Sunday, April 29, 2018

Dismissed Dreams

A few years ago, I read a post from one of my high school friends, Tish. "Never underestimate the power of a dismissed dream. I think there must be a place inside of us where dreams go and wait their turn." ~ Sue Monk Kidd

When she posted it, I reflected on that post for a week and let it wake up some dreams in me. I think so many times people, due to life circumstances, bury and forget about their dreams and passions. Unfortunately, sometimes they die incomplete. It is sad to think of all the wasted talent that people have that is never supported, encouraged, or pursued.

I've decided to pursue some of those dreams. I don't want to be part of the would've, could've, should've club.

What dreams do you need to dust off?

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Lunches and Goals

This week is Spring Break for me. This is the break I utilize to rest and this year is no different. My typical Spring break activities made the to do list: purge, clean the garage, meet up with others for lumch, workout. It is safe to say, the only thing I got done on the traditional list is meeting up with friends. I had 2 lunch dates this week. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with my friends. I didn't even think about getting a picture from the 1st lunch. I almost didn't get one from the second lunch. Tasha stopped in the parking lot to get our picture!

Both lunches were filled with great conversations and catching up. It was great to go to lunch AND  without watching the clock to rush back. Tasha and I actually shut down La Petite Marche! I can't wait for summer break to enjoy long lunches with great conversations!

Even though my normal to-do list was basically ignored. This break was a great time for me to recharge and reflect. One the first day of my break, I stopped and took a good look at my 45 goal wall. It had become wall decorations or background. I passed it daily but haven't focused on it at all in 2018. In fact, I actually completed a goal and didn't even realize it. At this point, I should be 75-80% done with it. I have about 20% of the goals completed. I hae about 30-35% in progress and the rest I have not even started. The good thing is many of them can be completed within 30-45 days once I start them. I am not going to be distraught if I don't hit my June deadline. As long as I am making progress, I am a happy camper!

I took this time to refocus on my goals. This post makes the 2nd one in 3 days to get me closer to blogging 45 times within a year. I would need to post at least every other day to make it. I think I may can pull it off if I don't overthink my postings.

Talking with Tasha and receiving her new book, has motivated me to write my book I talked about 7 years ago. It is not the book I was thinking about when I set a goal to write a book. I was talking to my line sister about it. Literally, in less than two minutes we had the format for it done! I just need to get it on paper! She has given me a deadline of April 30th. So I need to get to typing!

Some other things in the works are drinking water as the only beverage, no fast foods, and no sweets for 45 days. I am starting that tomorrow. I knew I needed to do it. At brunch today, one of the ladies gave a challenge of doing better with our eating and taking care of ourselves. There is no reason why not to start tomorrow! I decided to do the 10 day smoothie challenge to jump start my better eating part. I have been saying for awhile I was going to do it. I finally bit the bullet. I went out to get everything I need for the 1st 5 days of it. I speak no irritibility this week!

So as I prepare for my work week, I look forward to slaying goals over the next couple of months!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Living Your Dream

I asked someone. " How are you doing?" Her response, "Living the dream!" That's not something you hear often. So it had me thinking. Am I living my dream? Are others around me living their dreams?

Are you able to say you are living the dream? If the answer is a resounding, "Yes!" I am so happy for you. Are there any new dreams?

If you answered, "No", then why not? What is holding you back from making that statement? Take some time to examine your life to see what transformations (changes) you need to make to be living YOUR dream.

Here are some questions to get you started:

  • Do you enjoy your work life? This is where you spend most of your time when you are awake. You are getting ready for work, traveling to work, work, and traveling back home. If your work life is not good, it is probably impacting other parts of your life. 
  • What do you like about your current career? What don't you like about it? Create a list. Is it time for a career change or just a company change? Or are you happy where you are doing what you are doing?
  • What do you like about your current personal life? What don't you like? How can you change it? Are you willing to change it? It's your life. You only get one! Make it your best life! 
  • Do you need to spend more time with God to figure out who you are?
  • Do you know your gifts?
  • Do you need more training or education? It does not necessarily mean getting a degree. A class or certification maybe all that is needed.
  • What are you willing to do without getting paid?
  • What do you do that makes your heart smile?
Hopefully these questions will get your wheels turning so you too can say, "I am living the dream!"

