This word has been popping up in my world like an overly enthusiastic jack-in-the-box these days. At first, it was subtle - a tweet here, a headline there - but now the universe is throwing it at me from all sides, intent on brow-beating me with it until I acknowledge that I am supposed to do something about my passions.
The problem with the universe is it never really tells you what to do, just that you should do something. The problem with passions is that the world is chockful of things to be passionate about.
So this is my dilemma. The universe would like me to acknowledge passion. I, in turn, start to stress about not having a passion. More accurately, I stress over the fact that there are so many things to be passionate about that I have no idea how to crystallize that in to a singular passion. Or even two. Possibly even three. Basically, the world is full of so much cool stuff that I just don't want to leave anything out.
I admire passionate people. I admire people who can ignore all the shiny objects and stay the course, delving deeply in to one main area until they surface and people go "Ohhhh. That person is passionate about X." I want to be one of those people.
I can't ignore shiny objects,. I love them. They make me happy. Trying new things makes me happy. Having diverse interests makes me happy. Experimenting makes me happy.
Perhaps you can see my dilemma. I want to be someone people regard as passionate but I am not the type to ignore all other cool things so that I can focus on one, and only one, cool thing. Crap.
It turns out that the universe is not such a difficult mistress after all. Although she threw passion at me with all her might, she also threw a couple of hail mary passes in the hopes that I would catch them. Which I think I did. There were probably more that sailed right over my oblivious little head, but I think that's the way this works; if you throw enough darts, eventually one will hit it's mark.
I asked around and thankfully the people I asked told me that they did see me as passionate, just not in the way I was anticipating. Then, I listened to some other people talk about their passions, which, again, were not what I was anticipating. And I realized that passion comes in many forms. Some are narrow, excluding other interests, and others are far broader, encompassing many smaller pieces in their big picture.
As it turns out, I am a big picture thinker. As it also turns out, I already knew what my passions were; I just needed to be reminded. Everything that I love doing for kids, with kids, about kids, boils down to moving kids forward on their own individual learning path. I am passionate about meeting the needs of all learners, be they the strugglers, the high flyers or the darlings in between. I want every kid to be the best they can be, at school, at home and in the community. I want them to want to learn. To love to learn. To feel like an agent in their own learning.
This is my passion,
I am constantly on the lookout for new and innovative ways to move them along their own paths. So yes, a lot of the time it feels like I am scattered, like I am trying one more new thing, like the shiny objects just won't stop calling my name but that's ok. I hold on to the ones that work and leave the others behind, constantly seeking that one tool, that one idea, that will make learning click for any given student. I want every child to see themselves as a learner, a creator, a thinker.
I am passionate about that. And that feels good to say.
I'm a little late to the party with this one, given that most people chose (and blogged about...and tweeted about...and Facebooked and maybe even Instagrammed) their word on New Year's Day. I, on the other hand, was taking a deliberate break from social media to enjoy some time with my family. We headed out in to the winter wonderland in which we live and my girls tried snowshoeing for the first time. So. Much. Fun.
I hope to carry the sense of peace and calm and joy that I felt that day with me through the rest of this year. The past year has felt hectic, chaotic and a little like living on a roller coaster (or at least what I imagine living on a roller coaster would be like, all the ups and downs, some of them expected, some of them not, sometimes you close your eyes and scream, sometimes you laugh your head off); I could stand some calmer waters this year.
A state of rest or balance due to the equal action of opposing forces. Doesn't that sound lovely? A state of rest. Without giving up all of the things that make us us. Making sure that life is a dance of equal and opposing forces. Work and Play. Kale and Chocolate. Water and Wine. I can do this.
I can do this.
But I'm not going to do it alone. I'm a big believer in the village, that wonderful web that catches us, buoys us up, keeps us going. Without it, I would be a complete and utter basket-case. Certifiable, really. With children who were barely making it to school, only occasionally bathed and living primarily on grilled cheese sandwiches. Like I said, without the village, I'd be done.
My #OneWord for 2016 is Equilibrium. I will endeavour to live this year in a state of rest, a product of equal and opposing forces. And I am so looking forward to it!
I'm Bryn, teacher, mom, book lover, athlete. I am passionate about living life with my family, teaching and learning something new all the time. I hope you find something that speaks to you here on my blog and would love to hear from you too!