"A Fresh Start" - #Blog365 Day 1

I like phrases and I love engaging in conversation. So, it seems only natural to theme my #Blog365 around the power, and meaning, of words. Over the course of the next year, I’ll attempt to build my reflection around phrases I hear, snippets of conversation, interesting word choices, etc. that lead me to reflect on my personal and professional life. I love words, and the power that they have, so I’m looking forward to using that power to help me become a better writer and reflector of learning over these next twelve months.

“A Fresh Start” is a great phrase to lead in with. Today marks the first day of school (in some of our districts for students, while in others, for adults), and with it, comes traditionally the anxiety and relief of starting anew. It’s fascinating to consider the implications of “newness.” How “A Fresh Start” could lead to the coveted feeling of freedom while at the same time holding hands with its oppressive counterpart of anxiety.

For me, it often seems like the most wonderful opportunities have that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde quality. For instance, an opportunity to work with a well-known math educator has tremendously positive implications for my region, but also brings with it the anxiety of what will happen to the relationship if we can’t bring in enough educators to cover cost. While this isn’t an uncommon scenario in the world of professional development design, it is intriguing to me that this dose of “positive negativity” can be a medicine that some of us relish in our work.

The other day I was thinking about stress, and the types of stress that I work best under. I noticed, upon reflection, that the stress of the “positive negativity” variety happens to be a source of kindling of me, and keeps me fueled. On the other hand, stress brought on by other factors (i.e. time constraints, unpredictables, etc.) tend to frame me in a more negative light. This makes me wonder about how I work best, and what I need to provide to myself in order to keep me continuously improving.

It seems as I embark upon this daily writing initiative, for a while, at least, “A Fresh Start” and the “positive negativity” it brings will keep me moving forward. But what then? What do I need to sustain my writing and reflecting? Will it be enough to consider the phrase itself, or look at a picture (in this case of my oldest starting first grade) of it in action? Our minds, bodies, and souls are most interesting because often, we don’t know all the ingredients that will currently create our best recipe. And yet, it just might be that the invitation of “A Fresh Start” is really the only ingredient needed to make prolonged change for the better actually occur.