My New Normal

Photo by Brett Jordan on

I had every intention of writing a #SOL to share on The Two Writing Teachers Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge last week.

It didn’t happen, but I continue to write.

I had every intention of finishing report cards by the first due date last Wednesday.

I didn’t get there, but I continued working on them so I could finish by the final due date: yesterday. I refined comments. Checked and rechecked student work. Visualized that student in my mind’s eye – harder this year because of those black squares adorning my screen. And because this whole process feels like just another box we need to check off twice a year. And, does anyone even read the comments or care? And, mostly because traditional report cards are limiting and diminishing to everyone.

I promised myself that I would engage in some kind of physical activity every day: walking, peloton(ing), yoga. Anything.

It hasn’t happened. Because of the weather. Because of report cards. Because I’m too tired. Because…I’ve run out of excuses. Again. But this time feels different because I’m different. Because my body has the memory of what it felt like when I had been walking steadily. No excuses. It won’t be long.

I miss getting lost in a book. Every day I try to read more than a page or two, but the mindlessness that I crave so I don’t have to think about anything and that Netflix offers beckons and I put the book down. And, instead of getting lost in the pages of a good novel, I get lost in the episodes of mini series and limited series and original series that take me down rabbit holes of nothingness. Meanwhile, the books languish beside me. A reminder of what I still need to do.

I have committed to a daily morning meditation practice.

I am starting slowly because I’ve done this before and then given it up too quickly. I started at 5 minutes. I am now at 7 minutes. Slowly building up to longer sessions of contemplative stillness. It is at these times that I realize how busy my mind is. How hard it is for me to slow down and how much I need to.

I have committed to a daily morning writing habit.

And I do it. I journal. I plan. I reflect. I write stories. I get out of my comfort zone. I write.

So, some successes and some failures.

Pick myself up after a fall.

Since my cancer diagnosis and treatment, my life is different. I am different. I am not perfect and I never will be, but I am making changes and I am more at peace with myself than I’ve ever been.

Acknowledging small successes, small wins.

That is my new normal.

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