Saturday, August 18, 2012

Four Things for Back to School

Doesn't the beginning of the school year feel like a time to refresh, even if you're not going back to school?

If you live in the north, you're probably thinking that I'm jumping the gun a little. But if you live in the southern states, I bet you're feeling the "back to school" vibes too. Down here, school usually starts in late August and ends in late May. 

As someone who works in the field of education, "back to school" has a lot of relevance, even though I'm not readying my own classroom. As the teachers I work with go back to school, I'm also  thinking about how I can have that back-to-school feeling, where I can get a clean start and recharge.

There are four things I want to be intentional about during the "school year."

  • Exercise: This summer has been killer on my waistline -- I sprained my ankle (I have a tendency toward a summer injury each year), plus I was traveling a lot and eating junk. I'm not someone who obsesses about body image, but I do believe in feeling comfortable with oneself, and right now I'm not feeling like myself. I'm going to need to work back up to exercising regularly so as not to re-injure my ankle, but I need to get serious about slowly bringing myself back into my usual level of health.Goal: Work back up to exercising at least 4 -- preferably 5 -- times per week, without re-spraining my ankle which will set me back once again.
  • Gardening: It's not quite time to plant a fall garden, but I've carved out some time tomorrow to make a plan for my vegetable garden, and -- if the weather cooperates -- to repair the raised beds in my backyard. My garden (fingers crossed) will also, eventually, help me to ensure a healthy, plant-rich diet. Once the garden is started, my plan is to clean out the chicken coop, so that I can have some hens for eggs! Goal: by September 15th, plant my first round of veggies. By January, have 2 chickens.
  • Spanish lessons: Lately I've had to cut back on my time with Rosetta Stone, so I want to schedule myself at least 20 minutes a day for Spanish practice. Rosetta Stone has made a huge increase in my Spanish proficiency, but that proficiency slips away quickly without practice. I also want to observe teachers in some bilingual classrooms, so that I can get some practice. Kids are the best resources for practicing a foreign language -- they just laugh at you if you get things wrong, but they aren't being mean. Goal: By the end of the school year, hold a 5-minute conversation with a student in one of our bilingual classes in which we both know what's going on.
  • Writing: When all of my other hobbies slide, I try to make time for writing -- both blogging and my own fiction writing.  Writing is probably the number one support to my mental health.  However, even though I prioritize writing, that time has been pretty sparse lately, as I'm sure you've noticed.  I've transitioned to a new role in my organization, which will demand less writing. Less writing at work means I have more energy for writing at home. Goal: by the start of the school year 2013, I want to self-publish a book through the Amazon Kindle store. Now, you might wonder why I don't want to get a book published the traditional way. Wouldn't that be a bigger, better goal? However, I've come to realize that trying to sell a book would take a lot of my time, doing things I don't really enjoy. When I thought about what I want, in terms of audience, I want an easy way for my friends and family to be able to access my writing. Kindle seems like the way to go. Therefore, I feel like this is a smart, practical (yet big enough) goal for me.
To accomplish these things (which are also part of my Learn-Go-Do list), I'm going to need to get a lot more serious about organizing my time. I'll keep you updated on how that's going...


KatDale said...

I love your list! So inspiring and very similar to my own goals! I can't wait to read your book, so I will hold you accountable :)

Amber Mann said...

Your list is SO much like mine. Back to school is the perfect time to get to it. Good luck!

Catfish said...

Glad we're all getting inspired together!

Ren said...

Fantastic goals, Cat! So inspiring!

I've always wanted to try Rosetta Stone to keep with my Spanish. How are you finding it?

Hope you are keeping happy and well :)