As part of my focus for the new year (I am refusing to say resolutions since I always break those), I would like to increase my attention to the many good things that happen, which are frequently overlooked by me. To help me, I am joining Ruth Ayres' Celebrate This Week.
Sometimes, writing multiple paragraphs on the same topic feels overwhelming. There is so much pressure to get it right. So, I am taking a page out of Colby Sharp's book and using the format of 5 Things I Have Loved Last Week. Most of the time, I can handle bullet points. So, here goes...
5 Things I am celebrating this week....
* My family - Many times, I wish that there were not 3,000 miles between Southern California and Connecticut. The time difference makes it a challenge to call home in the evening. I cannot just run to my parents when I want to say "hi" or help out with something. As my parents get older, it is harder and I worry more about them. Twice a year, I make the journey across country for two weeks to hang with them. I am thankful for a schedule that allows for those kind of visits and for the financial ability to visit them. As I prepare to return to California, I say thanks for the time spent with them.
* Snow - It snowed yesterday. Not a lot, but it snowed. Though I did not get a white Christmas, I did get my yearly dusting of white just before heading back to sunny and non-snowy Southern California.
* Book Award Committees - Yesterday, I facilitated a conference call for the Schneider Family Book Award Jury. In less than a month at ALA Midwinter, the Youth Media Awards will be held in Philadelphia. There will be a lot of excitement as winners are announced. There will be other emotions among those in attendance when beloved books are overlooked. I will say that the committees I have served on take seriously the charge they are given. There is much reading and a lot of time spent deliberating to make just the right book selections. I am not certain what decisions will be made in few weeks, but I know it will come from thoughtful deliberation.
Additionally, this week the Cybil Finalists were announced. I am excited to serve as a Round Two Judge for Easy Readers and Early Chapter Books.
* New Beginnings - I love that as an educator I get two new beginnings each year - one on the first of January, and the other when the first day of school arrives. My focus this year is to engage in life and be conscious about how I react to what life throws in my way. I do not know what that will look like, but I am preparing myself to stay present and take on the challenges.
* Independent Bookstores - In the last week, I had the chance to visit two independent bookstores. Books of Wonder in New York City has been on my must visit list and when I visited I was not disappointed. It is a wonderful store with great staff. RJ Julia's in Madison, Connecticut is a favorite of mine that I only get to visit once a year. There is a wonderful children's section and a great area to browse books.
What are you celebrating this week?