy. I have not posted this blog post yet, so I’m not even sure this will work. Nonetheless, this feeling of sheer AHHHHH is absolutely amazing!! Now this is appreciating the little things… 10-fold. AMAZING!!

Ahhh… solace… peace… inner joy. I gave up. I held on not knowing if I would ever access my account again and here I am. Never lose hope. I understand that now. I feel this way about leadership, teaching, and learning. There is always a path…

Well folks… I guess expect some updates to this website. I was absent from it since March 2023. I was blogging using my iPad and bluetooth keyboard. I could not update the app on my iPad. My access eroded over time. I can’t wait to update this site.

So look forward to more info and updates as we approach the new year. Right now, I’m approaching my last day of teaching on Monday, and I have reports to write, portfolios to assess, and papers to read to submit final marks for my courses.

((deep breath)) Dang. I feel great. You have no idea. It’s like reuniting with an old friend. The blog posts, however, will no longer be about my #pandemicreflections which concluded on my OpenETC site. I look forward to thinking about new content.

A New Month, New Start was the title of my most recent blog post on my OpenETC site. I feel that way and I am excited. Soon after posting this blog post, I will be writing 8 practicum reports and look forward to the last day of classes. Yay me!!

New Phone, Locked Out

The first photo I took with my new phone.

Week 92 – December 20, 2021 – Password Deficient

Yes. I am blogging on my phone and so grateful it works here. I’m locked out of my account on my laptop. For “security reasons” I installed a two-step Authenticator and lost connection when I got my new phone. This is what I fear most about changing phones. That’s probably why I held onto my iPhone7 for so long. I hated the idea of losing stuff. Now that I’ve learned more about the two-step Authenticator, I’m pretty sure I set it up wrong with no back up. I do recall having the base codes and printed them but who know where it is. I have no idea. Until I can figure things out, I guess I will be blogging from my phone.

Might be a good thing to be working from my phone. Now I don’t have too over-obsess with formatting, which I often do. I can just write what’s on my mind and hope that autofill does not use words I never intend (like it does when I’m texting). I’ve been anticipating this blog post as I wanted to celebrate. Actually, it’s been a roller coaster and not being able to access my blog through my laptop is an excellent metaphor as to how things are going. Things are going but certainly there are obstacles.

I will say that it has been a week of learning. Real life learning that can only be accomplished experientially. I am personally and professionally challenged while I may be challenging others in the meantime. I am learning what’s important to me and when it’s at risk, it’s heart wrenching and emotionally draining. It makes me question and wonder why certain things matter to me. But what I am realizing is my value and to value myself.

Hence the phone… I always put myself second or third in the list of priorities. Sometimes I’m lady and don’t have a good sense of self. Getting a new phone (and finalizing some personal stuff) is to honour who I am as a person. I have strengths and areas of growth. I was also proud of myself to take the weekend off (even though I was a bit overwhelmed with what the week holds for me before Christmas).

I am grateful I can text from my phone as I am grateful for the people who support me, personally and professionally. Take one step at a time, be present, and notice the little things are parts of my mantra. it’s finding the joy in the little things and sometimes to feel joy, there’s a little pain or anxiety. You can’t numb the pain or deny my strengths or limitations. With any ups or downs, I am still ok. ☺️

I’m enjoying blogging from my phone. It might lead to shorter blog posts but it also lends itself to more free writing. I am looking forward to Christmas. Laying low. And avoiding COVID at all costs. There might be more #patiopics as I continue to hibernate in my apartment with my kid. We are so lucky to be together and I have nothing to complain about. Life is good.

Life Starts Today

Week 91 – December 12, 2021 – I am enough

I cannot believe that we are in the middle of December, it’s marking weekend to get the term over, and we are heading into a new year in a couple of weeks. I am not sure where the year (or time) has gone, but I have learned a lot about myself, what’s important to me, and where I need to go next. It’s been a turbulent year, like 2020 and 2019. Oh wait… let’s not exclude 2018. Maybe this change process would have been less rocky had I not been resistant or doubtful of the process and in my abilities.

I love that I have returned back to curling. It’s my childhood sport. I played in the provincials and won one and runner up in another. I loved being on the ice. I played a bit during university and into my adulthood. I wanted to play competitively once and commuted from the Sunshine Coast to New Westminster, but got pregnant and stopped. Gosh… I loved playing in bonspiels and winning a lamp or car battery (LOL), but what I loved more were the people, community, and the lessons learned.

