Stacey Shubitz wrote a blog post Sunday that touched me about keeping busy, or not, and planning with more attention to needs, and with a further link to another blogger that expanded the reasoning of handling all that one puts on to-do lists.
Stacey began with looking at lists with the following headings:
She further asks why not look at the mights, wants and coulds first, instead of the musts and shoulds.
And then asks if we might look at needs differently, look at them first!
As some of you might have read, I am moving, in a couple of weeks! I am fortunate that I do not have to vacate my house all at once. I’ve already closed on my new home, and am moving some things a little at a time. It is very close to my work, so every day for a couple of weeks I’ve moved some things in, to help with the big move later. I do have movers hired, but am trying to move many things first, both to make it easier on the “un-packing” and on the “expense”.
And so, to keep myself a little sane because I’m moving in mid-December, have not even made a Christmas list yet, and when I received my first Christmas card a few days ago, my stomach clenched. Oops, I say to myself, you’re not supposed to do that, remember? You’re supposed to relax as much as possible.
After reading Stacey’s post, I have realized that I am giving myself some of the needs she referred to. Even during the many trips, even when carrying still another box, even when I carefully, but firmly, throw away one more piece of memorabilia, I am also buying a drink from a coffee shop whenever I pass by. And I am taking the time to look out at the park outside my old home, to gaze and notice the tiniest of things so I will remember. Also, I first moved an old blue chair that I bought a long while ago because I loved the faded blue paint. It sits in what I’m calling the sunroom, facing south, off the kitchen, it could be a breakfast room, but I think it’s going to be my office. And what I need, and what I’ve done, is to sit and watch out those windows, the new ones, at my ‘new’ beautiful old trees, the ‘new’ park/green space outside my lawn, and imagine. I imagine how things will be, who will be here, who will play and walk with me, and how I will create the garden as my own in the spring. I need those minutes.
Thanks for the post Stacey. Thanks to your friend Barb for her ideas, too. It is good to hear of others who are mindful of their time, finding ways to make life worth living.
My connection further with all this thinking is how can we have some of these conversations with students? We have students who have moved into our school from far away, or just who have moved from the previous grade. This is change to them that they have to accommodate, just as we do, and often, while we make great beginnings to the school year, it is difficult for students to learn while they struggle with the newness. And they face challenges with new (and more) work. Can we talk with them about making good priorities, finding ways where they also are able to figure out what they need? I know that I’ve not always considered this as much as I’ve been thinking about it lately. Stacey’s post has started my thinking about parts of my teaching down good new paths, and for those teachers with whom I work too.