Friday, January 3, 2014

GROW! Plus a Playdate with Friends...

Hey, good people.  Hope the first few days of the new year have been good to you.  I've enjoyed seeing all the resolutions on Facebook and Twitter.  I've also enjoyed seeing folks ridicule the whole resolutions thing - haha!  I'm kind of on both sides of the fence here. The new year does give me a sense of ambition...but I'm also someone who believes that you've got to DO better to BE better. Goals without work, I agree, are ridiculous.

I've set goals in previous years -- some I've accomplished, some I haven't.  This year, my goal is simple.  It's one word, actually: GROW.  

Or continue to grow.  

2013 was an eye-opening year for me in many ways. It wasn't an easy year, to say the least, but it made me smarter and stronger.  I've done a bit of a SWOT analysis on myself -- and recognized those things that were holding me back (mostly things that were created in my own mind).  And these last few months, I've been building on strengths and opportunities.

I'm a naturally positive person who can find the good in anything (sometimes to a fault).  My husband sometimes tells me I'm too free-spirited, and that I live in LaLa Land.  He's right in some ways. 

But in some ways, I'm not free spirited enough - like professionally.  

I didn't start off that way, though. I recall how brave I was when I quit my first job out of college, dropped out of an MBA program, and enrolled in a masters program to get an education degree. I look back on that and am actually proud of how crazy I was to do that.  As a recent business graduate, I was working at a small medical equipment company. I was making a modest wage, but had great opportunity to grow in the company.  The problem was I hated it.  I hated sitting at that desk all day.  I hated working with the same two or three people every day.  I hated the monotony of my position. I knew many jobs in industry were just like that. I wanted something different, though: to get up and move and be creative and interact with people all day.  So I did something about it.  I made the necessary moves and ending up discovering my calling.

Which brings me to today -- my eighth year of teaching. I am SO blessed to be doing what I love. And while I am always trying to be better at what I do, I still have so much room to grow -- in AND outside my profession.

Which is why these past few months I've been working at building my professional learning network and deepening my understanding of the world around me.  I never plan to go back to school, but I DO plan to take advantage of the knowledge and opportunities that are out there. I've always played it very "safe" professionally -- followed all the rules, asked for permission, waited for the "right time" for opportunities. While I still plan to follow the rules (for the most part), all that waiting for opportunities and permission is OUT.  No more. This is my life -- my career -- and I'm about to take it to new levels.  Get out of my comfort zone. Unlock the potential. I'm going to take risks.  I'm going to fail.  I'm going to dance through the fire if I need to. I'm going to get back up and try again. I'm going to learn. I'm going to grow.  And I'm going to enjoy the journey.

I ran across a New Year's resolution on Facebook the other day posted by a blogger buddy of mine. Alicia at Mommy Delicious is someone I've admired for years, so I wasn't surprised when her New Year's Day post was the best of the day for me. It's like she read my mind:

Yes. Yes. Yes.

I copied the whole thread because I noticed that all the women whose name appear in this screenshot (from the "likes" and comments) are women who have influenced me in some way. We all have different occupations, situations, and goals, but these women are awesome.

So yes, GROW is my word this year! I've got some work to do, and I'm gonna have fun doing it!

I'm enjoying the last few days of my holiday break.  While I'm actually looking forward to going back to work Monday (got some great things happening this semester), I have tried to make good use of my time off. I've done things around the house, spent time with loved ones, gotten away, and even been lazy. It's been a good break.

Speaking of loved ones, M and I met up with my college roomie, T, yesterday.  She and her son were home for the holidays.  T is the one I spent a little time with in Virginia a few months ago, but forgot to get pictures.  Not this time.

We met up and took the kids to a children's museum:

The smaller boys is hers; the bigger boy is her nephew.

They had a blast.

T happens to be another woman I admire.  She's done great things in her career -- moved to places where she knew no one, voluntarily worked overseas for weeks at a time, etc. -- all while being a great mom. I'm very proud of her.

We enjoyed spending a few hours with them.  Hopefully our kids won't be teenagers the next time we get them together!

I'm going to enjoy what's left of my break - work a little and play a lot.  Have a great weekend,  y'all.


PS - I recently deleted my domain name,, as I'm in the process of getting it transferred.  Therefore, the links to older posts (below) may not work. Use this method to get to any old post:

Hope it makes sense!

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