Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sharks Teeth or Seacapes?

The other morning my husband and I spent special time together at the beach. It was just the two of us. The weather was perfect-- shining sun, slight breeze, and somnolent waves. Peaceful. While he enjoyed the ocean I relished the shore, mostly by reading The Shepherd's Life by James Rebanks. When he tired of surfing, though, he would come in and together we would walk.

The beach we love best is a renowned spot for finding shark's teeth. It seems all in the family except me are super sleuths in locating these tiny treasures. As we meandered slowly along, I was pleased that I actually found one, the first success I'd experienced in quite awhile.

My contribution our of all these? One!

I typically blame my lack of ability in finding these teeth on my lack of sharp vision and my tired, aching back, but as I searched, I reflected. I realized it's not really that at all. As we were walking along, my eyes kept being drawn to the horizon, the ocean, and the life around me.
I simply could not focus on the tiny limited scene beneath my feet. Instead, My eyes would invariably rise up, and I would begin to muse on the bigger picture. The shore life, the surf, the sounds all competed for my attention. The bigger picture won out.

I realize this is a regular challenge for me in life. Daily I war with the details that compete with the overall objectives to my day, my week, my year. Recognizing I need accountability and structure, I struggle to put in place processes that allow me to accomplish my goals. Struggle is the key word here. I'm an expert procrastinator, a clever obfuscator, a creative task assignor. I begin to work on a detailed lesson plan only to be derailed by the larger question. How should the year look? What should I focus on? What will it look like? How will it prepare my children and students? And then I sit stewing over whether I had the correct approach to begin with. After awhile of this, I turn to shuffling piles from my office floor to the dining room table, or checking up on the latest Facebook posts. The lesson plan remains unfinished.

I have learned, for the most part, how to navigate this quirky side of me. I write lists, assign regular "office hours," and commit to deadlines. And somehow, I get my work done. Usually.

Today I happily finished updating the kids' portfolios. It's taken me awhile. Now that I have two in high school, once of whom is a senior, it is more and more critical I get these small tasks completed. Soon enough we will be filling out college applications, and that portfolio will be needed. Next up? Navigating FAFSA and the Common Application, but I've got a little time before that deadline begins to encroach. Hey, maybe I've got some time for a little knitting now! Now where did I stash that project?

No comments:

Post a Comment