Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Over the course of the last week, I began to notice the days have been getting shorter.  The mornings are cooler.  And the shelves of Target are stocked with boxes of Crayola crayons on sale for forty cents.  I don’t know when all of this happened but I realized with summer fading into the horizon, I better get out there and enjoy its final days before it completely disappears.  So, yesterday, I rallied my family, packed towels and sunscreen into an oversized beach bag, and headed to a local water park.

During the thirty minute car ride to the park, I unconsciously placed my hand on my stomach and began to rub.  I had this feeling…not like I was sick…no, nothing like that, this feeling was…that uncomfortable feeling that you get when something doesn’t seem quite right…this was…anxiety.  A bright, sunny, summer day, my boys in the back seat, my husband at the helm of the car, the promise of a day of fun in the sun—why should I be nervous?

As I gazed out the window, my mind wandered to the day before as I sat around a table catching up with my study group colleagues.  People shared stories of weddings and new homes and babies.  The conversation then turned to new principals, new technology, and the new standards in education.  We pondered and postulated what this year would bring with the Common Core and APPR and then we spoke but one word:


It was overwhelming to consider all of these possibilities and all of these unknowns.  There was speculation and worry…and some optimistic, eager anticipation. And then it occurred to me.  That was exactly what I was feeling at that very moment. The root of this feeling in the pit of my stomach was change.  Taking a day off from work in the middle of the week is not something I do often.  I had phone calls to make and email to respond to and I still hadn’t written this week’s blog post.  But I thought: eager anticipation.  Carpe diem.  Enjoy the day with your family.

And so I did.  I splashed down things called the Dragon Den and Mammoth Mountain.  I shivered in line and cheered as my husband dropped eight stories in three seconds down something called Cliff Diver and at the end of the day, I felt happy.  My agitation was long gone and my phone calls and email had waited for me.  I returned to my desk this morning to write my blog and what wouldn’t flow in the brief thirty minutes I had yesterday before we loaded into the car, just poured out onto the page today.  In spite of all of my gut wrenching and worry, it all turned out okay.  As it always does. 

Deb Hannaberry, a new study group colleague said, “Change isn’t bad. Change is just change and we need to embrace it.” As we begin this school year, I pass this wisdom along to you and ask, what’s giving you that anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach?  And what will you do to embrace it?

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