Here is a beautiful example. Look a the photo above. It came from the last end. It was our opponent calling the last shot. My team was yellow. The game was tied and we had to steal to win the game. The house was looking very good for us and the opponent had to make a pretty spectacular shot to take one. They had one sweeper and the skip made a pretty good shot and we ended up stealing one to win the game. It was a super close game, in the end. But during the game, it was a gong show.

In the first end, none of us made a shot. The other team stole 2-points. We then took 3-points in the second end, but they took 3-points too in the third, then two points, then one. We were down by 4-points in the 5th end. This was not looking good for us and we did not have the momentum we needed to get our game together. We were taking ourselves too seriously for Friday Fun League. A few words with the skip (I’m the third) and we shifted our game. We took 3 in the 6th and stole one in the 7th.

We started to joke around in the 6th end. “Were the one shot wonders.” And, we would say… “that’s the end of the game, we made our one shot.” Then, we rebranded to the “Two-shot wonders” in the 7th end. I love joking around with the skip, but have fun with the team. We started to get our groove by the 8th end to leave us with 4 rocks in the house with several guards. We did the best we could do. It was one shot at a time, we set up the end well to steal, and we had no control of the outcome.

Although we stole one point versus four, we still won the game. That’s all that mattered. We won. That’s the whole point of playing any sport, but what was more important to me was having fun, connection, and the flow of our team. We gelled by the end of the game and the end result provides a summative and formative feedback on how we were doing. I am so glad that we were able to shift our mindset mid-game to be the “Two Shot Wonders.” I love that we are able to laugh and play.

What did I learn from this curling game? I’m in the 5th end and heading into the 6th. Change my mindset to change the trajectory of my pedagogy journey but also enjoy the process. Don’t take myself so seriously, but find times to  laugh and play along the way. It’s ok to have fun. Trust the outcome. When we shifted our mindsets in the game, we focused more on each shot and present situation versus the outcome and dwelling on the past. It’s great when my skip threw two guards as his last rocks.

Life begins today. I need to live for me and embrace next steps to make things happen. I’m not going to dwell on the  past or focus on any outcome or expectation. I know what I am working towards, but it’s more about taking one step at a time and take joy in all that I am doing, what I am learning, and who I am meeting. I love the lessons I’ve learned because I curl. Today’s learning was about parking the ego, focussing on the present, and being patient. Thankful for my team. I can do this.

Underestimated and Overestimated

Week 90 – December 4, 2021 – Catching Up, Slowing Down

Who would have thought? Three weeks… gone… just like that. Time is passing by so fast and I am not slowing  down to take the time to reflect. I am also not taking the time for me… to be a person… for self-care and mental wellness. COVID-19 is not going anywhere anytime soon. I committed to a weekly blog from the start of the pandemic and we are into Week 90 with a new variant, Omicron, on the horizon.

I feel overtired and overworked that I’ve lost all sight of what’s important (or at least, what’s important to me). I am doing everything and nothing is getting done. It’s frustrating and disheartening. As of Friday, I surrendered to what was. I could not sustain what I doing anymore. I had to say NO, concede, and rest. I was not my best self and did not sleep the night before. This way of being is not sustainable.

Here I am thinking that I can write 3-blog posts in one to catch up on what’s missed. It’s already tomorrow. I’ve been wanting and waiting to write and reflect, but set conditions on myself that holds me back from what I love to do. I’m not sure why I do that and honestly, it’s not serving me. I missed out on school visits and connecting with Teacher Candidates, but also enjoying what brings me joy and happiness.

Friday morning was a very low moment for me and I took the day to rest (with a few emails and phone calls). In the second half of the day, I experienced what made me happy… CONNECTION. I need to be connected to people again. The afternoon started with short visit from a former teacher candidate who was dropping off a poinsettia to me as part of a fundraiser. It felt so good to reconnect with her and catch up.

My friend and colleague is moving to Ontario at the end of the month. He got a new position at another university and I was invited to his farewell party hosted by his department. I felt so blessed to to have the opportunity to laugh and reconnect up with him and meet some of his friends and colleagues. I love this person. We can’t stop laughing. Such a good person. We shared appies and dinner. It was too much fun.

