Reflections – Sunday, September 25, 2016

Carol A. Hand

Reflections in puddles
and ripples of raindrops
remind me of life’s
ephemeral gifts

reflection-in-puddle

Teaching and writing
take so much energy and time
necessitating new decisions
I’m face-to-face with significant priority shifts

Blogging helped me find
beauty, knowledge and dear friends
helped me uncover new purpose
and give new life to my voice
placing me once again at the crossroads
with too many paths before me
I’m too old to be a multi-tasker
It’s time to make a choice

dsc02024

In the autumn of my seasons
there is a need for clarity
about what feels most important
Time constraints provide reasons

for saying at least a temporary adieu
Yet I didn’t want to leave with gratitude unspoken
for all that you have shared with the world and me
I am deeply grateful to all of you

***

Yesterday’s class was both exciting and daunting. Students presented their “Exploring Positionality and Perspective Exercise,” (described in an earlier post). The depth and beauty of their presentations was a gift and an honor to witness.

This morning as I walked downstairs after rising, I realized how much it takes for me to teach now. It’s a lot of work to try to create a space that is simultaneously carefully structured and liberatory. It means being who I am as a flawed human being, critical scholar, and creative artist to respectfully engage students. My ability to do so well means I need to meet other pressing obligations.

As I reflected about how to manage my time more effectively, I listed pressing priorities: carve out time for family, complete the on-line portions for the next weeks of the course, detail later assignments, work at editing my book manuscript, harvest gardens and get ready for winter. I realized how much time blogging takes and felt a sense of relief when contemplating a hiatus.

The focus of the research course I’m teaching is, after all, healthy community. As my students reminded me, healthy communities are comprised of healthy individuals, families, and neighborhoods. At almost 70, I don’t have the elastic stamina I once did. I need to make time to breathe and balance.

It is with gratitude and a sense of sadness I say farewell to all my blogging friends for now. I will visit your blogs when I can. Until then, I send my best wishes.

***

  Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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About Carol A. Hand

What matters are not the titles I’ve held or university degrees I earned or the size of a house or bank account. It’s really what I’ve learned from ordinary people like me whom I’ve met along the way. They taught me to live with gratitude and give thanks for each new day.
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43 Responses to Reflections – Sunday, September 25, 2016

  1. Lara/Trace says:

    I will follow you no matter how little or how much you blog, my dear friend. Your gifts are for the world.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Your post saddens me, but I understand, too. Had my teaching load doubled this term–it almost did–I would have had to make similarly difficult choices. Prayers and hopes this term goes well, the poetry continues to trickle from your imagination, and that you have plenty of hugs from your grand-daughter.
    Cheers, Friend. –JL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your lovely comments, Jean, and for sharing your experiences. As it turns out, I’ve found that living without some outlet for creativity is unhealthy. I can’t post often, but sometimes I just need to be away from the drudgery of building online content and discussions. I look forward to catching up with your blog. In the meantime, I send you hugs. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. sojourner says:

    I understand, Carol, as I’m sure the others do as well.

    I am not busy teaching, and yet I have cut back. So I understand your need to cut back and focus on teaching, family, your home and health.

    I’m closing in on 70 as well, and the body and mind aren’t as resilient as they once were.

    Take care of yourself, Carol, and be blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve missed your posts, Dave. I’m just back for a moment. Major assignments will be coming in for at least the next few weeks, and I’m only half-finished detailing the online discussions – a truly frustrating task… Dealing with deadlines, details, and technology are not my favorite things, but the students are a delight.

      I send my best wishes to you, my dear friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • sojourner says:

        I almost left a comment yesterday, but I didn’t want to put you in the position of feeling like you had to respond.

        It’s good to hear from you, my friend! And thank you for taking the time to leave this message.

