As I wait at the airport to head off to #ISTE13, I have been thinking a lot about the year that was (“teacher years” in North America are September to June). I have been inspired over and over again by so many great people in my own school division that are constantly pushing the edge of learning and really stepping up their leadership. I have also been fortunate enough to connect with many people around the world that have not only pushed my thinking, but have become good friends. I am blessed in what I do.
That being said, I feel like I didn’t finish the year off the way I wanted.
I remember when my Dad passed away in March and I sat there stunned for several days. It was not until I went to the funeral home that it really hit me.
And it hit me.
I remember thinking, “How am I going to make it through the rest of the school year?” When I returned back to work and speaking, I was able to do what I needed but it was tough. Spending time with some great people really helped, but at other points I felt lifeless. I really tried to keep healthy, go to the gym everyday, try to eat better, but I also felt my body starting to shut down. I have been to the doctor more times in the last three months than I have in the prior three years.
I have always asked the interview question from teacher candidates, “If two kids get in a fight, is the consequence the same?” If they answer yes, I ask them why, and they will usually say something along the lines of being “fair”. If they say that, I follow up, “What if one of them just had their dad die.” They usually rethink their answer as they know that when faced with a situation like this, things change. I never really understood what my question really meant until I dealt with. Everything changed that day in March for me.
I went into survival mode.
Tears have been easy. Sometimes feeling something is tough. Losing a parent for me made me start to revisit everything in my life. I would lose endless hours of sleep thinking. Naturally my mind has always raced, but more so lately.
Weirdly enough, my blog has become my therapy. Just writing about anything has given me an outlet when I needed one most. Who knew that it would be something that helped me through a grieving process.
So as we come into the end of the year, for the first time in a long time, I am not thinking about next year and all that I want to try and push. I am just thinking about enjoying my break. I am thinking about just having some time to catch my breath and go for a run every morning with my dog. I am thinking about sleeping in. I am thinking about writing.
I know that by the time August comes around, I will be ready to get back into it, but I also know that I will never be the same after losing my Dad. Your priorities change, but changing does not mean it will make me worse. In fact, the more I think about my Dad, the more I think about what he is thinking about what I am doing right now. That thought will drive me to be much better in many aspects of my life. Just maybe not yet. It will though. He did so much for myself and my family so that we could have all of the opportunities in the world. It would be a dishonour to him to not make the most of it.
I know I have written about how excited I was about the accomplishments of staff and students, but this time, I am just happy to have made it.
Sometimes that is enough right?