The day concluded with a Friday night curling game. What can I say? I LOVE CURLING. I am so happy to return to the sport and so happy that we won that game. 9-2. I felt that my “curling muscles” are coming back, slowly but surely, but I love playing with my team and the positive vibes we share with each other. Fist pumping, high fiving. I just love that. I’m so in the present and joyful connecting with others on the ice.

I need to feel connected again. I needed to feel happy and energized. I love people. I love learning. I’m also realizing that this blog will be SUPER LONG because I intended to write 3 short ones, but I am so grateful to be returning back to my reflective practice and blogging is integral to my practice. Do I need to reassess my goals and what’s important to me? ABSOLUTELY. I am so grateful for Friday night. Thank you.

Week 89 – November 27, 2021 – Unrealistic Expectations

This is a meta moment. I underestimated how much I wanted to write and the time required to catch up and overestimated my abilities and expectations to get things done. I just want to do EVERYTHING within the constraints I am given, but I am realizing time is a commodity I could use more of. And if I had the time, where do I want to spend it? I feel that I am brought the same question, “What’s really important to me?” I know that my students are important to me and ensuring their success.

I love being on the committees I’m a part of and I love innovating in practicum and the B.Ed. Program. What I am struggling with is the writing and research… and finding the time to do it. My contract is 80/20, but doing research is key for me to move forward in higher education. I’m not sure if this is possible. I have a few projects on the go, but many are not reaching to any closure and honestly, could be in jeopardy. I might be overdramatic, which may be true, but I just don’t know what to expect.

Finding my voice is key, but also finding the time and prioritizing it. I tried. I parked everything to get some writing done, which took way longer than expected. I learned a lot from the process, but in the end, there were several situations during practicum I needed to attend to. Responding to the urgency of the now is unpredictable and can be very time consuming. Although it’s time well spent, it’s also  at the expense of some of my priorities. Making concessions is disappointing, but seems inevitable.

I am left wondering, while feeling humbled and somewhat defeated. I can see that higher education requires a focus and determination that I am learning more about. I need to be more patient with myself and more kind. I need to be more intentional and strategic, such that I will schedule times to pause and rest too. This week has been an excellent learning experience and I see the value of getting a tenure-track position that has a 40-40-20 framework that values one’s time to do research.

Week 88 – November 20, 2021 – Learning Experientially

I am doing my best to have a career in academia with an 80/20 contract. My focus is teaching and service, but I need to engage in research if I have any aspirations to get a tenure-track position. That said, here I am taking the time to catch up on my blog posts (3-weeks later). Honestly, what’s really important to me? I love my kid. I love to curl. I love people. I love learning. What else? I love my reflective practice. I love connection. I love enacting change. I love wrestling with ideas. I love shopping???

I don’t know. What I do know is, learning is humbling and I am in 100% of how I respond to anything. I have people who want to support me, but I have to support myself. As much as I am learning more about what it means to be in higher education (transitioning SLOWLY from K-12), I am also learning more about myself. I think that’s the biggest challenge. As much as I want to connect with others, I need to (re)connect with myself. Gosh I love the writing process and how it can bring some clarity.

This is a good place to end on this 3-week blog catch up and take time to rest. 🙂

Just for Me

Week 87 – November 13, 2021 – Understanding My Agency

This is a strange journey indeed. I spend a lot of time helping others in my work to understand their agency. Now the tables have turned and I need to understand my agency and why it’s important. I feel that I have turned corner in life and having to make decisions for myself. I am not driven by external forces, although they are giving me plenty of formative feedback. It’s my turn and this is a new place for me. Making choices for me. Thinking about what would benefit me. Wondering about what would be best for me, personally and professionally. Admittedly, this way of being is new territory for me and what I am understanding is, I have to embrace my agency, develop me sense of self efficacy, and honour my strengths and research.

I feel like THAT math student. “I can’t do this.” “I’m not good at math.” “I don’t get any of it.” Classic comments from a student with low math efficacy, lack of self confidence, and too scared to ask a question. Gosh. I remember one student in my Math 11 class. He was a force, a large person, and influential amongst his peers. He started the term strong because he relied on his natural talent. He was a very smart but the content is not so intuitive. His grades quickly plummeted. In class, he was “not very nice” and he refused to do any homework. I’ll admit, I was scared of this student. He used intimidation to protect himself. The strategy was effective. One day, he came into my class during lunch tutorial asking for help but saying the same quotations as above.

