Happy Birthday, Blog!

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by synx508

“Why do you blog?”

This is a question I’ve been asked more than once.

It’s true, it is one more thing in a busy life.  As well, it can be vulnerable to put yourself out there, being open to negative commentary or the permanence of publishing thoughts that change over time.

It’s been a year since I started this journey with “Examined Life.”  I have learned and grown as a person and as a professional in ways I couldn’t have imagined when I started.

Blogging, for me, is all about connection.  I could write in a personal journal if I just wanted to reflect for myself, but blogging involves a dialogue; the sharing, reflection and refining of thoughts and ideas, considering others’ points of view I had never thought of, being challenged on my words and actions.  All of this adds up to me being stretched as a person and as a professional.  In essence, I am better because of it.

As I’ve connected more on a global level, I have seen some of the amazing things both friends and colleagues are doing and it has taken away some of the trepidation in my own life regarding change; to be more adventurous, less afraid of moving in directions I had not considered.  I have had to look outside of my personal box, which was quite comfortable, and consider the many different ways of approaching life and health care.  I have segued into consulting which I had never even considered, I’ve rediscovered my passion for my work and continued to adapt how I teach my children. It has helped me live more in the moment and be more grateful for my life.  Thanks to all of you who have read my ramblings and to those who have furthered my own learning with your comments and emails.  Happy Birthday, blog!

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Balancing the Scales…or Not

A friend of mine sent me pictures today, taken at my 40th birthday party.  Yup, I turned 40.  And while that could be a post unto itself (many who know me are no doubt nodding their heads, remembering all the complaining leading up to that number!) what I really thought about when I saw the pictures was the relationships with the people who came out on a very stormy night to help me celebrate.

A very eclectic group shared the transition with me.  My spouse who pulled off the grand affair without me knowing, friends who’ve known me for years, people I’ve only known a short while, family, hockey parents with whom I’ve sat many hours in cold arenas with, staff who’ve run the gauntlet with me, and teachers who’ve taught my children and become great friends.

It’s to the last that I thought about today.  These educators who I’ve worked alongside with, who I’ve learned so much from, yet who have treated me as a peer.  We’ve had a unique relationship being co-educators of my children.  It has been unbelievably valuable not just for my boys, but for me, to be involved in this type of educational structure.

That night they had a presentation for me which included putting on the screen a quote from a blog post I wrote for the school division.  (I hadn’t posted it on my personal blog until today.)  And they asked me to read it aloud to everyone there:

I take my personal learning quite seriously: connecting to other educators on twitter, reading widely and often debating both Education philosophy and practice. But if I am honest, I have learned the most about education from my sons, and have incorporated those lessons into my own learning. Following my own passion in both Education and Health Care has made me a better practitioner in both areas.  Thank you boys.

Reading the words I had written only a few months ago, out loud to a room full of people I care about,  was surprisingly emotional for me.

Seeing the pictures today reminded me of why I keep walking the tricky balance between two disciplines I love (Education and Health Care).  I say tricky because it is sometimes impossible to find a balance;  the scale tips one way or the other.

As I’ve branched out and become more engaged in my professional life I know it has put strain on lesson planning time, time with my kids and my personal life.  And vice versa, when things get busy with teaching my boys and we’re digging into some great learning, my professional time slides and I can’t devote as much to patient care.

There are some days I think it would be easier to reduce the focus and drop one.  And I know this is an ancient struggle, especially for working parents, but today I was reminded why I do it…. and that it is worth it.