I looked back and it has been six months since I wrote my last blog. I have missed blogging but found there was little time or head space to create as I have been working to balance both my personal and professional life. I had to take a few things of the plate in order to be successful at both.
A friend asked me about a post she had created about the last decade, her reflection, growth and direction moving forward. At the time I had little to say because I had not had the time or space to process my own thinking. It has been a whirlwind of a two week break with my family. Since my transition back to Beijing I have intentionally taken moments to reflect and evaluate my last few years and where it is I want to go over the next year.
Looking back last year was a year of exploration. I have enjoyed and immersed myself more in the Chinese culture and have planned a trip around China in the spring. I traveled to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Cambodia this year. My plan for 2020 is Myanmar and Sri Lanka as I continue to want to explore the beauty and complexity of Asia. I am beginning to work on developing a network of others outside of campus but that still proves to be difficult for me as an extroverted introvert in a city the size of Beijing. I have completed all of the IB Leadership courses and continue to expand my knowledge of the IB through future courses in both the MYP and DP. I applied for and interviewed for several jobs this year but was not the successful candidate. Although it is difficult I learned a great deal about the process and myself along the way. I have accepted a new position at CISB as the Director of Academics and Professional Learning and will be working whole school and at times with our other International Schools within the company. I am VERY excited about the possibilities of this new role.
Scott and I have gone back and forth and tried to find a solution and a more permanent home base as Harrison has just completed his Masters and Griffin will be graduating in June. We think we have finalized a plan for the next year and will be moving in that direction over the next few weeks.
Finally, not only did I explore but I started my Educational Doctorate at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. It has been a process for me that required more time, focus, discipline and sacrifice then I initially thought. It has frustrated me and pushed me to my limits. There have been tears, anger, self-doubt and pride every step along the way. I have had the unwavering support of my biggest champions Scott, Harrison, Griffin and Catherine cheering me on from the sidelines, kicking me in the ass when I need it and picking me up when I have fallen. I have gone all in not wanting to disappoint myself or others who are making great sacrifices for me to complete this work.
I have continued to live and to reflect on these words over the last 4 years. My leadership team has heard me use the word intentional a thousand times in our work together and knows the value I place on it in decision making. As a leader I continue to build on others strengths and to inspire them to take risks and look at the multitude of possibilities out there for them. Three years ago I took a leap of faith to see what new possibilities there were for me and I embraced an opportunity that presented itself in Beijing, China. Although it can be difficult at times to be away from my family and friends I have used this experience to grow and learn both personally and professionally. Over the last 4 years I have explored new countries, opportunities and experiences.
So what about 2020?
This year is going to be filled with transition and change. Harrison will be moving out on his own and working to find a job in the field he has studied over the last 6 years. Griffin is graduating from the University of Michigan and will continue to pursue his dream of playing professional hockey. I am taking on a new role and will need to focus time and energy in expanding my understanding and knowledge of how the MYP and DP program work and how we can create greater alignment across the school and our other international schools. Several of my colleagues and friends will be leaving Beijing this year and virtually everyone I started with here will be gone and off on new adventures. I will be continuing my work on my EdD and will begin the research and action part of the program which is both exciting and terrifying at the same time! Scott and I have decided to make a move and relocate in the US so now we have to find a place that will accommodate the changing nature of our family.
While I feel that I am good at managing change and have had more than my share to manage over the last decade there are pivotal transition times in your life. This year is one of those times for me. So for 2020 my one word is ACCEPTANCE.
I am going to accept…
* the highs and lows that this year brings.
* I will be uncomfortable, emotional and challenged.
* pushing my limitations.
* the love and support of my family and friends.
* done is better than perfect sometimes. (Thank you Jenny Sabin)
* failure and the lessons it provides.
* the opportunities and choices that a I have.
* positive intentions.
For me #oneword is about setting an intention for the year and working to live it in all aspects of my life. This for me it is about acceptance. I will do my best to accept and manage the change and transition that is coming knowing I cannot control everything and that with hope, faith and hardwork everything will be just the way it is supposed to be!