It’s that time again, time for one timeline to end and another to begin. We’ve all experienced these transitions, probably over and over throughout life but this time, I want to pause.
I want to take time between the ending of one timeline and the beginning of another to reflect on all that I’ve experienced, accomplished, learned, and shared.
Just a few weeks ago, the timeline of my master’s program came to an end and with it, the even longer timeline of my formal education (for now!). With that ending, came the end of my timeline living in Washington D.C. and the beginning of a new timeline in Philadelphia. In parallel to those timelines, I have been adding experiences and learnings to my professional consulting timeline, which has become the main frame for my work in Philly. And of course within each timeline are smaller timelines, such as Capstone projects or trips to Senegal, and when I stop to think about it, there is truly a lot of change, growth, and learning happening simultaneously in one’s life!
With that in mind, stopping to think and to reflect is exactly what I want to do. It’s so easy for one timeline to fade into the next. For me, transitioning from college to work to graduate school was almost seamless. There was not time (I thought) to pause and celebrate what I had done, consider the change I had created through various campus projects or to record hopes and goals for moving forward during the actual transitions. I often take time throughout my timelines to plan in advance, reflect on my experiences, and think deeply about larger professional goals, which has helped me bring together my various experiences and studies in early childhood, global education, and educational technology in a meaningful way. Yet rarely have I allowed, in addition to that planning and goal-setting, a bit of time for myself between transitions. Now, with the end of another academic timeline and the beginning of new professional experiences, I want to make the time to consider where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going next. I want to carve out time that in the past I have allowed to be so easily eaten up by other priorities (because doesn’t it seem like there’s always another task to finish, bill to pay, or idea to explore?).
Especially in our connected society, I succumb to the pressure to constantly check my email, chat with my Twitter PLN, finish that lingering project and then start a new one because it’s sitting there on my to-do list or popping up in my browser and I don’t want to fall behind. But what if we all take time to put that aside for a little bit and just think about why we matter, about what we’ve done and where we’re going next? As Angela Maiers says, You Matter, and by “mattering”, she suggests you should remember (taken directly from her blog):
- YOU ARE ENOUGH
- YOU HAVE INFLUENCE
- YOU ARE A GENIUS
- YOU HAVE A CONTRIBUTION TO MAKE
- YOU HAVE A GIFT THAT OTHERS NEED
- YOU ARE THE CHANGE
- YOUR ACTIONS DEFINE YOU IMPACT
- YOU MATTER!
These eight ideas are a lot to process, so that’s why I hope to take the next week or so to actively reflect on each one as I mark the ending of one timeline and the beginning of another. I hope others can take time to pause and notice their own timelines, big and small, because like me, you matter and together we can all encourage one another to remember that and to recognize the value of reflection in times of change.
Margaret, congratulations on ending one timeline (your Masters!) and taking the time to really reflect on it! Like you, I also find myself struggling to find balance between my online and offline lives. I waver in Stage 5: Balance of Jeff Utecht’s Stages of PLN Adoption as I attempt to stay afloat of the most current twitter updates and blog posts while also finding time to enjoy my garden and sit and relax. In my teaching, I used timelines with my pre-k students to help them reflect upon and synthesize their own learning and growth. I appreciate your post in that it reminds me that using this same mentality with my work, whether on a larger scale (a semester of work) or shorter (two days with my PLN), taking time to really focus on me and my own growth can only help me with this balance. Thanks!
Thanks for sharing Kira! I love the idea of using timelines in preK to reflect on learning and growth over time. I’m a visual person and creating an actual timeline sounds like a nice way to see and recognize everything that has been accomplished in one simple view.