Learning To Honor the Space Between

What a thought!  This spoke so loudly to me this week.  Going back into the classroom to teach 7th-grade Pre-AP English, Language Acquisition, and Literacy Achievement might be the hardest thing I have done in awhile! Behind every reason that I asked for and wanted this challenge, is every fear and emotion that do not always feel so good.

You see, I am a Learner.  My top strength on the strengths finder assessment was Learner.  It is in my nature to soak everything up and try anything new.  I love finding different ways to meet the needs of my students and I am always looking for new things to learn.  This is why when my heart felt led to middle school I said to myself, let’s do this!

One thing I was not expecting was how much the move from elementary to middle school would change my comfort level I had based on experience and knowledge. So, I will honor the space between no longer having the luxury of feeling ahead of the game and at ease with where I am headed because I have done it before.  NOT YET!  It is taking me time and extra effort to learn the content, learn how I want to share it and make it my own, and to large groups of 12 and 13-year olds who will receive it with excitement. 🙂

So, like the quote above states, “Between No Longer and Not Yet” because soon it will come. Soon I will feel that comfort, but the growth I sought from this change is my WHY!

I wanted to grow.  I am growing like I never imagined.  Each day I learn so many new things about how middle school systems function, all about the social and emotional needs of teenagers, and why I have absolutely fallen in love with this position!  It is uncomfortable not understanding everything easily and knowing right off the bat.  It is sometimes awkward trying to find my place of comfort in each day and squeeze in those important moments to build relationships with the 150 teens that whirl in and out of my classroom. But, I could not be happier doing this and alongside the most supportive administration and staff around!

My words to anyone who is thinking of completely changing up what they are doing but they are scared…..take the leap!  Make the jump!  I have never grown more than I have in just the last month. And I LOVE IT!

Forward Is Forward

This past year my grandmother, who is about to turn 90 years old, was moved to Florida to be closer to my parents. She truly is in great shape healthwise and doing very well, even after surgery to her brain! She recovered even better than expected, but cries each day that she is never going to be back to how she was before. I keep telling her that she will with time, and that each day she gets better. It just takes awhile.

She chose the amazing living center she gets to live in that offers a variety of fun activities (Wii bowling, dances, bingo, a workout area, church services, dinners, shopping, etc.) and right on the beach. This past month all my family flew there to spend time with her and each other for the first time in a long, long time. My daughter first got to visit with her when she was in kindergarten when my grandpa passed away. It definitely was not the best situation, but it was something special watching my own child and my grandmother interact.


This time was different in many ways, but just as special. I recently read an article on Facebook that has been going around about a note left from an elderly woman when she passed away that said, See Me. This really hit me hard because as I sat with my grandmother this week, I did see her. I saw the grandmother I always have known – strong as ever physically and mentally, but I noticed that emotionally she was shutting down.
Sure, she told me the same stories and worries over and over within a few minutes, but that’s expected as we age. I sat and listened each day over and over when she told me she is ready to go because she is only existing and not truly living. After a few days of hearing this when she said to me in tears, “Bridget, I know you don’t want to hear this but why doesn’t the good Lord just take me? I’m not living.” I felt compelled to say something.
I said, “But you could be, grandma. You are healthy. You have many people here who care about you and check on you. You have friends and family. You just have to do it. Yes, it’s change and it is very hard for you to accept this life change, but you can do it.” She shook her head and agreed with me. But in all honesty, I really don’t blame her. I cannot even begin to imagine how hard it is for such an active woman to move across the country from the home she was born in 90 years ago to a place that is not “home” and now has restrictions medically.
This situation accompanied with my daughter asking me why grandma is just sitting there when we arrive and not watching tv or anything (which totally baffles this constantly moving active child!) had me think about change in general.
First of all, I had to explain to my daughter that “back in the day” people did not have things constantly at their fingertips. They could just sit there and relax in the stillness. We also sat by an elderly gentleman on the flight out there who just sat there. GASP! She was so concerned about him as to why he didn’t read anything or watch a movie or listen to something. Oh sweet child…. I was not preaching because I am not one that can do this. Yet!
I am one of the few weird ones that likes change. When it is big change, it might make my stomach have butterflies for a little bit but then I press on. I appreciate flexibility and thrive in changing situations, just about as much as I thrive on a schedule! It’s strange. But I know not everyone likes change. I realized that after many years of being independent and being able to do many things, this shift in having to rely on someone else is not going to be something my grandma ever adjusts to. And that is okay. I have heard it said that as long as we are moving forward, we are growing. Like the picture above says, it doesn’t matter how fast we go or how far we go…..as long as we just go. This is what I keep telling her every time we talk. “I understand it’s hard. You are doing so well with this change. Go to dinner with your friend. Try Wii bowling on Tuesdays.” (Let me tell you how fun it was explaining what Wii was AND how to say it!!)
Change is hard. As easy as it is for some to adjust to, it is not easy for most. As long as we are moving forward, we are growing. In life as we age. In life as we live each day parenting, teaching, coaching. All that really matters is that we are taking baby steps forward because if we refuse to do that then this is when our growth stops.
I truly believe this! I treasured my time with my grandmother talking, just being there to listen to her stories or be a shoulder to cry on. I attended a church service with her and all the other elderly in her living center while I was there. I see how much just moving forward and doing something affects your brain and positive outlook. This applies to all human beings of all ages.