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Girls' Getaway - 2017

One of my 45 goals was to take a girls' trip/getaway. Literally as I was putting that goal on my vision wall, some of my friends and I was messaging back and forth. Before my wall was done, we had our trip outline for Savannah in August. Just that quick, a goal was progressing before the official 45th birthday.

I have big ideas but the details.....yeah, I need someone else to handle it. Then just tell me what I need to do! I am so glad this group have 2 detail oriented people. Ms. Organize did an awesome job with squaring away our lodging from getting a suite to finding a home to rent for the same amount. This allowed us to have the comforts of home away from home.

Another person suggested we bring small gifts for each other.  Ms. Organized has these cute boxes waiting on us when we arrived. She took the day off to visit family and arrived to Savannah before the rest of us. We didn't open them until the next day though.

We spent the 1st night get hanging at the house and talking. It was just a perfect time to just be away and leave our lives back in Metro Atlanta and Macon.

The next day, it was time to get out and see Savannah! First stop, brunch! We down to The Riverfront to find some seafood. Of course we had to take pictures galore.


Several of us had one thing that she wanted to do. For me, it was going on the African-American Tour and Civil Rights Museum. I went on it before about 15 years ago and knew I enjoyed it. Thankfully, my friends indulged me and we had a great time. It started raining during the tour. I'm glad we decided to take the riding tour instead of the walking tour! 

The guy in the flyer was our actual guide

Sanctuary of the oldest African American church in America - First African Baptist Church
Civil Rights Museum in Savannah

Our Tour Guide 

Taking pictures and giving ourselves our own tour before the tour

Organ in 1st African Baptist Church 

Soldiers memorial 

Soldiers memorial 
Literally holes in the floor to signal safe passage via The Underground Railroad

One of our gifts from our gift exchange

After we finished our tour, we were definitely ready for some more seafood! Ms. Organized's sister recommended the place. It was a hole in the wall, but we know those are the places with the best food! We stopped by another spot to pick up some wings too. Once back at our place, we talked, laughed, and had a good time! I wish I had some of the pictures from that night! Ms. Organized's sister came over. She easily fell right in with the group with our conversations. We all agreed she is invited on our next Girls Vacation.

Overall, we had a great weekend. Getting away and reconnecting in real life is just what we needed. Accomplishing one of my goals on my 45 wall was an added bonus!  

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Crushing Goals in the First Month

Disclaimer: I started writing this post the last week of July. I have been busy with returning to school and completing goals, that I have not taken the time to sit down to finish. It's time for the next update. LOL! 

As many of you know, I am in the midst of completing 45 goals by June, 2018. During the first month, I have been able to complete 3 goals, planned 2 goals, and have 5 other goals in progress. 

The Infamous Vision Wall

The first goal completed was establishing an educational mentor. I had a couple people in mind who could possibly fulfill this role. The first person I spoke to about being my mentor is my college friend, Tasha. We have been keeping tabs on each other since our college days. Our lives have many similarities including both of us becoming teachers as a second career. 

Our boys are in a leadership program together. They had an event and I went to pick up my son one evening from Tasha's home. I told her about my vision wall and the goals. I asked her to become my educational mentor. She was hesitant at first. However, I was able to convince her to do it. She has been an unofficial mentor anyway. She agreed and told me she was going to push me. 

2 of the 3 goals completed in the 1st 30 days

It wasn't quite June 20th. So I hadn't posted my wall yet, even though it was done. I already had one of my goals completed! YAY!!!! As you can see the card was changed to a white card. As I complete the goals, the card is changed to white with the date of completion.