I said he could do it… if he really wanted it. He did not believe me. We would have a few power exchanges in class, even though he scared the kajeebees out of me (never let them know that as the teacher). And then one day, he came to my room after class to ask me privately how to succeed in math class. One step at a time, with guidance and support, he took my advice and started doing the work. You could see him build momentum. With one assignment to the next, he was starting to pick up his rhythm and confidence and his grade started to improve dramatically. At the time, I had 100% final exams. If you can beat your overall grade, then that’s the mark you keep. This student finished the course with an A and continued that path onto Math 12.

Gosh. I love students. They teach you so much. I am also reminded by the First Principles Principles of Learning, “Learning takes patience and time.” Although this principle applies to this student’s journey in mathematics, his story definitely applies to me at this very moment. I am saying to self, “I can’t do this. I don’t get it.” I often wonder if I am meant to do this work. I am reaching for help and have people trying to guide and support me but I have to do my part. It’s my work to believe it, want it, and do something about it. I can only imagine what that student had to do to change his habits, mindset, and priorities. He had to step away from his pride to succeed. He did the work and now it’s my turn. I’ve always wondered why I had that experience.

Gratitude for Being Home

Week 86 – November 7, 2021 – Flying During the Pandemic

It feels so good to be back home. I never thought I would find myself saying that. I resisted for several years and now that I’m back home, I can wholeheartedly say that I am in the right place at the right time. It’s been a challenging few years on my pedagogical journey. A lot of internal work was required to get my dissertation done (4-years ago) and that work continues. My mom passed in 2018 and not being employed at that time was a blessing. I took care of her in her last 20-days. It was the least that I could do. I got to know her better as a person, but also had the privilege of watching her transform as she faced death with courage, strength, and clarity.

After my mom’s passing, I accepted a job in Prince George. It was a term contract, so it was tough to make a “full commitment” to the institution. My family stayed on the Sunshine Coast and I struggled with the move and my identity while grieving the lost of the most important person in my life. Calling Prince George “home” seemed like betrayal, to my kid, my identity, and my marriage. As it turned out, my marriage ended after the first year and returning back to Prince George was bitter sweet. I was away from my kid for another year, I was angry and disillusioned about my marriage, and I was on another term contract. Commitment was lacking on my end of things and all I wanted to do was take my kid… and I was not sure what to do next.

My work was challenging and so was my mental health. I felt disconnected. There was a strike at the university in 2019, then the pandemic in 2020. I was separated from my kid more than ever. I felt trapped and alone. Not only did I have to pivot in my work with remote learning, I had to pivot in my life. On Mother’s Day, I returned back to the Sunshine Coast to live in my house, with my kid and estranged husband, for 15 months. Separating from my husband was confirmed, being with my kid was essential, and saying goodbye to the ocean and coastal life was needed. Even though I did not realize that I was subjecting myself to a toxic relationship that I had to walk away from, I also spent many hours contemplating what’s important to me.

When I finally left the Sunshine Coast to officially live in Prince George with my kid in August 2021, I was tired, exhausted, and liberated. Now that I am away from that life and my two feet planted in Prince George (with my kid), I can make the commitment to this community. I still have a term contract and who knows what that will bring in the future, but was feels so wonderful is the ability to make choices for me, to listen to my heart and spirit to truly understand what’s important to me, and to have friends and family standing beside me and holding me or lifting me up during the good times and bad. The journey was treacherous and the journey continues.

The journey is not over. That said, I am more clear, more happy, and more certain about what path I need to take and I can feel good about it. I know my purpose and I am living 100% aligned to that purpose. I was in Vancouver last week for the week to observe Teacher Candidates living in the Lower Mainland. I had the opportunity to visit with family and friends, but also see Teacher Candidates in action. They were amazing!!! Flying back to Prince George was a good feeling. I am returning back to my kid, I am returning back to community, and I was returning home. Feels good.

Doing What’s Right

Week 85 – October 31, 2021 – Trick or Treat?

It’s the end of birthday month. Mixed feelings. I enjoyed having my family visit me in Prince George on my birthday weekend. Lots happening since with work, with life. Things are shifting and I am learning. Some of this learning was humbling. Some of it was heartbreaking, bewildering, and clarifying. This journey has been phenomenal to say the least and I am learning what I am ready to learn. It’s Halloween and I’m typing this blog from the airport. I’m flying out for the week for work and I’m my new car “Musubi” (and apartment) with my kid. No stress. Actually, there is no stress. I’m feeling kind of neutral about the trip. I’m not 100% in favour of travel, but this work needs to be done and my kid needs opportunities for adulting. It’s all good.