I Chose B…Dig Deep!

As I begin this post, I am hesitant how to approach it.  I am transparent and authentic.  I am honest.  I am real.  My life is pretty much an open book, but writing about this really shows my vulnerability; however, I know other people are going through this or will be and I want to share in hopes of comforting someone else who might need it.

I treasure learning new things.  I crave reflection time and value the growth process.  I love feedback to facilitate my growth.  Then…it actually happened.  (I know what you are thinking…everyone loves change until it means they have to change.  This is not that at all.) Time has passed and I can now write about this without crying. 😉

To sum it up, I wanted something and I didn’t get it.  As a reflective learner and one who loves to grow, I asked for feedback.  I asked a person I have the highest respect for as a person and educator.  This person asked me, “I know you asked for feedback because you are a reflective person and want to grow, but do you really want the feedback?  I was surprised for a minute because I had never been asked this question before, but after reading Thank You for the Feedback I see the value in this.

Of course, I wanted the feedback! I expected it to be something I already pinpointed about myself, but it was not.  To be honest with you, today I cannot even recall much of the conversation because all I heard was the one sentence that I took straight to the heart and personally.  As a matter of fact, I probably blocked all the positive from that conversation and replayed the one sentence in my mind.

My reason: it was feedback over something I viewed as something I had NO control over.  It was just me. There was nothing I could do about it.  Or so I thought.

I cannot tell you the amount of tears I shed over this.  At the time, I can remember saying to my friend many times, “I am not sure why I am so upset over this!” – while I sobbed to her over the phone and in person.  A very wise, professional colleague, and one that I look to for advice often asked about this and I told him I did not get it.  He asked why I was upset and I told him I don’t really know. Then he hit me with the bomb, “You just aren’t used to being told no.”  WHAT?!  I may have gasped out loud right there, given him the stink eye, but then said, “You know what, you are right!”  That was just one reason.

Once I had time to go through some of the grieving stages, I revisited the feedback that I felt was personal and I had no control over. Here is where it got real, friends.  I had two choices:

A.) Have a pity party and disregard the feedback from the person.

or

B.) Dig deep.  Look inside and figure out how to accept, learn from this, and come out stronger.

I chose B….and it was the BEST (and hardest) personal and professional growth that I have ever gone through.

The events that unfolded after this revealed God’s bigger plan for me.  We always say that things work out like they are supposed to. I know to trust God’s plan, but it is sure way harder to actually do!  Here is what would have never happened had I gotten what I thought was best for me at that moment.

  • I would have never gone for my administration certification. 
  • I would have never met my principal mentor, who turned out to be a precious friend that came at just the right moment in my life. 
  • I would have never realized that teaching middle school is where I need and want to be right now.   
  • I would have never gotten the middle school ELA teaching position at the exact middle school I wanted to be in.
  • I would have never learned what the saying, “Be patient and trust God’s timing.” really feels like. 
  • I would have never realized how amazing it feels to choose to work through a very tough time (that other people do not even realize you are going through) and come out wiser, stronger, and happier.  

I sit here writing this now (a year later) and can say with a huge smile that it was a hard thing to go through, but WOW….I am exactly where I want and need to be. I know this and it just feels right.  🙂

Life is more than good, friends!  It is AMAZING! Trust the timing.

