Two years. It has been two years since I have written and posted a blog. There are so many things I could say to address this void. I could write about all the things I have done with my time. I could rationalize my reason for NOT writing. I could tell you how busy I’ve been as a mom, a teacher, a coach…I could tell you that I have a new 4-month old baby boy; so naturally, life has been a whirlwind. BUT…I won’t. Instead, I just need to write.
I have come to understand the role writing has in my life. I have stopped insisting there needs to be an adequate purpose or topic to write about. I have arrived at a more peaceful place, where I realize that I write because it’s a passion of mine. It is not an obligation I have, to those who might read my writing. But most importantly, I have found my writing freedom. Writing for me is a release, and my preferred method of expression.
Somewhere along the way, when this blog really started to pick up some traffic, and I had friends and colleagues telling me I should really give writing a go…I lost my voice. I thought my writing needed to be perfect. I thought I needed a perfect topic, one that would resonate with my audience. I thought I needed a perfect title, one that would catch an audience. I thought I needed the perfect lead, one that would hook my audience. With these “needs”, writing became a chore, a stress, and an anxiety for me. All of a sudden, I felt like my writing had to be something an aspiring published writer would produce in their novice years. I have known for some time that I really just need to write. It was high-time I get back in the saddle, but I just couldn’t get my leg up in the stirrup.
Writing is cathartic. When I’m not so busy analyzing what I should write, could write, or ought to write…it’s liberating. When I’m not generating a dozen questions about what will go into my writing, and what will not… it’s liberating. When I’m not wondering what my readers will think, how they might comment, or if my post will reach new heights…it’s liberating.
So today, I finally took the leap. I just need to write. It’s that simple. I love the feeling of my fingers hammering away at the keys. I love how my brain is always ahead of my fingers, and I need to go back to add in the letters and words I omit. I love the rush and excitement I feel, just knowing that I’m writing and getting my thoughts out in front of my eyes. The exhilaration that comes over me, as I see the letters race out from behind the cursor. I’m writing. And it feels good. I write, because I need to write.
As I look back at a few of my blog posts, even those that are my favourites (Heart and Soul, Today marks my fork in the…”Road Not Taken”, and What will I write about today?); I see ways they could have been better. Better ways to express those thoughts come to mind now, and I smile. Growth. I’m okay with these changes I see. I see the growth in my thinking, and I’m inspired and motivated to write again. I’m excited. The relief comes over me, as the words leave my head, freeing up the space for new ideas. New writing.
There. I’ve done it. My foot hooked into the stirrup, and I’ve pulled myself up into the saddle. Now it’s time to ride.
I’m a writer again…and I don’t really care if you like it or not…because I’m writing for me. I need to write.
Aren’t we all drawn in and easily enamoured by all things…cute and adorable? Whenever I look into the eyes of a wee baby I can’t help but smile. But, it’s no ordinary smile. It’s that kind of smile that spontaneously explodes onto my face and cements there. Then there’s the emotion. I leap into joy; heart racing, blood pumping, “lost” in this world where my number one goal is to make the baby smile, or just respond to my crazy efforts. I think we can all connect to this experience, and this is what I call sheer JOY!
Then, there is that joy that comes when you bring home a new puppy! In their first days, so cute, warm, sleepy, and loveable. Bringing me to the true inspiration for this post. Last week, we brought home a new puppy. “Rocky” is our 11-week old Schmorkie. You heard it right…a Schmorkie. A Schmorkie is a hybrid breed crossing a Miniature Schnauzer, Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese. As you can see, he is truly adorable. My nine-year old daughter has been begging us to have a dog for 7 years (she reports). She has gripped on to the hope and dream of having a dog, much like a talented young Canadian boy hopes and dreams to make it to the National Hockey League. Dogs bring joy into peoples lives. Any dog-lover would confirm this. Dogs are loyal and evolve into these companions that we, the dog lover get swooned and drawn into. Dogs become your companion, playmate, friend, and part of your support network. I can see that Rocky is well on his way to doing all these things for us. He brings joy and excitement into our home everyday. We are all thrilled to have him…and once trained…we will love him unconditionally (lol).
Joy is by far my favourite human emotion. Joy gives me such a positive,overwhelming feeling. Not the kind of overwhelming feeling that come with stress. Joy takes over my body, mind and spirit leaving everything else on the OUTSIDE, where I can’t see it all for a while. Perhaps Joy can be better explained through an example. Family time at the beach is truly my favourite thing to do…experience…I can’t find the words to say how wonderful it is. I don’t love the beach because I love to sunbathe, or swim in one of our splendid Great Lakes. It’s because, being at the beach with my hubby and our kids feels like a romantic and exhilarating retreat all-in-one!
The moment we arrive at the beach my body begins to change. As the kids burst with excitement, I can’t help but smile and join-in showing the same childlike thrill. We run along the shore, have races on the sandbar, and tow the kids through the deeper filling their gullies with water. Getting started it perhaps the best part. I race to the trunk of the car, frantically rummaging through all of our gear trying to find a way to take it all in one trip. All four of us load-up and we scurry down to the sand and water. Everyone is talking, giggling and planning what we’re going to build, dig-up, swim out to, and play. Everyone is a kid again.
This sensation is called…living in the moment. Another on of my favourite states to be in. Within five minutes of being at the beach, my mind and body surrender to these future moments right here…in the moment…at the beach. Gone, are all thoughts about work, house renovations, errands to be done, registrations to complete, bills to pay, things that just aren’t right, people I’m upset with and what to do about it, or all the things the kids need for this and that. All those thoughts rinse away with the waves that roll-up on the Great Lakes shore, and then pulled back out into the open water. Now, I’m actually living in the moment. When the kids begin digging to start their sandcastle I can really see them, when they laugh I can really hear them, when I jump in to pack the sand down I’m really there…playing with them. I become overwhelmed with a feeling of joy. I can’t stop smiling, and everything just feels…right.
Summer fun is wonderful! I used to get irritated by fellow teachers who seemed to clearly be in the profession because of the summers off. But as a mom and hard working teacher, I too have come to love my summers off. This is when I come alive and live in the moment. We don’t have to wait for moments of joy. The beach doesn’t come to us. We should all go out to find the joy we want. We prepare what we need, pack-up, and drive to the beach. We’re creating these moments of joy.
Mixed emotions fill my heart today. I’m staying up, prolonging what tomorrow will bring. As a teacher, I have spent most of my career in such a fabulous place. Thamesford Public School, has been wonderful to me. It will be tough to leave close friends and a caring community for the great unknown.
I do look forward to something fresh, since that’s what life is all about. Change is good, and it’s time I had some. So, I look forward to shorter drives, longer family time, and fresh faces at my new school.
Teachers become attached to their schools. We gain friends and familiarity, which makes work feel like family time. We watch our students learn and grow as they move through their education journey. Tonight I attended grad and was so inspired by the passion and drive those graduates displayed.
Cheers! To new beginnings!
I’ll leave you with the goodbye poem I plan to say tomorrow during the final assembly. I hope I don’t cry when I’m up there since they call me concrete around there. Oh well, even concrete cracks…so let’s just wait-and-see what happens.
P.S. If you’re a teacher….or just curious, stop by my classroom website and check-out our stop motion animation art work. It was great fun! Click on “Ms. Solway’s,” below in the poem title.