Quiet a.m.

Quiet Sunday morning following a quiet day…outside of my morning run (6 miles with a great friend!) yesterday, the day was literally spent at my kitchen table on my computer. I completed work for my course, along with a few extra-curriculars such as googling “What else can I do with kale?” and “How far is Lima from Cuzco and Machu Pichu?”

Today, it’s all about preparation for a presentation at an upcoming conference. The “Why did I ever say I would do this?” feelings are upon me and it’s time to prepare. I share this for two reasons: blogging about it is therapeutic  (learned this in my class and how it pertains to students and blogging), and to remind us that there are these quite times in life where we allow others to take the fall camping trip, bike though the fall foliage, and walk and sit in the local park in the crisp air.  Wait…those are my favorite things to do…

Well, sometimes to accomplish our little goals in life we find it’s necessary to sacrifice a few days here and there for the more mundane…temporarily, of course, and with good cause.

Today is the lakefront marathon! Good luck to all the runners on this beautiful morning! It’s motivating, even in the quiet of my kitchen, to know everyone is out there today…and that I will be, too, one day soon!

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East of Eden

Remember way back when…when you read “The Great Gatsby”? And, “East of Eden”?

Neither do I. Where I went to high school, I’m not sure they offered the classic novels by brilliant writers as an option. Or if they did, where was I? Er…let’s not go there…Anyway, my children have read all the titles I’ve heard of but, embarrassingly, know nothing about, and I want to be able to speak intelligently about some of the great books that have been written. This is a reality that I intend to work toward in time.

As this pertains to priority-setting, I find it on the list of “important, but not immediate”. Those are often the items on the “to-do” list that, as Jim Gaffigan would say, “I’ll get to that later.” I love that quote, by the way. Whenever there is something on my desk that I can shuffle around awhile longer, I say that “I”ll get to that later.“, emphasis on later, meaning quite possibly never.

So, what does one do with the important, but not now things to do? Help me out. For me, it’s a work in progress. As for the novels, I listen to Audible on my 40-45 minute commute to work. I get my news on the morning run iPod Nano radio selection, and books on tape (except without the tape) on my drive to work. It’s brilliant! So far this school year, I’ve listened to “The Professor and the Madman” about the making of the Oxford English Dictionary, Rachel Maddow’s book, “Shift…” (okay, not yet a classic…), “The Great Gatsby” by F.Scott Fitzgerald, and “Living Buddha, Living Christ” by Thich Nhat Hanh. In the past, I’ve listened to “East of Eden” (so far my favorite), “All Quiet on the Western Front”, “Lord of the Flies” and more. Voila! While I’m foregoing the hands-on appeal of turning the pages, going back and re-reading, and relaxing by the fire with warm apple cider while curled up in a blanket with my book, I am accomplishing my goal of knowing the stories and comparing notes with others, namely my kids. AND, I’ll be waiting a long time to get to these books if I wait for opportunities to “sit by a fire”.

I’m a visual person for sure, so I create a written list of “Important and Immediate” and Important, but not Immediate” things to accomplish that support my mission statement I mentioned before. Then, I weave them into my days in whatever way I can. This is one example of how I’ve done that.

Many more to come. How about you? How do you fit the work-out into your week? Or, time with your pet? Or, time to learn all the potential of your latest gadget?

What does your list look like? Do you ever stop and notice what you’re doing at any given moment of the day, and ask yourself if it is a part of your journey?

Happy Weekend everyone! Embrace every minute.

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Priority-setting along the “Crowleyjourney”

Remember way back when… when you read “The Seven Habits” books? What was your biggest take-away? The one you recall and use today? For me, it was and still is, “Begin with the end in mind.” I recall taking this part of the process seriously. I made a mission statement. I set goals. And, ever since, I live out my values. It has become habit, a lifestyle. For me, all the other 6 habits play naturally into this one.

Today, September 28, 2012, I have a full plate indeed, and priority-setting  has become a bit of a science in my little life. This summer, I had the brilliant revelation that I should take on the part time work of teaching our district’s adult ESL classes. And, to further a pursuit in the direction of one day teaching in an adult setting, I also decided to take on a master’s program. Yes, I already have a master’s degree, but have decided that in order to meet my goals, I need to add to my education repertoire. Oh, and add to that a conference presentation and newsletter editor. And, church committees, travel opportunities, morning runs and newly added weight-training, and yoga and catching up on classic novels, catching up with friends…you know. On it goes. Perhaps the same for you.

All this, by the way, comes only after my biggest priority and joy in life, raising my four boys.

So, how does it get done? How do you shape each day in a way that at the end of a week (or a month or a lifetime), you’ve lived the life you meant to?

Let’s discuss this in the coming blogs. Welcome to Crowleyjourney.

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