Enough!

It seems we do not find our One Word, but really it finds us. Such is how it happened with me this year.

I have always been a person who deeply values authenticity and transparency in people.  What you see is what you get with me.  I do not have ulterior motives and my naive side truly wants to believe no one else does either.

I am transparent.  I am authentic.  I am real….to a fault.  I couldn’t even try being anything else…my facial expressions would totally give me away! While even though I have accepted this and own that this is just me, I still sometimes fall victim to feeling not enough.
Not enough of me to do it all.  
Not enough of a daughter.  
Not enough of a wife.  
Not enough of a parent. 
Not enough of a teacher.  
Just not enough…and so I keep going, going, doing and doing.

Over Thanksgiving break I received some lab results that answered questions I have been seeking for a few years now: severe adrenal fatigue. The short version: the only way to fix this was to get real sleep.  This is actually comical if you know how much I love to sleep, but really struggle to shut off my brain to stay asleep all night.  I had to make major changes to my lifestyle and gain nutrients/minerals that I am deficient in because of being depleted by adrenals working overtime.  Sounds crazy, but it is quite interesting to learn how they all work together.

Fast forward 4 disciplined weeks and a doctor/nutritionist checkup. While all the changes I am making are great, until I sleep more none of this will dramatically increase.  Well…that’s just great!  Onward to my next goal: Sleep.

The reason I shared that story is because all of this happened in the midst of soul searching for my 2017 One Word. I went through them all: Surrender, Embrace, Release, Disciplined, Rest, Joy, Fun, but something always brought me back to this:

  

I read The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown the other night in one sitting, it was THAT good!  It is about letting go of who you think you are supposed to be and embracing who you are.  I never have thought of myself as someone who has to be perfect or that there is a way I am supposed to be.  However, I didn’t even realize until I felt tears coming down my face that to some degree I do this in a different way.  I don’t compare myself to others, but I do a pretty incredible job comparing myself to myself a year ago.  I am truly my own worst critic.  Aren’t we all?

So while I considered the word Surrender (to being me) and Embrace (who I am is enough) I came out with ENOUGH!

Accept:
I am Enough.
I have Enough.
If I give my best, I have done Enough.

Make sure:
I have Enough fun.
I give more than Enough love.
I get Enough REST…..because this is where my journey begins.

I love this quote. I mean, imagine….Unbecoming everything that isn’t you to reveal who you were meant to be!  Sometimes just to cope and get through the day, or because in certain situations it is expected of us, we push back the real us.  Sometimes we may not even know we are doing it. This only holds back who we are meant to be in this life.  And that, my friends, is ENOUGH!

Excuse Me, Life…Can I Have Time To Process?

Sofie taking in the gorgeous city of Chicago one morning. #reflecting

I procrastinate on things I have zero interest in doing until the very last second and I HAVE to do them.  Then, I go into panic mode to complete them.  It’s true.  I will admit it.

I am also a compulsive tab-hopper.  Although I may not know the correct term for this, I do know that this article tells us why we do it. In short, the article says, your brain is releasing dopamine receptors that are giving you the illusion that you are being more productive. Your brain, however, is not actually processing all of these stimuli.” 
(I may or may not have tab-hopped and ran across that while taking a break from writing a paper and wanted to read about something else I heard about earlier that day, which led to this article that I ended up reading.)

All of the above mentioned to say, I have not blogged in a month.  This weighs on my mind every single day. It’s not because I lack the learning to reflect on because that simply is not the case.  At all.  I am on learning overload, but would not change it for the world because I am a Learner. I thrive in an environment where I can learn something new, question things, and feel the excitement of learning.

To take this a step further, it excites me more when I can share this new learning with others in hopes of it sparking a better idea that they share, and so on.

I had two big realizations after reading that article:

1.   Is this how our students feel?
          – information overload
          – no time to reflect or process in the shuffle
          – panicked over procrastinating because they are asked to do things
            of zero interest to them
          – tab hopping because it this is when they can learn about things
             that they choose

2.   Only I can change my situation in this matter.

As I was talking with a friend last night while watching my daughter at tumbling, these words came out of my mouth:

“….I know. I know. I really am incredibly lucky to be able to have the opportunity to learn from so many amazing leaders throughout this internship and my classes, but I HAVE NOT HAD MUCH TIME TO PROCESS and REFLECT on these things.”  

