Lessons from School

Today was the official first day of the new school year. Though it wasn’t really a difficult day it seemed it. The challenge was the transition back into the school year from the summer work schedule which is so much more relaxed. I find during the summer months at work I have plenty of time to contemplate, to plan, and to reflect on every choice I need to make. Today, with everyone back and being thrown back into it, suddenly it feels like I am back to no time to think about questions, and problems, and solutions. Suddenly, from one day to the next, it’s back into the hectic high school day.

So I ended this day as I often do – taking a brisk walk in the woods behind my house. And brisk it was – that being one way that I often relieve stress at the end a day – bulling and jamming my way along the trail while my mind spins just as briskly trying to work through all the challenges of the day. I was about two and a half miles in before I realized what I was doing and reminded myself to slow down and take time to actually notice and enjoy my beautiful surroundings. Only seconds after this realization I looked up and there stood a yearling watching me from only about 10 yards away. I stopped and acknowledged her – inviting her to pass. She did not. I could hear what I thought was another deer in the woods nearby and asked the yearling if she were waiting for her friend. She did not respond. I finally decided she was waiting for me to pass, so I continued up the trail, turning briefly to watch her bound off into the trees, white tail bobbing.

There you go, I said to myself. Lesson learned. Slow down and take time to appreciate the world around you. Sometimes you have to get outside of your head to see what’s really important. That was the impetus I needed to shift my thinking and spend the rest of my trek thinking about my day in a different way. I asked myself what went well that day – what did I appreciate?

There were several things that came to mind. First was the student, who last year raced into my office, offering no greeting but instead a steady stream of complaints and an unwillingness to listen. We worked on that a great deal last year. I viewed each visit from him as a learning opportunity. Well, today he came into my room and we worked together and resolved his problem in less than 2 minutes. He went off politely and very pleased with the outcome.

I also appreciated a co-worker’s enthusiasm for his students and the program. Despite wanting to talk about more change on the first day of school, I must acknowledge that his heart is in the right place and I have confidence that his passion will allow him to come up with a great plan.

Thinking about the several people who are new to our school I value how they have been able to step in without hesitation and do an amazing job of helping the school run and serving our students well.

My personal goal for the year is to carry this lesson with me – to take the time each day to get outside of my head and the problems to be resolved and appreciate all that is right with the world.

Gratitude #67

Though we are now on the waning side of long days, today I am feeling appreciative of the long summer days.

Isn’t it a joy to have daylight from 4:00 am until 9:00 pm or later? Think of all that can be accomplished in that number of daylight hours. I suppose it wouldn’t be so valued if these long days were to occur in wintertime, but isn’t that the beauty of the way nature has ordered our world? Short days in winter, long days in summer. Perfect.

On top of that the weather has been so delicious recently that its like a double blessing!

Please, do enjoy!

Peregrines of Willoughby

Peregrines of Willoughby

Gratitude #66

So so so thankful for YOGA! All the time and patience the ancient yogis put into discovering all aspects of yoga AND passing their knowledge down over the centuries is totally appreciated by me.

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When I practice yoga I can let everything else go and live in that moment. Could it get any better than that?


Gratitude #65

This week I am thankful for SPRING BLOOMS! With the rain and cooler temperatures it gives me great pleasure to look out at the gardens and see the lovely colors that are so longed for this time of year.

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Take a moment to stop and smell the spring flowers!

Gratitude #64

I love discovering new things. Whether it be learning a new word, meeting someone new, a wonderful new book. . .it’s all thrilling to me.

This week, while grocery shopping, I came upon something called a daikon. I’d never heard of it, but it looked interesting, so Mr. Kennedy and I decided to buy one.



Unusual looking, right? We thought maybe it would be parsnip like.

When we arrived home I googled it and discovered it’s a type of radish. Suggested cooking ideas included pickling, curried daikon, and slicing and baking so they were like chips. I peeled and sliced it and had a taste – which is very much the texture of a radish, but not the same flavor. It doesn’t really have much flavor at all, but I added some to my dinner salad and it gave it a nice crunch. I will be making Cole slaw this week and thought it might taste good grated and added in. I’ll let you know.

I also made the chips – sliced thin, coated with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle on some spices. Bake at 350 for about an hour – very tasty!