As you can see, I also received my passport. It came in the mail while I was home on vacation. It was officially the 2nd goal I completed. Now, it is time to book some out of the country trips.

Goal 3 done! 
This summer has been hectic. I worked almost every day in June. Who said teachers have the summer off? With that pace, I knew the only way to take a break was to leave town. I went home for almost 3 weeks. I have not been home that long since being in college. It made it very easy to crush my goal of visiting 2 childhood friends. I actually saw 6 people and NOT the 2 I just knew I would see. I was so busy enjoying home, that I did not take pictures with all 6 people, but I did get two with my protectors.

In addition to completing 3 goals, I have made some progress on a few more. 

Planned: Girls' Getaway in August and New York Broadway show in January
In Progress: Gratitude Posts, Writing a Book, Purge part of the garage, Blog 45 times, Google Classroom Certified
I can't wait to report next month's growth! I know at least 2 more will be completed and more progress on a few others! Let's go! Let's go!!!!!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Vision Goal - African American Museums

One of the goals on the Vision Wall is to visit at least 5 African American museums in the 45th year of life. Immediately, I thought of three I could visit with some ease. There's the fairly new Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum in Atlanta. I've been wanting to visit it since it opened. There's the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. I've told myself that I would stop on one of my rides home, but never did it. It's a must! Then there's the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. I plan to make it a weekend when I visit Man-Child at school.

As I was discussing my wall with one of my friends, she mentioned the center in Macon. That is not too far from me and we have another friend who lives there. It is the Tubman Museum. If I remember correctly, my friend in Macon mentioned it as well. So that means it's time for a trip to Macon. I probably will head there in September. 

There are a few places I would love to revisit for a renewed appreciation. There is the Apex Museum and the Hammonds House both in Atlanta. I don't think I have visited either place since I graduated from college. I need to change it. In fact, I need to spend the day just exploring that area of town all over again. I was in the area on Saturday and made the comment to my line sister. We needed to be tourists right there in all that history. I could visit more than 5 historical sites just in a 5 mile radius of our meeting place. 

As I was creating this blog, I googled and found a great list of museums if you are interested. You may have a gem in your own backyard to explore. Or you may even find a reason to visit a nearby city.  

Just for my Dancing Diva, I have a timeframe for this goal. I plan to complete this one in the 3rd quarter. So, check on me by September 30th! 

Ordered Steps

Many of my non-virtual friends know I started a new position right after the Thanksgiving break 2015. I kept meaning to write about it over the holidays. It is a great example of the manifestation of having goals and a vision board.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 states Then the Lord answered me and said, "Write the vision. And engrave it plainly on [clay] tablets so that the owner who reads it will run. For the vision is yet for the appointed [future] time. It hurries toward the goal [of fulfillment]; it will not fail. Even though it delays, wait [patiently] for it, because it will certainly come; it will not delay. (Amplified Version)

In late October, I received a text from a former coworker, "Hey! Are you still interested in being a math coach?" I hadn't heard from this friend in a few months. He had taken a promotion in another county. I replied, "Yep, or a graduation coach position." He quickly replied, "I'm at an assistant principal's meeting. Another school is looking for a math coach. Send her your resume'. I can guarantee you an interview. You will have to win the job!" ORDERED STEP

I immediately called him to get the details. Apparently, he was talking with one of his frat brothers. Since they are Omega men and I am a Delta, he was asking the other AP did he know me. In the description of me, he stated I was a math teacher and coach (basketball) at his old high school. The words "math" and "coach" peaked the ears of a woman sitting at the next table. She was another AP at a different high school. She was looking for a math coach. She was looking for a strong math teacher or a math coach. They had a conversation that prompted his initial text to me.

