Wow-we’ve really made it through an entire month of slicing.
I guess now the appropriate message is as follows:
Join us for weekly slicing on Tuesdays at Two Writing Teachers.
Tonight I fell asleep next to my sweet six-year-old daughter; I was startled awake with the words of wisdom a priest friend of mine told me about 15 years ago, “Maya, it’s not the stuff you do; it’s the way you do the stuff you do.” I’m not sure what I was dreaming or thinking, but I guess I’m just going to go with it here.
Those words (and many of Fr. Linus’s words) have resonated with me over the years. At the time, Linus may have been speaking of the mission trip I was not going on because I was struggling with the whether to go on the trip over my break or to help out a my young twin cousins who had just lost their mom. I believe he told me that I didn’t need to leave the country to go on a mission trip that sometimes our mission is to serve our family and loved ones. Those words apply everywhere. To him, the “way” of serving is more important than anything else. Over the years, he helped me to value presence, focus, authenticity, prudence, love, humility, and so much more. He’s a person whose words continue to nourish my soul even though he has moved away, and I rarely hear from him.
Still I try to live out his words in all that I do, and I recognize and value when others to, too. Often, though, I fall short…
When with family, giving time with the right attitude and right spirit (even if the time is less) is better than giving a lot of time without being present. Sometimes I hear my kids ask my husband to go play or to do something for them, and I wonder why they are asking him and not me. Maybe they don’t want to bother me, my laptop hiding my face as I do my schoolwork. Maybe they are used to him doing more, so they ask him first. My husband is the best. I don’t blog about him often, but I am truly the luckiest girl in the world. I love my Mike so much! Tonight, although exhausted, I told my son I wanted to throw the football with him, and I could see how happy that made him. Tonight I colored for awhile with my little girl, too. Making the most of small moments. Maybe that’s how I can be more present in the moment and do stuff the way I should.
This week my husband and the kids are off from school, and poor me, I have to work. No, not poor me, next week I am traveling to Arizona to meet some girlfriends and celebrate one of my friends turning 40. For one week, I will be with the girls: hot air balloon ride, horseback riding, hiking, hanging out at the pool, having girl time. Mike, he’ll be getting the kids ready for school, taking them to school, teaching a full day, picking the kids up, taking Michael to soccer practice, getting the kids ready for bed, dealing with the kid’s arguments, taking care of everything…now, I can tell you, the way Mike does the stuff he does is amazing (now and then he does lose it a bit, but for the most part–wow!). I continue to learn from Mike’s ways as he runs circles around me. One of these days I hope my Mike takes a trip for himself where I am left at home to tend for the kids. One of these days, when I haven’t said yes to more KMWP responsibilities, more school responsibilities, girl time, and more of this and that. I’m still working on the way I do things not being “my way” too much of the time.
When teaching, I know that my enthusiasm, passion, compassion, and love are as important, perhaps even more important, than my pedagogy. The way we do the stuff we do is more important than the actual stuff we do. Don’t get me wrong I have pedagogical discussions and beliefs and values, but without the right attitude and way of doing things pedagogy is for nought, is it not? My practicum teacher has a way of paying attention to students (noticing a haircut, having a short conversation, listening, just being present). There is a part of how she does what she does that help me learn.
When slicing, ahhhhhh….yes…..when slicing….I feel as if this year and each year, I give barely enough time to slice, I don’t give enough time to other slicers, and I just force out a post sometimes after turning into the proverbial pumpkin. Many of you were slicing and responding to so many of us as well as so many of your own students. The comments I read amaze me as to how people truly internalize the words and give such thoughtful responses. I learn from you all in the way you slice and respond. If you read this and you have one post that you’d like me to comment on (one that not too many people read or one that you’d like to have another comment on), please send me the link here, so I can read it and respond. I’d like to continue to grow in the way I do the stuff I do.
I thank you all for this community, for slicing with me, for reading my writing, and for helping me grow as a person and a teacher.
Thanks for this March, my third March of slicing. Thanks for the stuff you do and the way you do the stuff you do, all of you.