Summer, Summer, Summertime!!!
Remember when you were a kid and summer seemed to last forever?? It was filled with baseball, bike rides, ice cream, sandboxes, and all things happy. I hope your summer is going as awesome as it can be and you have packed some of this same kind of fun into these precious days. My summer has really just officially started. Between snow makeup days at the end of the school year, teaching science during summer school, and the crappy weather of June, I have not had much of a break yet. But here we are and much like last summer and the Summer of ME, I am declaring this season the Summer of CHOICE!!!
Do you know how often I talk about choices? Let’s see, I teach high school kids, so multiple times a day, with multiple different students…..do the math, yep all the time!!! Constantly we talk about choosing to go to class, choosing to go on time, choosing to pay attention, choosing to put your phone away, choosing to do the homework, choosing to study the material, choosing to ask questions……you get the idea. I can do the speech in my sleep.
We also talk about natural consequences if you choose not to do those responsible things. For example, if you copy all of your homework and don’t go to class, you don’t know how to do anything on the test, so the natural consequence is you do crappy on the assessment!!! Seriously we talk about it all day long as high school teachers.
So the million dollar question to be answered this summer is why do I become surprised when I make choices and things do not turn out the way I would have liked? Why do I act like one of my students? Ugh!!! It’s as if somewhere along the way, it was okay to start making excuses and blame circumstances, instead of understanding and accepting the natural consequences I preach to my students.
Yes, Angela……if you eat and drink all day, every day at the lake for 10 days, do very little exercise besides walking towards the food or drink, the number on the scale will be higher when you get back home……………………WHAT???!!!???!!??!!
Yes, Angela……if you nag and yell at the girls during the day, instead of being and acting like a patient parent, they will return those same actions and behaviors to you and each other later……….WHAT????!!!!???!!!
Yes, Angela……if you do not plan meals, prepare healthy snacks, and be organized with your time and money, you will spend lots of it and be stressed out by how much you have spent……..WHAT???!!!???!!!
See what I mean. My students should be giving me the choices/natural consequences talk right now. Am I actively taking responsibility for these choices I have made? No, I am blaming and making excuses for what I have done. Would I change all of my actions so far this summer? No!! Being at the lake with family and friends, laughing, making memories and solving all of the world’s problems from our lawn chairs was invaluable time, I would not trade. And if it is hot this weekend at the lake and I want to have a cold, adult beverage, will I still make that choice? Absolutely!! But my focus for the summer is to own up to the choices, understand the natural consequences, and take responsibility for them.
I can choose to eat yummy desserts, but I need to understand I should go for a walk once I am done. Or the reverse, I can get up in the morning and go walking, something I love to do, and then it will provide me with some cushion to have the yummy dessert later. All about choices.
I can choose to plan my meals, buy healthy snacks and prep them so my family and I are not reaching for convenience items when we are all home during the day. If I take responsibility for those actions, there is no reason it can’t be done. But do you see what I mean about acting surprised because I didn’t do it? What world was I living in?
So there it is my Summer of Choice. If I make CHOICE my power word and think about what I am doing, I can make a lot of really positive choices for myself and be responsible when I don’t. Maybe I can get this adulting thing down yet!! The point is, just like for my students, I have the power to choose and control my decisions. If things are not panning out the way I want them to, I have no one to look at besides myself. I am going to choose to see that as a really empowering, positive thing because it can be. I don’t like when I don’t have control, so here’s my chance!!
What are the choices you make that surprise you later? In a good way or a bad way? Maybe you have been running every day and you are feeling awesome. That would be a great choice!! I am hoping I am not alone with some of my “bad” choices and your comments help all of us feel supported!! If I can get a grip on my choices to be more balanced, better version of my self, then I know you can too!!
CHALLENGE TIME!!!! Share some choices with us!! Good ones or bad ones. Can you relate to my being surprised when I make “bad” choices? What choices are you going to try to be more diligent about in the next two months before this summer season comes to a close? Share them with us here, or on the Facebook page, Speaking Jelinese. Your comments, likes, and shares help keep the conversation going for all of us!! Happy Summer of CHOICE!!!!
Talk to you later,