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Three Things I've Learned This Summer

This summer seems to have evaporated!  It is hard to believe that school will be back in session in just a few weeks.  I'm linking up with Aileen Miracle to chat about what we've learned this summer.  As a compulsive list maker, I love challenges like this!

1.  Kindness is always the right choice.

My awesome husband making a new friend.

For those of you keeping track at home or who follow me on Facebook, you know that this year has been a challenging one.  Almost a year to this date my husband and I were in a car accident.  This set off a chain of unfortunate events.  I broke my left wrist and had a huge cut on my right hand.  Typing was impossible and my piano skills are still more than wobbly.  My hubby cracked his sternum and received unbelievable seat belt injuries.  A few weeks later he had a stroke and a couple of months later had a defibrillator/pacemaker inserted.  His recovery has been long, painful and exhausting.

What happened during this time was an outpouring of love and kindness from friends and family, friends on Facebook we had never met and an amazing group of music teachers I collaborate with.  My school family was equally as compassionate and reached out to us to help us through this time.

At the end of the school year we had something incredibly hateful take place in our church.  I won't go into the details, but it was hurtful to us and especially to my husband, the pastor.  We had a choice. We chose kindness.  It was hard, because it was not what I wanted to do, but it was the right choice.  After the year that we had experienced, we knew that God was in control and that by showing kindness we were showing His work in our lives.

Why share this intimate story?  Kindness is always the right choice.  We couldn't have known then, but choosing kindness opened up doors, forced some decisions we had been dragging our feet on and brought about a great deal of positive change in just a couple of months.  So the first lesson of summer was "Be kind."

2.  Take time to remember.  Take time to reflect.

My amazing son will turn 16 this week.  It seems like just yesterday...
Okay, so I'm feeling just a little sappy and this summer I've spent time remembering and reflecting.  My amazing son will turn 16 this week.  It seems like just yesterday I was packing his little Spiderman backpack and walking him to Kindergarten.  As he prepares to start his junior year of high school, I wish I could just pause things and keeping him from growing up for just a while longer.  I'm so proud of the young man that he is becoming and love looking at pictures like the one above.  You know, he does a lot of this NOW too!

During the school year things just seem to zoom by.  Days blur into weeks and into months as we cram our schedules full of activities and obligations.  Summer has been a wonderful time to remember and reflect.

I've reflected over the past 20 years of teaching and how much has changed.  Computers, iPads and Smartboards are essentials in the classroom, but 20 years ago I didn't have any of those things! I have reflected over the last school year and thought about what worked, what didn't and what I would do again.  As always, I have a HUGE list of things I want to try next year.  When I look at my yearly plan (laid out by month) I can't imagine squeezing anything else in, and yet...I've already started making centers, creating song lists and planning ways to make it happen.

Remembering and reflecting are great ways to keep your teaching focused and fresh!

3.  Do what you love.

My fearless, 3 year old daughter.  She has decided that she is only wearing dresses (and has since MAY!).  That doesn't stop her from saving the world.  In heels.
The last lesson of summer is actually one that I tell people to do ALL the time!  I always say "Pick something that you love doing and then do it.  Then it doesn't feel like a job.  It is your passion."

I say this often because I believe it completely.  I love teaching music, so I do it.  I love making people laugh, so I do it.  I love helping kiddos find their voice, so I do it.  I love eating, laughing, creating....so I do it.   I've been blessed to have worked hard and found ways to do all of the things I love.  Most of them I get to do every day!

This summer I've had several opportunities to do things that I love, but don't get to do very often.  I went on a trip to Vegas (partly for work) with girlfriends from college.  I slept until almost 10:00 a.m. a couple of times.  I declined some offers so that I could just be at home.  I did crafts with my daughter just to get to play with a little glitter and to see her smile.  I had a long talk with my son at midnight about everything and nothing.  (Okay...it was just a few minutes, but for a teenage boy I think that's something!)  I ran off with my hubby to see a couple of movies.  With popcorn.  And butter.

The best lesson of summer?  Take time to do what you love!  Tell me, what have you loved doing this summer?

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  1. Great lessons! I've been reminding myself to "Be Kind" quite a bit this summer. My kids have really tested my patience, but I think I've finally adjusted to having three kiddos!

  2. This was such a sweet post to read! Thank you for the lovely reminders, and thanks for linking up! :)

  3. I so enjoyed this post. Thank you for the shared stories and the reminders. I'm a new follower and look forward to keeping up with you this school year.