        I can imagine you are swamped right now. Just take care of your self, and find ways to get away for a moment and be refreshed!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. underswansea says:

    Going to miss you Carol. Make sure you chisel out some time to have some fun! The odd blog post might be part of that. Take care. Bob

    Liked by 1 person

    • I needed to heed your advice, Bob. I only have a few more things I really must do before this week’s class. Papers are graded and two more weeks are detailed on the online course platform (my least favorite tasks). The rest can wait while I visit with friends like you whose work reminds me of the beauty of nature, life’s humor, and the gift of loving families. I send my best wishes. 🙂

      Like

      • underswansea says:

        Hi Carol, thank you for your very kind comments. Life is full of humour, sadness, beauty and cruelness. No sense ignoring them.

        You sound busy. Your students are lucky. Much of education is geared to make people hireable. It really should be about making people think. Reading your posts, I know you must do that with your students. Sure glad you took the time to stop by. Take care. Bob

        Liked by 1 person

  5. wolfegeo says:

    Carol, I fully understand. I’ll still be posting from time to time and hope we will be able to remain in touch. I’ll be waiting patiently for our book to be published. You friend in NC.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I will miss you. Take good care of yourself. Until then, so long my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. joanneeddy says:

    We will miss you, Carol, but glad you are focusing on what is important and what you need to do. Take care, Jo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Annika Perry says:

    Carol, you’ll be missed but I totally understand the need to prioritise…I often feel that blogging is running away with me – I enjoy it so much but then realise how much time it has taken out of my day. I’m still contemplating…Take care. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pilgrim says:

    White space…. creating a white space is beneficial for teachers and students alike.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bernadette says:

    Carol, your voice will be missed but you are right that without the stamina of youth at our age we need to prioritize and unfortunately does mean keeping and letting go.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wishing you a happy time in your teaching and look forward to updates.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Carol, thanks for giving me new ways of looking at life and America’s First Nation peoples. All the best in your new pursuits ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for helping me learn so much more about different cultures, Rosaliene, and so many other global issues – from poetry to Brazil’s political context. I send my best wishes to you ❤

      Like

  13. Oh nooooooo! I refuse to hit the like button on this one. I fully understand, but I will miss you terribly and hope that you will post something every now and again. Teaching does consume our lives and I hated that part of it. It was like I had no life of my own until school was out, and by then I was so spent that it took the few summer months just to recuperate before starting all over again. And it got harder and harder as the years passed. By the end of year 31, I knew I had no more left in me. Do take care of yourself. I will never forget you and will always think of you with love, admiration, and respect. Love and hugs, Natalie 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Kathy says:

    Carol, I will miss your blog posts. i have enjoyed “getting to know you” in the limited sense that a blog affords, but I can see that your students are fortunate to have such a dedicated and creative instructor.This seems like a rare opportunity, for both you and your students. I’ll be looking forward to seeing your posts when you resume!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Margaret Mair says:

    Bless you as you move forward, and thank you for the thoughts you have shared here. I hope your hiatus will not last too long. I am sure you will take the time you need and enjoy being part of and creating communities that will enrich many. Take good care.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Genie says:

    Take care of yourself first, it’s like being on an airplane, when the oxygen masks drop down due to a catastrophic situation, one must use the oxygen mask first before they can help anyone else.
    Blogging takes a huge amount if time, and it’s time that can be used to be in nature and other nourishing pursuits one has in their spare time, the Internet can be very draining, just the WiFI signal is harmful, never mind the other assaults, such as the invasion of privacy from NSA, etc.

    Take good care,
    Genie

    Liked by 1 person

  17. smilecalm says:

    may skillfully crafted ease
    guide your happiness
    and success along
    your way, Carol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh no, and I just found you! This poem resonated within me. Don’t go. Visit/write/blog less often…but don’t go.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Wishing you the best Carol. Your health and welfare should always be first. It was an honor and pleasure to be a small part of your life. Thank you and Bless you. I hope you stop by occasionally.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments, Patricia. As it turns out, the stories keep coming even though I have less time to respond to comments in a timely fashion. But I am deeply grateful for your kindness and patience. ❤

      Like

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