Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Slice of Life: Getting to instead of having to


Every Tuesday,  the inspirational writers of Two Writing Teachers host Slice of Life. All are welcome to participate by linking up posts or commenting on other participants. 


Yesterday, according to my daughter and her friends, was Senior Skip Day. (I hesitate to capitalize that term, as it seems to formalize and sanction it! I have to admit that I secretly approve of the tradition...) My daughter couldn't skip the whole day if she wanted to play in her tennis match, so, long story short, I ended up driving to Manhattan to pick her up on Sunday night. 

Many people heard that I was driving the two hours to New York and turning around to drive home, and they thought I was either nuts or a really good mom. I'm probably a little of both, but there was something else going on for me when I said yes to picking her up. 

 I wish I could give credit to the person who taught me the difference between saying "I have to" and saying "I get to." That one word substitution is a huge perspective changer.  I didn't have to pick up Julia; I got to pick up Julia. My ride in became an opportunity to have some really treasured conversations with friends, and the ride home was full of Julia's stories of the day with friends in New York, as well as important reflections on how it feels to be an almost-high school graduate. How many times do we get focused time with our 18 year-olds? 

This slight change in semantics is a major change in my approach to life. Try it. It's not that I have to write those curriculum maps--it's that I get to. I still needed to bribe myself with some chocolate at the end of lesson sequences, but I'm reminded that the work I do is important and matters and is a privilege that has been entrusted to me. I get to write those plans, I get to order those books... I might argue about getting to do the dishes or fold the laundry... In any case, it's a substitution that has been really important in my work at school and at home. The words are small, but the difference is huge.

Happy Slicing,



8 comments:

  1. This is so true. Words matter. What a powerful way to change your life by changing one word! Thank you for the reminder!!

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  2. Yes! Amy Vanderwater shared the same perspective tonight on the EdCollabGathering session she led. Such an important shift.

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  3. Yes! Amy Vanderwater shared the same perspective tonight on the EdCollabGathering session she led. Such an important shift.

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  4. Isn't it amazing how changing one little world results in such a huge change in perspective? I need to remember this as we head into the final weeks of school. Thank you!

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  5. This shift is evidence of your passion for all of your jobs, as a mother and a coach. When you look at the the things that need doing from a giving perspective, you end up the receiver as well.

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  6. When we were on the phone chatting on Sunday night as you were driving into Manhattan, you used that very phrase to describe something else. And it really stuck with me. This post is encouraging me to think even more about that little shift. Thank you.

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  7. When we were on the phone chatting on Sunday night as you were driving into Manhattan, you used that very phrase to describe something else. And it really stuck with me. This post is encouraging me to think even more about that little shift. Thank you.

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