Greetings!  It has been a long and interesting journey!  As part of the #Compelledtribe, we take on writing initiatives each month. Although I have been remiss in my writing, I am always grateful for the many wonderful things around me.  At this glorious time of year, it is a perfect time to reflect and practice….#Gratitude!

It would be simple to list what I am grateful for but more challenging to state why. In the interest of true reflection and growth, I feel the “why” matters.  Here are some things I am grateful for and why they mean so much to me.  I have found that sometimes we must deal with challenging circumstances to truly feel gratitude toward life’s blessings.

  • I am grateful for my two children.  They make me smile and laugh.  They also challenge me EVERY day.  If you are a parent, you know these challenges.  But when I think if Gavin and Katie, I know them for their compassion, kindness, dedication, creativity, and joy!  The reason this matters so much to me is that as an educator, I recognize that all children (including my own) have good days and bad days, have struggles and challenges.  It is difficult (as a parent OR educator) to assist children in navigating these times.  I hope each day that my skills strengthen to help my children and the children of our district.
  • I am grateful for Vernon!  I have landed in a truly amazing place.  My new district is vibrant and engaging.  I see the talents of educators (administrators, teachers, aides, etc.) all around me.  I am inspired by the work of many including dedicated Board of Education members and parents and volunteers who support our schools each day and find new ways to make our district even better. It is so important to enjoy the work we do.  All careers have challenges.  If it was easy, it wouldn’t be called “work” but being able to go to work each day and feel value toward the goals of the district is tremendously gratifying.
  • I am grateful for resilience.  It is my hope that the community of Vernon will continue to be resilient and hopeful.  The district has been through significant changes in a short amount of time. Through it all, teachers have remained dedicated and that is inspirational.  My own experiences have led me to understand how important resiliency is and how it is absolutely necessary for growth and healing.  The challenges of the past are simply that…the past.  I do believe time heals all wounds.
  • I am grateful for my network. This includes the folks that have known me since I  was a little girl, to my new co-workers to those I only know via Twitter.  I always say, “We are stronger together.” It takes a strong leader to put his or her feelings/opinions aside and listen openly to others, especially those with differing ideas. I hope that through my network, I’ll continue to grow so that I may help others.

  •  I am grateful for nature and fresh air. Living in this remarkable part of New Jersey has given me a true appreciation for what I have.  Hiking with my children is joyful!  We cannot wait to ski and explore more of what this beautiful region has to offer.  There is something about the appreciation of my surroundings that reinforces how blessed I am to have landed in a truly remarkable place.

  • I am grateful for new beginnings.  I simply cannot wait for 2019.  I think it will be a good year to be a good year!