I spent a month wandering the country side with purpose.  I visited my 2 daughters that live far away from our family.  Our adventures varied from hiking to museums to tie dye to finger painting.  Involved highs and lows, things that worked out and things that went different than we planned.  By labeling all activities as adventures no matter how they turned out we were together and doing activities with each other.  I learned to use my GPS on my phone to get places.  I learned to sit back and let someone else plan our adventure.  I learned to walk in the rain, if I waited for it to stop raining I wouldn’t have gone walking at all.  I learned to accept less than ideal conditions.  I accepted more completely that I can’t just eat food anywhere….I learned two years ago that I am highly allergic to soy.  Cross contamination is a very real issue.  I learned I could wait to eat until I knew the food was safe.  I also learned to take small risks by eating a little of something to see how my body responded.  I also enjoyed some amazing soy free chocolate chips that my son in law found on line, so good…thank you.  I also spent some quiet time evaluating my last school year.  What were the highs that I hope to repeat and what were the lows that I need to adjust my thinking to be able to make those experiences more acceptable to me.  I worked on accepting that I am not every ones cup of tea.  I can be intense, stubborn, and expect way too much from others and myself.  I am working on learning about why the changes are happening at our high school.  I read the book The Call Me, Mr. De.  Frank DeAngelis shares his experience as principal of the school with the mass shooting in Columbine high school.  Reading about what he learned from that experience helped me better understand the choices and direction of how our high school is changing policies.  I am thankful for a principal that is learning from others ways to improve our school before tragedy strikes.  Do I believe we can avoid every disaster? NO.  What I do believe is preparation and training will open up avenues to better address the needs of others before they reach crisis point.  So I spent the month with self reflection and deciding where I want to go from here.  What do I want my next school year to look like for me.  I also accept that each school year I am assigned to different teachers.  I won’t know who I work with until the end of the week with teachers meetings.  I love this month I enjoyed of adventures and reflection.  I am also happy to be home and thankful for a safe uneventful flight home.

I believe that reflection and evaluating progress is a vital part of thriving.  In my mind, thriving is learning and growing.  I did that this past month.  I don’t believe that thriving is everything is easy and kumbaya with no worries.  I believe thriving is learning from events, appreciating the ups and downs, and creating new paths of coping and engaging with people.  Thriving is awesome.

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