I sent her my resume'. As soon as she read it, she sent me an email for three different possible interviewing days. Since I had an appointment on one of those days, I took the day off to handle both. I shared the information with my assistant principal. She wished me the best and wrote a glowing reference. ORDERED STEP

I went to the interview with the mindset of this will be a great chance to take notes on the type of questions to expect in future interviews. This was the 1st time I have interviewed for an educator's position. My volunteer work and my work as a new educator opened the doors for the previous positions. (That's a nugget of someone). I knew they were looking for a math coach. I haven't had that experience by title. I've mentored newer teachers before, but never with the title. However, I knew I was definitely in preparation for the next level.

I didn't tell many people about the interview. As mentioned, my immediate supervisor knew (but not my principal), my basketball coaches, my mother, and a few people in my inner circle. Maybe 7 or 8 people in total. That morning I received a text message from an unsaved number, " Good luck on your interview today." Since the number was not saved, I did not know who sent the message. I didn't want to say, "Who is this?" Therefore, I responded, "Thank you! I will let you know how it goes."

The normal process is to interview followed by the waiting process. I interviewed with the assistant principal and another leader in the building. The questions felt like they were tailored made for me. Many of the questions they asked were of situations I had dealt with at my current school. I was able to offer them tangible solutions to some of their current problems.  We were literally nodding as the other was talking. As the conversation progressed, I felt very comfortable with the interview. She mentioned they were working with a school improvement specialist from the state. She was especially working with them in the area of math. She stated the specialist name. I almost fell out of my seat. The specialist was my former math coordinator who had left about 6 months before and currently was THEIR school specialist! Many of my answers to the questions were based on my experience working with her. My solutions to their questions were the same solutions she had mentioned to them. ORDERED STEP

At the end of the interview, she told me they would make a decision soon. Then she looked at the other lady and asked me to wait outside. At that moment, I knew they were going to offer me the job. ORDERED STEP

I waited for about five minutes. During that time, I met another assistant principal. We made small talk as I waited. When she came out, he said, "I recommend her for the job." She looked at him and started laughing. She stated, "I guess he stole my thunder. I would like to offer you the position of math academic coach."

As soon as I left, I called my assistant principal who is my immediate supervisor. She was just as excited as I was. She questioned, "So what are you going to do? You know you can't NOT take the job. This is the next step for you in your educator's walk." I knew she was right. I knew it was a job I could do with some training/guidance. But I was conflicted because I would have to leave my babies and my team in the middle of the year. I was the department chair and over several other clubs and teams. She knew what I was thinking. She quickly said, "We will be fine! If you died today, they will look for your replacement tomorrow. So are you going to tell the principal or do you want me to tell him?"

Remember the person who texted me from the unsaved number? I texted the person the interview went well and I was offered the job. The person responded, "I know. I am sitting with your new principal. I will call you this evening." The person called me and we talked for about 5 minutes. All the while, I did not have a clue who was on the other end of the phone. Then it clicked! It was my old math coordinator. The same person working with the new school with improving math instruction! They told her they were interviewing 2 people. She knew both of us and told them they wouldn't go wrong with choosing either of us. As far as I know, the other person was never interviewed. ORDERED STEP

With educators, it can be tricky to get out of your contract in the middle of the year. A principal can make it hard, especially if you are involved in many extra duties. The next day at work, I spoke with my principal. He was upset that I had an interview without telling him. He wanted to know how they could offer me a job without even speaking with him. Initially, he said I couldn't take the position because I was under contract. I reminded him that if I received a new job that was a promotion in position or pay, I could get out of the contract. This was both! He then told me that I couldn't get out of my contract without him having a replacement for me. He was not having a valuable math teacher leave without someone in place. I told him that he had about three weeks to find a replacement and I would help in the search.

He asked about my student teacher from the year before. I told him the principal from a nearby school asked me for a reference. He immediately called her and offered her my job. She agreed to take it because she was familiar with my style of teaching and my students' routines. I turned my official letter of resignation and he accepted it. A week later, she decided she did not want my old job. Since my resignation was accepted, he could not hold me back. ORDERED STEP

I tell people all the time, my steps have been ordered on this current road. I don't know where the road is going. I just know I will continue to listen and take the next ordered step!


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