Happy New Year! Do you have any resolutions for 2023 or new goals? I am not a big resolution person, having failed at so many in the past that I have stayed away from them for a while. Instead, I spent a lot of time thinking about a word that I would focus on for 2023. Being on a sabbatical from my full-time role this year has definitely impacted my word choice as I miss the day-to-day interactions that would be that I was used to working as a public school educator for the past 25-plus years. While the commute to my home office is great and more day-to-day interaction with my wife and our three dogs is great, I miss the multitude of opportunities to interact with colleagues, students, and community members that I am used to having.
With this in mind, it did not take me long to settle on CONNECTION as my one word for 2023. I see see three main areas where I will be focusing on connection:
- Making connections with others
- Making connections with myself
- Making connections in my learning
Making connections with others
My most consistent interactions lately are the hour I spend at the gym in the morning and I have noticed I’ve been way more talkative than in the past when I had to head right from the gym to work. In previous years, I was quieter during this hour in preparation for heading to work where the opportunities for connections would be plentiful. One of my goals is to slow down and be more appreciative of the time I have to connect with others in any setting, especially family members.
Making connections with myself
Having a less rigid schedule allows for a much greater focus on both physical and mental health. This time also allows for a great deal of reading, writing, and reflection on what provides meaning. What do I love? I can’t help think of an excerpt in Chapter 10 of Leadership On the Line:
“…love lies at the core of what makes life worth living. Love gives meaning to what you do, whether in a corporation, a community, a classroom, or a family. We take risks for good reason: We hope to make a difference in people’s lives. Leadership enables and challenges us to love well.”
Making connections in my learning
Teaching, taking classes, reading, writing, and reflecting allow me a tremendous amount of time to both learn a lot of new information and to reframe previous thinking. I’ll continue to share some of the things I am reading, watching, and listening to here in this space and hopefully it will help others make some connections as well. As I’ve noted previously, my focus will be on antiracism and equity so that I can continue to grow in my knowledge of the many facets involved in creating schools and spaces where all members feel a sense of belonging. We can never have deep connections without belonging.