Relaxing and Re-focussing…
It’s taken almost a month to decompress after a pretty rugged school year, but I think I’m getting there. I hope you are too. Trying to find the learning in the experiences and pull the horse’s head up to head toward the bright horizon. When I’m under pressure, I get sort of rigid, guarding my space and ideas, taking a small view of the possible. So it’s a profound relief to broaden the view.
Here are some things that have helped:
“Getting to Yes – Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In“, the leadership classic by Fisher and Ury. Here’s the nutshell version: 1. Separate the PEOPLE from the problem. 2. Focus on INTERESTS, not positions. 3. Invent OPTIONS for mutual gain. 4. Insist on using OBJECTIVE CRITERIA to decide.
I started by really considering my ‘interests’ for next year and it turns out, that I really, really love being in the class room, designing curriculum, writing and the expressive arts, especially right now, photography. Much more than getting into leadership roles. Good to know.
Then taking some time to develop a variety of different options that would work for me and for others (especially students because really, if the teacher ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy in that class room). Kind of a cool process that allows some creativity. Still waiting to see what the outcome will be but will be fine with any of them.
Give this book to beauty queens who say they want world peace because it starts with the ideas in this book. Oh, and it’s short and fun to read.
The other thing that’s really helping broaden my view is learning photography, literally and figuratively, love that overlap. Have made friends with a wonderful woman who is a portrait photographer and has helped me understand how a camera works so much better. She gives great lessons and does beautiful portraits by the way. You can find her at Terry Riggins Photography.
But more than that, it’s so wonderful to hang out with energetic, sparkly and kind people with a foot in the art and science of life. Melissa, Terry, Melia, Julia, Diana, Margaret, Anne and Gail, you are wonderful. Of course my long-suffering husband who puts up with lots of um ‘processing’ at the start of the summer especially. Thank you. Will be SURE to keep getting together a SCHEDULED priority this next school year. See how much better life is with friends? How much lighter, more hopeful and fun it is?
It’s also great to be in the learner seat for a change, to remember the feeling of being flooded with information and of trying really hard to remember everything and then messing up. Of being grateful when I can catch onto an image that helps it make sense with my very visual, big-picture learning style. And having the opportunity to say it back and try out what I just learned immediately. Then the satisfaction of figuring out the white balance and having a whole batch of pics turn out consistently better than before. Will take the feelings of this, and the techniques back to class in the fall. Snapshot science coming up.
And finally, getting fit again is a joy – climbing, walking and going to the gym. Hard at first and now I have a muscular casing to the fat which is not yet frightened off by all this jiggling around. Oh well. Feel better and a tan makes it look better anyway.
Here’s to your great summer adventures too. Recreation – re-create. Looking forward to hearing what you do.