Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016

This has been the most trying year for me.

  • My 95 year-old grandmother passed away in October, the day after my birthday. She had a long, wonderful life, but we were extremely close, as I lost both parents when I was in college. She was the last living grandparent, and her death finalizes my feeling of being an orphan, as the unconditional love of parents/grandparents is now forever in my past.
  • On the day of my grandmother's funeral, my best friend was diagnosed with ALS. I've blogged about this here and here. Debbie's own blog is a tough read, but it's also a way for me to get inside her head and know what she is really going through. Debbie had a colectomy earlier this year as well, and so it's been a very trying year for her, and therefore me. 
  • My son left for college, i.e., empty nest, empty room, and empty heart sometimes. There were calls home where he felt better after talking to me, but where I tossed and turned all night, not able to sleep as the worries left him and instead swirled 'round and 'round in my head.
So the math teacher in me can't help but notice and feel that my parent function no longer exists, the downward slope of my friend's deteriorating health is devastating, and as a mother of a college student, one day to the next is completely sinusoidal through the ups and downs of roommates, fraternities, and exams. It feels as though what's above me (parents, grandparents), what's below me (son) and what's side-by-side (friend) is in shambles, and it's more than any sane person can take, let alone me.

Top this off with the fact that my school, the place where I have worked and devoted my life to for the last 22 years (in some ways, also a parent to me), has been going through huge growing pains (to put it lightly), and it's pretty easy to see that I am a bit of a mess. 

But there have been good things. And that's what I really need to focus on. So in no particular order, here goes:
  • I have my family under one roof right now and have all the things I ever would really need right now. Including one good cup of coffee, at this very moment. 
  • I have traveled. I went to Israel with a women's group and came back with 10 new friends, some of which I keep in touch with every single day. I went to Quebec and Montreal on an Immersion trip with students, and it was also the trip of a lifetime--dog sledding, ice hotel, tobogganing, etc. Two trips of a lifetime in one year ain't so bad, right??
  • I became a TED-Ed innovative educator and traveled to NYC for an amazing weekend with a fantastic group of people and am working on an exciting project called Students Teaching Students.
  • I work with a great group of colleagues that have stayed strong through our trying year, and I am thankful for them and their strength. Their quick texts or conversations passing in corridors means more than they will ever know.
  • I've lost 10+ lbs this year, and kept it off, after trying to lose weight for year...thanks to Elite Fitness.
  • I have written two riddles for TED-Ed and am in the process of writing a third. One made the Top 10 Most Popular TED-Ed Animated Videos list!
  • My problem-solving course is exciting for me, as I can make it whatever I want, and I love being able to spend time on problems that I never had time to do in the regular curriculum.
  • Kindness and love from family members and friends who have reached out to help me during this difficult year. 
  • The Haute Yoga studio, and the ability to workout regularly.
  • My students, past and present, and my math club, which amazes me that we can keep 60+ students after school every Friday to practice.
  • Laughter, though lately I need to get it back into practice. 
  • I have helped others to do things that made them feel good about themselves...this always makes me feel good, and I need to do it more. 
  • Being connected to an online community where I can see what other teachers are doing around the world at any given moment. And I can share what I am doing as well.
  • Stitch Fix and FabFitFun boxes, which have been exciting to come home to. Is this silly to write about? Maybe. But I don't's true. Sometimes, it's the little things.
This may be the first year that my resolution is not to lose weight. It never worked anyway. So I am going to try this instead. This is a mind map made by a former Google coach. I'm going to keep mine private. Half of it is blank. I've got some thinking to do today!

Watch the video here:
Here's to a fantastic 2017 to all...whatever you do, make it a great year, with kindness, helping others, and making you the best version of yourself possible.


Benjamin Leis said...

Happy New Year. I hope next year brings you more happiness. As always I enjoy reading your posts.

Benjamin Leis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

You rock!