Recently, I've seen a lot of my friends on social media sharing past posts and/or pictures they'd shared on the same day one, two or even three years prior. These images of time past and words of yesteryear always catch my eye--I think I was a sociologist/psychologist in a former life. I read the past and ponder: How have people evolved or regressed? Do their past statuses/photos give a glimpse into their present predicaments? (Yes, I must have too much time on my hands!)
Often, I conclude not much has changed in the way people think and live from year to year based on these snapshots or "timehops." They are still "happy for summer to begin," "can't believe my baby is getting so big," and "sick of Chicago weather."
What would my own "time hop" look like? Time for a little self-psychoanalysis!
ONE year ago, I was immersed in teacher education at an NEH Seminar at UC Berkeley studying about WWII: Life on the Home front basking in the joys of perpetual learning. I remember feeling euphoric going back to college, if even for a week, taking in so much information and gaining teaching inspiration. I could hardly wait to get back into the classroom to share all I'd learned with students and fellow teachers. Ah, the memory feels like a warm hug. I was content and eager in my profession.
TWO years ago, I committed to improving my overall health and eating habits. I'd done the research and decided I would eat clean and green. I spent hours at farmers markets with my family. We discovered new fruits and vegetables none of us will ever eat again. Pinterest stole my heart, and I pinned and pinned and pinned some more. I went to yoga classes and bootcamp. By the summer's end, I'd only lost about 5 lbs. (I guess I used too much butter when I sautéed the veggies).
THREE years ago, I wanted to spend every waking moment of summer with my oldest who was going away to college. I convinced myself I would teach her all the things she'd previously ignored before she entered college, and we'd part with confidence that we'd done it all and I'd taught her right (I am a teacher after all). You saw coming what I could not (or choose not) to see---EPIC failure. Instead of time together, my daughter needed to see and commune with every friend she'd ever made. She slept away from home more than she'd ever done. Her refrain was "it's my last chance to ...." You would have thought she was dying, but really it was me who was dying a bit. I spent the summer sulking, wondering where I'd gone so terribly wrong and how she'd survive because I hadn't finished life's important unit/lessons. Fortunately, she lived through her freshman year and so did I. Some of those lessons came through the school of hard knocks. Some came over the telephone with hours of weighing options and giving advice. Precious time and lessons learned.
NOW, I am back to walking everyday and veggies are in heavy rotation. I am learning through several PD books on instructional coaching and implementing reading and writing workshops, through podcasts and twitter chats. I am spending time with my favorite teenagers and imparting lessons on the fly---they, too, HAVE to see every friend almost every other day, and not because they are leaving for college but because their parents bore them. I am planning our two week European vacation to visit our daughter who is studying abroad in Spain and will be a senior in college this year. I am readying myself for my next challenge.
Time hops, but I guess I have remained grounded in my own past predicaments and I'm okay with it.
Documenting my evolution by filling in space and matter one word at a time.