Right after I said it I stopped and thought quietly, “You have time for what you make time for.”  There are things I can stop in order to carve time for this because without reflection time where I can mentally put my new learning into a file and organize how and when I will use this, what’s the point?

So this blog is nothing of amazing, deep thought.  It is simply me acknowledging today, this 20th day of October 2016, that I must intentionally set an alarm or write the date in my calendar to reflect on my learning.  I must do this to secure it in my brain before it all flies by and I have not grown from this experience because I never made time to stop and really reflect.

Developing Leaders

As I watched my daughter’s last soccer games, here is what was running through my head:

“It will never be this like this again.  We will never be with such an amazing team like this again.”
You see, this team of girls has been together for years and next season Age Pure goes into place and will split them up.  My daughter is 1-2 years younger than the majority of them, so she knows what this means.  This puts her in an odd position, and given different scenarios she could remain on the team, but at the cost of being the super smallest, youngest, and not much playing time.

The bottom picture shows the love and respect they have as a team. Love this!

After having this realization and pity party because I am heartbroken at the thought of leaving this group of kids and parents who have become like family, my growth minded side steps in and says, “You are right.  It will not be the same with any other team.  It wasn’t meant to be the same as this team. This is an opportunity for her to be the leader and develop others like she has received with this team.”

Now the hard part comes – convincing our nine-year-old that if she takes a risk and stays down when everyone moves up, she can be the leader and lead others.  Believe me, if there is anyone who has “leadership skills” it is this girl!!

It’s scary, though.  It’s scary not being with people who you are comfortable with.  It’s scary not doing the thing you have done and filling the role you have filled, the one you fit so perfectly into.  It’s like having your soothing mechanism taken away.  Sound familiar? We’ve all been there, but if we can see the value in developing others and being willing to be developed, we will all learn and grow so much. Easier said than done, right?

I have written about Coach Doug many times and how much we adore him and all he has done to teach these children life lessons.  He has a gift of coaching and teaching.  He has instilled in these girls the LOVE of the game in a world where competitive at a young age is the way people are pushed.  I have never seen a team play as one, truly and utterly sacrificing goals themselves so that they can see every person on the team make one. That is this team, and you know it is because of how they were taught.  There is a special place for Coach Doug in our hearts forever.

Just like Coach Doug did for his team, we as educators need to do the same for our teams.  We need to seek out those students with leadership skills. Show them how to use these to do amazing things. We need to seek out those teachers with leadership skills and build this capacity in our schools.
I will leave you with this final thought.  What are we waiting for?

Taking Time To Say YOU MATTER

This past week we had about as much fun as you can have as a family – end of season basketball games & start of season soccer games (on the same day), practices, birthday slumber party at Great Wolf Lodge, falling face first onto metal bars on playground that caused some pretty big injuries and scrapes, getting strep throat, returning to school only to fall under again with pure exhaustion and had to stay home….you get it.  We were running on empty.

I don’t know about you, but when we are running on empty and exhausted, tears flow – making for a very dramatic week to be a child and a hard week to be a parent in our household! Even though Sofie was just starting to recover and still not feeling her best, she was NOT going to miss her soccer game. Her passion kicked in, friends!

Sofie gave all she had to give and scored her VERY FIRST GOAL since she joined this team 2 years ago!  While this was so exciting, and I may have almost thrown my phone off the bleachers while recording, the thing that really sticks with me here is her perseverance and dedication to the team as a whole.  Not only does she have an amazing coach, but she is part of an amazing team of girls and parents.  This team knows they are better because of the whole.

The best part was when Sofie scored, her team all went running to hug her! They all celebrated in her moment because it was their moment.  With intentional coaching about being in position, importance of playing the game for the team and as a team, and knowing when to execute….it shows that these girls play to win as a team. That is so important to remember in any situation where you are part of a team.

We were able to capture this on video and a few blurry pictures!  Her running to hug her coach, her teammate jumping up and down for her, and those girls running to hug her!  So precious! A true representation of what these girls are like. I heart this team so much and all it is teaching my baby girl that will help her in so many areas of life!

As as incredible as the team love is, here is where I realized my learning moment.  Her coach sends weekly emails to recap things about the game.  I love this because I am not as knowledgeable on soccer (yet!) as other sports, so it helps me understand why things happened. Every single week we read these aloud to Sofie.  She has always loved storytelling, so she loves hearing these emails and reliving the experiences.  This one was extra special. Here is part of Coach Doug’s email.

