Tag: motivation

Snow Day Satisfaction

In the life of this teacher, there are few mornings that compare to the moment the trill of my ringtone blasts through the silence of my five AM house to alert me to the impending, yet unexpected, snow day. When I was a child those days were blessings from above, a chance to spend extended time in my jammies and play with neighborhood friends in the snow. Later, they continued to bless my life, giving me an extra day to study for that test I just “knew” I was going to fail, or brush up on my Super Mario Brothers skills.

Today, these unexpected blessings continue to be the bright spots in an otherwise dreary, grey, Ohio winter. This morning, when the call came in, I was four chapters into the revision of my newest manuscript. Instead of having to call it quits for the day, I was given the opportunity to continue my work, stay in my jammies, drink another cup of coffee that didn’t need to be transported in a travel mug, and make cinnamon rolls for my daughter.

Now, as it approaches the time I’d be returning from school, I have nothing but gratitude for these days and this career that provides them. Teaching is hard – emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausting. These days help me not only accomplish more toward my career as an author, but to downshift from the daily rigor. To remember who I am and why I do what I do. And, no, I’m not talking about the summers “off” and snow days. I’m talking about inspiring my students to be the best humans they can possibly be. To strive for more than the status quo, and to know deep in their souls, that anything is possible.

I hope if you were able to enjoy a snow day today, that you took a moment to recharge, revitalize, and reinvigorate what lights your soul on fire. For me, it was writing, meditation, yoga, a music-filled afternoon shower, and time spent with Jillian. Up next is creating a vision board. If you’re rolling your eyes right now, just remember, we have unlimited potential, my friends. Create. Inspire. Delight in what sets your soul ablaze. You have no one to answer to but yourself. And don’t forget to take a moment to bask in the magic that is a snow day (even though this is Ohio, and it’s already raining…again…).

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson


A Gentle Reminder

Teachers work hard.

No matter how you feel about the profession or those in it, one thing is for certain. Good teachers put in many hours and go above and beyond to make the lives of their students more memorable. None of us went into the profession hoping to satisfy our state department of education (although it has become a necessary evil). We chose this profession for one reason, and one reason only… to enrich the lives of students.

The one downfall to this, however, is that we rarely get to see the impact we’ve had on their lives. Students get older, move on to the next grade, until eventually, we are but a speck in their memory. Hopefully, a speck they remember fondly, but still… you get the point.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of experiencing one of those rare moments of gratification. I was mentioned in the acknowledgments of a student’s novel.

“The last person I would like to thank is Mrs. Anthony. She brought NaNoWriMo to [our] school.”

-Joshua, 4th Grade Student at London Elementary School

It’s nothing more than a blurb, but I can’t tell you how warm and fuzzy that kind of thing makes me feel. That one line makes all the extra effort worthwhile. And since today I’ll be opening up sign ups at our school for Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), it seems my young friend had perfect timing.

Thanks, Joshua, for proving that what we do makes a difference. You rock, my friend! And remember…

A_Mary

Spring Renewal

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Starting over – it’s not easy, but the season of Spring exudes it. Flowers poke their heads above the warming earth and trees begin to bud and leaf. What better season, then, to make a metamorphosis of my own?

I will graduate from Spalding University’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing program on June 4th. It’s been a long journey that has spanned four countries and two continents. It has been the impetus for new friendships with wonderful, imaginative people, and an excuse to travel to places I’d never under normal circumstances get to go. And although it proved arduous at times, and will likely bankrupt me as I spend the rest of my days paying back all those student loans, it is a decision I’d make all over again.

A year ago, in the midst of writing my extended critical essay, I was ready to be done. I was tired of the grind that five packets a semester entailed. Tired of critiquing books by other authors when all I wanted to do was write my own. But now that the time has arrived, now that I’ve spent the last several months immersed in my own fiction, spit shining my creative thesis, I’m having a hard time letting go.

I can’t help but ask the question, “What happens now?”

Thanks to the poignant words of my mentor in our final conference, I think I can begin to answer that question.

This is not the end. This is just the beginning.

This is the time to plan, the time to give voice and merit to the goals I’ve set for myself. It’s time to stop calling this vision I have a dream, and begin calling it what it is…a professional goal. One that I’ve spent the last four years dedicated to achieving, and one that has become even more attainable by earning this degree.

This is my spring renewal… my metamorphosis from dreamer to achiever. My chance to put what I’ve learned into action, not for the purposes of the next packet, but for myself. Each word, sentence, and scene that I write will bring me one step closer to the goals I’ve set for myself. This spring, it’s time to bloom.

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Blog-o-Rama Day… uh… 16: Mailbox

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Well, for those of you who’ve been keeping tabs (although bittersweet, I don’t think there are that many of you) I’ve missed a few days. I could go on about why I’ve been neglecting my blogging duties, but the mundane drivel of my everyday existence may bore you to tears. Regardless, today’s prompt was, “mailbox”.

As if the universe knew I needed some inspiration for this post in order to set me back on track, I opened my mailbox to find two very exciting packages. The packages were identical with the exception of their addressees. One was addressed to Doug, and the other to Jillian. Inside were my beloved family members’ brand new passports. Eek!

Okay, that may not seem very exciting, but I am very much looking forward to our travel plans this summer. I will be traveling to Ireland for the Spalding University Low-Residency MFA program and Doug and Jillian will be joining me after my classes are finished. Neither of them have ever been overseas, and I can’t wait to show them one of my favorite places in the world… The Emerald Isle. Talking Doug into this trip wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, and he’s still not crazy about staying as long as we are, but I am confident that once he is there he will be very happy he decided to go.

So, in the mailbox today was the first stepping stone along the path that will lead (push) my “happy to go to Gatlinburg every summer” hubby across the pond (no disrespect toward Gatlinburg intended, I do love the Smokies). Now I just have to hope he falls in love with the country as easily as I have.

I mean, come on, who couldn’t love this:

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Slàinte, my friends!

Blog-o-Rama Day 10: Stars

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From the time I can remember I wanted to be an actress. I yearned to walk the red carpet, to have strangers ask for my autograph, and most of all to have the opportunity to pretend to be someone else. So, for today’s prompt, stars, I decided to blog about this long dreamed aspiration of mine.

I had my shot at the acting life. It may have been brief, but I took it and in hindsight gave up too quickly. However, I’ve come to realize in life that everything happens for a reason. The good and the bad both have a place in this journey we call life. My journey was meant to include tiny stints in Los Angeles, studying theatre at USC and later as an extra in American Pie. Both of those experiences help create the woman I am today.

Now, I have realized that acting is not the only profession that will provide me the outcome of living other people’s lives. As I was writing my novel I realized that creating these characters on the page is as satisfying (if not more so) as acting. In fact, as an author I have full authority over what happens to my characters. I’m not bound by someone else’s script or dialogue.

Wow! What a revelation!

The lesson to take away from this is that even if the life you thought you had planned for yourself doesn’t work out, another path is waiting for you. And that path may be more incredible than you ever thought possible. Stars will align. Maybe not in the formation you originally intended, but they will align just the same.

Happy writing, my friends!