Bird Droppings December 26-27, 2010
Finding a pathway even when one does not appear
The past few days have all run sort of together each an interesting day in its own right be it sitting and watching movies with the family after sharing gifts, eating all day long and then getting ready to head to south Georgia to visit my wife’s family. But still while off from school for the next two weeks I will try and get some writing done, I will mow grass not because it is time to bag and use as mulch for my herb gardens and to even up the yard a bit. We had a good rain several days back and then snow and cold which is still howling outside my writing window even as I sip my hot tea they were joking when the weathermen said a cold front was following the snow of yesterday.
Weather permitting as I walk about looking for branches and rocks before I mow I might find the path where deer evidently come across our back yard tracks etched in the frozen snow. A little over five years ago it was several neighborhood children who would walk across the back of our yard to there houses behind ours in our old house. Something I like far better being in the country side between Atlanta and Athens. I guess cutting through the woods behind our house saved them many foot steps I am sure over the entrance to the cul-de-sac which was several hundred yards further down the road. Now it is wildlife that short cut through our yard. We see daily many deer, owls, numerous kinds of birds, squirrels, an occasional wild turkey and red tailed hawks sharing this corner of the county.
As I went our earlier I was thinking about that deer pathway and how each of us has our own pathway in life often skirting around the back of others and or just beyond view. Maybe that pathway is a short cut maybe it is the easiest route in a difficult situation and often it is simply the most practical.
“By identifying your true motivations and desires, it becomes easier to find direction in life. Now we know where your goals come from. What’s the root beneath your dreams? There is no right or wrong answers, just ideas at the core of you. We could probably analyze what in your past makes you want to become the things you put on your list. We could analyze how close you are to being all of the things you’ve listed. It’s not important. What matters is that now you know what it is you’re aspiring to become.” Skye Thomas, Tomorrow’s Edge, Finding Direction
Could it be so simple making a list of goals, or building a set of actions and plans which could be a road map of sorts for where we want to go. When I first went to college nearly forty plus years ago I was aspiring to be a biology teacher. I did not teach biology till about seven years ago when I was officially certified to teach the subject. There were many shifts and changes along the way as I walked my own path. Several years ago my oldest son took courses and was certified in GPS and would use it to mark tortoise nests and beetle infestations as part of his science projects in college. As technology advances now each photo I take on my camera is GPS stamped and you can tell where that image is from. I find it amazing that we can tell where you are within a few feet any where on the globe with such accuracy. On my cell phone I have a navigation application to guide me wherever I program a location and I can drive the car listening to the voice from my phone and go right there. I have found that new road construction often is not on the navigation system but usually it is only off for a few miles or so and then it relocates and I can hopefully avoid stopping for directions with my male ego intact. But in life sometimes more is needed than what technology provides.
“Synchronicities are not flukes or random events. They’re intentional reflections of our intuition working with the perfect order of all things in the unseen world. It’s why fish swim upstream, birds fly south and bears hibernate. Everything in nature intuitively gravitates toward what best serves its growth, and that includes the human race. The only difference is that we have the choice to follow our intuition or not.” Sonia Choquette, Trust Your Vibes, Finding Direction
A little new age thinking never hurts to start a morning. I do like this thought, often we choose intuitively to go in life a certain direction it may not be a quick choice but one over a period of time. In regards to myself the decision to return to teaching after nearly thirty years was not quickly made it came in series of events that culminated in a job at a local high school nearly ten years ago. As I think back even that specific job nearly fell through four times and on the fifth time it finally worked out. I often wonder why this school as I was not hired at six other schools since officially I was not certified. Why did this particular principal hire me and want me to work literally hiring me five times finally getting approval as a long term substitute for a teacher who had a nervous breakdown. Amazingly enough as I look at my pathway perhaps it was not to be working with him as he was transferred a year later. I will say this after six plus years we are still good friends and communicate often.
“Being committed to some goal in your life – a sense of having a mission, a purpose, even a calling – is a very motivating, very comforting thing. Some people’s mission steps up to greet them; others have to hunt theirs down.” Sam Baker
After class the other day a teacher raised a question. “Are you where in life you are supposed to be?” Several of the teachers surrounding me thought for a minute and weren’t sure and then to me. For nearly twenty four years as I searched I couldn’t answer that question. That day it is easy, I am exactly where I need to be and am suppose to be.
“Do the things you love to do and are passionate about, then you’ll have few regrets. Conspicuous success or public acknowledgement for these things may or may not come, but it won’t trouble you much either way because you’ll be happily enjoying yourself.” Sam Baker
The word passion seems to pop up a lot for me. Are we passionate about what we are doing? Are we passionate about our direction in life? I do believe it is true if you are passionate about what you are doing there will be few regrets. I learned that from the principal who hired me nearly ten years ago as he was always passionate about what he was doing.
“What intrigues you? What questions about any aspect of life or the universe absolutely enthrall you? There’s your direction! Although we cannot map out our lives in advance, much can be done to make desirable outcomes more likely. Acquiring an exceptional ability is one such outcome.” Sir Bernard Cohen
Recently as I wrote about learning to lead as a progression of growing up and drifted into actually learning how to teach from a young age. I started to think I wonder if my own kids have learned such endeavors in their turn at life. I wonder if my mother and father realized that they through bits and pieces laid out to me they were directing me along a pathway in life.
“Your accomplishments will bring great pride and joy to your closest friends and family, but in the long run it will hurt all of you badly if you’ve done it only for them. You have to do things for the passion in your own heart.” Helen Fielding
I went into the high school over the holiday as I do most holidays to think and plan for the coming days and of course to feed critters. Some days it is just a bit of catch up and recently was an odd one I was cleaning up my school email. In my files I had over four thousand past emails so I was going through and deleting the ones that were not significant. I have a bad habit of saving emails. Working my way through several years of emails I was saving those that were specific about students and critical parent correspondence. I found several emails congratulating me on being named teacher of the year in our area by Sam’s club over five years ago. I still have the blue Wal-mart vest in my closet at school and a letter on the wall a quick reminder. One of my students had sent a letter to Wal-Mart it wasn’t something specific as to what I did but a letter of recommendation from a student and I was honored. As I thought I really did not do anything different for that student. She graduated several years ago and we still keep in touch every few weeks. I basically did as I do each day teach but I do it with passion and what is funny people see that when they are around you.
So what ever you choose whatever pathway you go down do it with passion and truly you will never go wrong. It is funny how holidays affect us. I am working on reading and writing for a research paper and in the news school are trying to cope with how to better educate their students and pass tests. Another topic in the news was dealing with charitable competition during the holidays where instinctively many people try to give more than others, I often ask why just at holidays. I use the term loosely in harms way there are so many meanings. It may be children who are hungry and or abused, adults without work and struggling, many folks who are mentally ill and now on the streets as we found it prudent and fiscally responsible to close mental hospitals, and politically correct there are so many meaning to in harms way. A big one is our service men and women of course around the globe so as every day please dear friends keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts.