When I first agreed to participate in Write 6×6 I thought this would be a piece of cake….I could easily write one blog a week. I could write about Canvas, campus resources, assessment; the list went on and on. Then I learned the posts were to be personal and demonstrate self-reflection, and that is when I realized I was in trouble. I didn’t have time to put ‘deep thought’ into what inspired me; I am a busy person with a lot of things to do!
I read the suggested topics (note to self-“read the details prior to agreeing to participate”). and I thought I had an idea… then it was gone. So I reread the suggested topics, and this time, absolutely nothing came to me.
I went home and got irritated at myself because I had not started my post yet, and I promised myself I would get serious and get focused first thing the next morning. Ten hours later I was sitting at my desk with my hands on my keyboard, but no keys were being punched.
Desperate for inspiration I took the time to peruse the posts of my fellow colleagues. I laughed and remarked how clever many of them were; I nodded my head in silent agreement with several shared thoughts, and I had a couple of ‘ah-huh’ moments. Yet I still had nothing. My ‘inside-my-head’ comments were a string of curse words, and I was getting desperate…my panic meter was approaching the red zone!
But then, I reminded myself of some advice that I recently started giving to my students: relax, be patient, don’t view this assignment as a task, but as an opportunity.
This approach/advice is new to me and has been difficult to incorporate into my own life; I love my to-do lists, and I love checking off those tasks! However since my mom moved to Arizona, the importance of my check lists has changed.
My mom has had multiple sclerosis for more than 30 years. While she is determined to live independently, she is physically limited and relies on me for help. For example once a month a Walmart trip is needed; my tasks are to drive, to lift heavy items into the cart, to retrieve items that are out of her reach, to load the car and to transport everything from the car back to her kitchen. This excursion typically takes three hours.
Now I could easily take her shopping list and zip through the busy Walmart aisles and probably have everything purchased and unloaded at her house in less than 45 minutes. However I would have missed an opportunity. From these monthly trips to Walmart, I have learned that while the task of shopping is a necessity, I can choose to turn that necessity into an opportunity, an opportunity to spend more time with my mom. So while writing five more 6×6 blogs will remain on my to-do list, I am going to embrace the opportunity to read the other posts and to enjoy writing my own.