Monday, March 31, 2014

Today I Love Many Things...Slice of Life 2014 - Day 31

     Today I many things.  My family, my wonderful friends, my kiddos at school, my life.  I really do love my life.  There are so many people in this world who are so unhappy...I know because I used to be one of them...but I am learning more and more each day how incredibly blessed I am.  I have trouble from time to time just like the rest of the world, and there are more days than I would like to admit when I am most definitely NOT fit for human consumption.  But I have discovered that no matter how terrible the day...there is always something or someone looking to be loved and appreciated.

     Today I am especially loving this past month's writing challenge sponsored by the good folks at Two Writing Teachers.  This is day 31 of 31 and I am proud to be able to say that I have completed this challenge for the 2nd year in a row.  I am extra proud of the many students of mine who jumped in with me this year in the Classroom Slice of Life Challenge.  We talked today about their thoughts after writing for 31 days straight.  These are a few of the comments they shared, loosely paraphrased:

"I surprised myself...I didn't think I could do it.  It sounded so hard at first."

"I looked back at what I wrote at the beginning of the month and then at what I wrote at the end of the month and there was just so much..."
{Here this precious girl just didn't know how to finish her sentence, so I stepped in.}
"So much more?"

"Yes," she said.  "More writing and more"

Another girl said, "I wrote more freely as the month went on...I didn't hold anything back once I got started."

Ahh, what a gift this challenge has been to us all.  Thanks again to my friend Cathy, for introducing me to this challenge. Her post for today is especially well written and expresses many of the same emotions I have been feeling as this challenge draws to a close.  For me, I challenged myself to write more poetry this year.  I didn't keep track very well, but I think I wrote at least 10 poems this month, some a bit accidentally.  I actually laughed out loud as I looked at comments on this post about my front door.  I had had a very hard time thinking of anything to write that day and that poem is what finally wheedled its way out of my brain.  I told The Man that was about the cruddiest thing I had written in a long time!  But it touched a soft spot in many hearts and people told me so!  Amazing that what we sometimes think is fluff, nothing, worthless...can just absolutely make someone else's day. 

We had a new student today, so we had the added opportunity to explain not only this Challenge, but this whole Today I Love thing to her.  (My students keep a T.I.L. list in their Writer's Notebooks.)  When asked to explain the T.I.L. process, one girl said pretty much what I said above...look for one thing to love or appreciate each day.  Another young man said, "It's a good habit to form."

Be still, my teacher heart.

That photo up at the top is of the flowers that I so enjoy stopping and smelling as I enter our little hometown library each spring.  I first posted that photo on Facebook on May 5, 2012.  I have been trying my very hardest to find something to love almost every single day since.  

Friends, I wish I would have started sooner, and whether I write a poem or an essay about it, or I just jot it in my notebook, or I simply sigh and breathe it in...I hope I never quit, because that young man is right.  "It's a good habit to form."