Today was a breakthrough day, in what has been a breakthrough school year.  I have committed to learning Mandarin (my heritage language), reclaiming my time, and making healthier choices in my life.  These things are remarkably uncomfortable.  They force me to move from my comfortable, but futile, state of perpetual busyness to be present to new challenges that push me towards growth.  This is not easy. Some days all I feel are growing pains.  But other days, I can hear, see, and even smell the growth I am engaging in. And I am recording this here to remind myself and to share with those who might read this blog.  Growth is possible, but it isn’t easy.

A slide from a meeting at my son’s Chinese school today

This morning, after a somewhat frantic morning dog walk to our local bakery which almost made us late to my son’s second day of Chinese school, he and I arrived on campus.  He went to class and I went to a meeting (that I had just remembered was happening a few hours before) about AP Chinese & the SAT-II Chinese test.  As those of you who have followed my Mandarin journey know that I dread any meeting at my son’s Chinese school.  Two weeks ago, in his first week of class parent meeting, I understood about 50% and walked away proud.  Today, dear reader, between Google Translate, my background knowledge of the SAT-II and AP Language/Culture tests and the new vocabulary I’ve learned this semester (which happens to be about tests, school & levels), I understood almost 85% of what was going on.  There were a few words that I didn’t get, but I really, really comprehended what was going on, in Mandarin.  It was amazing. It is the first time in my adult life this has ever happened in a real world setting.

Weekend reading for #Ghostsintheschoolyard chat this week

After the meeting, I went to the grocery store and had some extra time before I needed to pick up my son (but not enough time to make the round trip home) so I began reading Eve L. Ewing’s Ghosts in the Schoolyard for a Twitter chat that I’m excited to participate in next week.  This is the second weekend in a row that I’ve read something of my choosing, not directly for my work (although I’m an educator, and teacher educator, so almost everything can relate to my work).  I actually love to read but have relegated myself to reading academic articles and whatever crosses my social media feeds, so reading books is actually pretty extraordinary for me, and I’m remembering my love for reading.

Chicken roasting in Instant Pot for dinner, to be accompanied by sweet potato fries & salad

This afternoon, I did get a few things done for tomorrow (for work), but then spent an hour playing with my daughter and started roasting a chicken in my instant pot.  Cooking and making food that I’m proud to eat and that can last for a few meals during the semester is a pretty big breakthrough too.

I guess all of this to say that change and growth are possible, even after 40 years of seeking endless external validation through production.

Or perhaps, I’m saying, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner” 🙂

2 thoughts on “Growth

  1. I love this post my friend! I am still learning to work towards more balance in my life and resonated so much with what you’ve written.

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