I’m landing today at the end of this month with a billion things on my plate, but observing and reflecting on what’s important to me. I’ve been reading, listening to blogs, and journalling about where I am and where I would like to go. There is a huge part of me who is unwilling to commit and there’s another part of me not sure about taking action and being the agent of my own change in my pedagogical journey. It takes me sooooooooo long to realize that I am able to do and believe what I have accomplished. Lots to reflect on in terms of my sense of self-efficacy, trust, and ambition. I never thought I would get here and in they way the journey has traveled so far. Much of what I am wrestling with is worthiness, authenticity, and purpose.

Well, here I am. I never felt more like myself in such a long time and I often feel like I am now learning more about me. I don’t say this is a ego-centric way. In fact, I’m often trying to park my ego to really listen to what I value and I am passionate about. Sometimes I need people pointing that out to me, explicitly and implicitly, but in the last few weeks of birthday month I am brought to one of my take-aways from my doctoral classes in leadership about choosing between “doing it right” and “doing what’s right.” You’d think that they would be the same thing, but really, lots depends on intentions. That’s where my internal dilemma or struggle resided. I needed the clarity, drive, and confidence to move forward. I need to feel good about what’s next.

I think I’m here. Just in time… I think. Creating space. Understanding what’s important. And people in your life who remind you of what’s wonderful and not so wonderful. Self-reflection is not possible without the feedback from people and experiences. I can see what I need to do, what I value, and it feels good. I have so much gratitude for this pedagogical journey and I don’t think that I will have it any other way. Life comes to you in many serendipitous ways. I need to be patient, intentional, and wholehearted. This will guide me to next steps. I am so happy to be with my kid. That’s making a huge difference. I love my friends who lift me up, mentors who invest in me, and family who believe in me. I have nothing to fear.

Changing the Lens

Week 84 – Part 2 – October 25, 2021 – Turning Around

It’s taking me all weekend to turnaround. I spent a lot of last week thinking about the graduate course I am teaching. I was so happy how it turned out. We scaffolded and returned back to what we know and wrestled with a few key questions. I created and shared criteria of their final assignment on a single point rubric, but the best part of that class was checking in with them. I was not the only one feeling the way I did. I was looking for some grace and the least I could do was offer the same in return. We had some wholehearted and fulsome conversations that evening. I felt some solace after a really long day. However, on Friday, I woke with some anxiety. I started the day with lots of moaning and sighing, which  I’m sure my kid really enjoyed listening to when I drove her to work that morning. I felt disconnected and disheartened.

It was suppose to be professional development day for K-12, but my day was filled with meetings. I did catch a bit of the opening  keynote address, but moved forward through my day meeting people either online or in person. What was so wonderful, with each person I connected with, the better my day got. Knowingly or not, each person was shedding some light on what was important to me. When I think about my connections on Friday, I feel so lucky that I was able to connect with each person who was informing and fuelling MY WHY. None of these meetings were perceived as a major event, but it was “the little things” from each meeting I was collecting and the people whom I was meeting with filled my heart and spirit in different ways.

I took Friday night off… and apparently Saturday too. I need time to rest and reflect. I had much to think about. I wanted to be by the water on Saturday and went for a walk with a friend. It was so nice to walk along the river. I can appreciate the fall colours and the movement of the river. I needed to feel connected to the water again. It’s not quite the ocean, but this water speaks a different dialect in the Central Interior and it’s just gorgeous. I really enjoyed my time being outside and connecting with others. I need the cognitive sparing with others to share or sense-make what is.

I also started reading a book. The author was recommended to me and I downloaded all 3 books from I started reading one book and could not put it down. The contents of the book resonated with me, for good and for bad, and helped guide my thinking, my lens, and my approach to reconsider my mindset on what is. It was almost truth telling, personally and  professionally. What was being offered made sense to me and helped me to refocus on MY WHY and take action accordingly. I  feel good. I spent Sunday with my kid, and today observing Teacher Candidates in a neighbouring community. I am aligned to my why and doors are opening for me to see and walk through. I can see my next steps and they come from a good place.