On a great note…Sofie Visser’s goal today was the crowning achievement of The Rockets.  When she scored, and every girl went up to hug her…well, I was right there with Christiaan and Bridget with tears in my eyes.  Sofie has made almost every practice, come off the bench on most games, and never ever complained about playing time or position.  She has been the perennially team player.  Not only that, but she has played UP for 4 seasons (2 years).  SUPER PROUD OF THIS MOMENT FOR THE ENTIRE TEAM.  To see all of the girls hug her, put into perspective why our girls are so special.  We have a team full of great kids, and GREAT PARENTS.  Let’s all be thankful for the memories they have provided us.  🙂
 

This meant the world to Sofie. Her little face lit up!  Quite honestly, it melted our hearts too! 🙂  I think about this and how this relates to us each day as we make a difference in the lives of children.  As we know, coaches are some of the best teachers our children have.  Taking the time to notice and write special notes to children sometimes is all that is needed to reach that hard to reach child.  It can push that one child to reach their goals. It can provide a sense of comfort, love, and feeling of YOU MATTER to anyone! Isn’t that what we all want to feel – kids and adults!?

My challenge is that this week we will all take time to write a special note to someone to let them know how much that little thing they do matters! Show them that THEY MATTER and what they are doing is appreciated!  Make their face light up!

Learning to the Point of Exhaustion

As I sit here tonight trying to put together a way to share what I learned at TCEA this past week, I cannot.  I feel pure exhaustion.  Let me add this is the kind of exhaustion, like I know every woman can relate to, that brings you to tears! 🙂

To be quite honest, I have so many things swirling in my head and not the first clue as to how to organize all of this into something coherent, but I will figure it out soon.  I have to.  It is causing me to feel a little anxious because I want to do so many things!

**I want to share all these awesome resources.
**I am charged up and want to empower my students and fellow teachers.
**I want every educator I know that didn’t get to attend TCEA to learn about all the amazing resources that I did and use them in their classrooms!
**I have more determination to make an even bigger difference than I did the day I arrived at TCEA. (If that is even possible!)

I know, I know…I hear my veteran TCEA going friends and people in the education world that have been doing this for years thinking, “Amateur.  We have all done this and felt like this…years ago. It will not be as overwhelming each year.”

This is where I have to disagree. Whether this is your first TCEA experience or your fifth TCEA experience, you have to agree with me that attending a large conference of passionate, forward-thinking, like-minded educators leaves you feeling completely changed as an educator.  Talking with many of these veterans, they say this is why they come back every year. And isn’t that something we all crave? We need a place to recharge and find inspiration in others.  This is why building a PLN is so important. (This is a completely different blog coming soon!)  I cannot tell you enough what spending a week with positive, inspiring educators that challenge my thinking and push me has done for my professional and personal growth!!  

So…I will sign off tonight with this apology.  I apologize for not being able to write this amazing blog about many of the tools I learned.  I apologize for not giving any cool apps to use.  I apologize for not giving links to the sites that help make your Google use so efficient. Don’t worry, I will share things out little by little as I go back through them!

What I will not apologize for is continuing to talk about the importance of relationships and being a connected educator!!  I will leave you with this: You MUST use Twitter for Professional Learning and attend a conference like this!!  I know I will not miss one from here on out. It is where I find and connect with my people.  It is where I am inspired. It is where I am challenged.  It is where I question deeply and wonder just how much I can push myself.  And to think….it all started with Twitter. 🙂

The Importance of Immediate Feedback

Teacher feedback.  Parent feedback.  Student feedback. Feedback– a word we hear so often in education. 

Isn’t that the truth?  Today in my hot yoga class I realized what it feels like to be a student learning new things, and how important immediate, constant feedback truly is.  Ironically, this yoga class happened to be a Barre class because my studio, Sunstone Yoga, asked members if their needs were being met.  They listened to the feedback and took the advice to add more classes along with the regular yoga ones!  Imagine how much more business they are getting. You might say they were innovative in making a great thing they already have even better. 🙂
In this class we were working muscles to exhaustion.  Let me first say that it is very easy to focus so much on one muscle that you forget to squeeze another and it completely changes where you are working.  So, the focus that is required the entire time is hardcore. The instructor guides us through class telling us where we should be feeling it to make sure we are using proper form to get the best results.  They correct our form without hesitation and push us to challenge ourselves all while respecting where we are that day. (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?!)
During one of the moves my instructor helped guide me through getting positioned just right. All of a sudden, it struck me that had she not given me feedback AT THAT MOMENT I would never have known twisting my hip in one more degree would make a huge difference in where I felt the burn!  I would have been doing this same move feeling something, but not what was intended. 
I really connected this with our students because in that moment, I felt so grateful for my teacher showing me how to do something with grace and kind words of encouragement.  I love when my yoga instructors give me feedback while the class is in session.  It allows me to make those changes immediately and see progress.  If they never said anything until after class or maybe the next week, there is little chance that I would have been able to make a change to deepen my learning.  I saw this on Pinterest from Edutopia and it reminded me of today.
So true! We must give learners constant, endless feedback.  This is not the same as constant teaching.  Yes, it will secure that memory of the material, but it will also encourage them to think critically and innovate as a result of this.   
Whether you are listening to feedback for professional growth or personal growth, it is important to listen with a heart of a learner knowing that we all can improve.
If you are one that is giving feedback, it is important to remember immediate feedback is necessary.  
The thing is, we need people.  We need people (admin, teachers, parents, and students) we value, respect, and trust to give us feedback. What an amazing gift it can be when we use this to help us grow and become better. 🙂  

My Aha Moment On Blogging

You know sometimes you have those moments when it takes a little longer for something very obvious to click, but when it hits you….it HITS you?!  Not to offend anyone, for me personally they are called blonde moments. 🙂

That was me last night in one of my favorite Twitter chats that I participate in on Sunday nights. #iaedchat  Okay, if I am being honest, it really HIT me in the early hours of this morning.

The question posed was about Digital Portfolios.  I instantly thought about how students submit work for their own portfolio, and joined the tweets with this perspective.  What I neglected to think about in that moment was blogging as a digital portfolio. I’m not sure why! I have read George Couros’s blog on this concept and discussed it with other Twitter friends out there.  Like I said, blonde moment!

As a teacher, my students blogged and looked back at their blogs to reread things and learn from people who responded.  As a parent, I went through a time where my daughter and I were establishing her blog presence in a way we both agreed upon. 🙂  You see, what a 3rd grader wants to freely blog about and what her mother feels is okay are sometimes different.  I realized I needed to teach this digital understanding before just letting her go!

Why in the world did I not think about my own blog as my Digital Portfolio? 

Not a clue! I guess I have always thought of blogging as showing student learning or reflecting my thoughts – not my learning or work. I have actually referenced this blog to show examples of digital projects I did with certain age groups to someone else so they could try them.  Isn’t that one reason we, as teachers, would have a portfolio? To keep track of our learning and share with others.  

Why do we, teachers, not think WE need to have a Digital Portfolio?

It’s a new kind of thinking!  Maybe we just need to change the way we think about our purpose of blogging?

How do we shift from using blogs to show the things our students can do to using them for our reflection, growth, and our digital portfolio? Or can they be the same?

If we are consciously thinking of this, maybe just this shift in thinking is what it will take. Some teachers I know think of blogging as reflecting on their learning, but many teachers think blogging is a way to document and show what they are doing with their students for the parents. My first few years blogging, this is exactly why I blogged.  But wait..can’t you blog to reflect on learning, use as your digital portfolio, and show what your students are doing?

Now that I am thinking more about my blog not just as a reflecting spot for my learning, but as my digital portfolio, I can blog with the perspective that I will continually refer back to these entries to share with others and to see how much I have grown.  Like an anchor chart! Funny thing is, I have used it this way!  Just like we hope for our students when they blog, when others comment and question my entries it makes me rethink and question my thoughts. This deepens the learning for all of us!  How awesome is that? It doesn’t mean if I blog it can only be geared one way.

It just means this…..

I am growing!  I am putting my learning process out there so that I can refer back to it whenever I need to.  I have found a new love for writing through blogging. How is that?  It forces me to reflect on my learning experiences which leads to even more growth by reflection.   That is all I can ask for!

I guess I can say my blonde or Aha moment created an awesome reflecting and growing opportunity for me!  🙂