Live Your Legend Blog Challenge!

A dream to be satisfied.  A dream to fully live.  This is what I have.  What I want is an incredible life that I wouldn’t change for the world.  To help me get there, I am participating in the Live Your Legend Start a Blog Challenge!

We were given the puzzle of writing about our story.  I will begin with explaining why I chose the word puzzle instead of something similar like task or challenge.  A puzzle, to me, is a fun problem to solve.  A puzzle has less stress behind it.  I’ve been running from challenges or problems for most of my life.  I would avoid scary situations.  I would procrastinate out of fear.  I would tell lies or make up excuses for not doing things.  One way I’ve learned to help me is to frame any difficult situations as puzzles.  So, there is the darker side of me.  I also want to spread some light!

I love to play.  Almost any type of game, I will be into.  I particularly like soccer.  Currently, I am volunteering as a Dad’s Club soccer coach and just love spending time with those kids.  Videogames and board games also are a great interest of mine.  Part of what I love about games is the fact that there usually is a clear goal to strive for.

Speaking of goals, that is why I am doing this blog challenge.  I want to identify what my goals of life should be.  Maybe I can turn it into a game.  Here’s to discovery!

Chase Your Questions

Be curious.  I wish it was that simple.  You know what is simple?  Sitting in front of the TV and playing videogames.

I was told by a colleague about how rain forests are taking in much more CO2 than previously thought.  I just looked up an article from Science Times and read about what my colleague was saying.  It was clear my colleague argues against climate change and this made me feel uneasy.  The general scientific consensus is that climate change is happening and humans are the cause.

But here’s a problem I ran into.  I couldn’t name studies saying climate change was happening.  I know CO2 is on the rise and the change in temperature is highly correlated.  After that, I am basically stumped.  There are other reports of the glaciers melting and the acidity level of the ocean rising because of the increased temperature, but those aren’t causes of the temperature rising.  They are effects.

What else could be causing the temperature rise?  Another colleague of mine mentioned the sun cycles.  I know little about those.  The rise could be part of a natural earth cycle.  But, what causes that cycle?

Here are some questions to pursue.  If I had more info, then I would have felt better at adding to the conversation.  Though, I could have asked the questions.  In any case, being curious would have been a benefit!


Project-based Planning

I’ve been a bum again!  This has been thought way too many times the last few days.

My “free” time has been increased dramatically the last few weeks.  First, I had winter vacation.  Second, we’ve had snow days the last two days.  Yet, I still am not 100% prepared for the upcoming school quarter.  Now, 100% will never be reached, but you would think with all the extra time to prepare I would at least have 3-4 weeks roughly planned.  Nope.  Not even close.

What was I doing with my time?  For Christmas, I received FIFA 15.  I played through an entire season on it and am now on my second season.  Once I started to get the “back-to-school nerves” I distracted myself with the 7th Harry Potter book.  I read it in less than two days.

What I achieved was not helping me get any major projects done.  Leisure time is fine when it is in moderation.  What I was doing was leisure overload.  I find when this happens (yes, it’s happened before) I begin to find the easiest tasks, such as putting away the dishes, just so challenging.  In short, I get uber-lazy.

How can this be avoided?  I can’t tell you for sure, but I have an idea and am experimenting.  What I am doing is planning projects that support my values.  Then, I am setting time aside that is specifically for that project.

Here’s what it looks like.  I make time on Sunday to plan my upcoming week.  I have my list of projects beside me.  Then, I mark on my Google Calendar what I am going to work on at different times.  I know.  Mind blown.  Simple to set up, difficult to maintain.  It takes a lot of discipline to stick to a schedule.  Especially when FIFA 15 is easily available.  But, learning to say no to distractions is a worthy skill to have.

This has been my first week in attempting this.  So far, I’ve spent time working on the project listed during the set time frames.  However, I haven’t gotten all that I thought I’d get done.  Some of the time spent is thinking of what to do.  To counter this, I want to create a list of much simpler and smaller steps of the projects.  Then, I can have this list to view and work off of during the scheduled times.

The Yearly Reflection

Sitting on the Shore

The flow of the river continues on.  Our life is like the river.  Erosion, new paths, and varying speeds occur.  When we are on the river, we sometimes love floating along.  However, there are the times when we also love taking a break on the shore and discussing what we experienced while floating.  Both experiences are rewarding.  Today, I’d like to spend some time sitting on the shore and discuss my floating experiences of the past year.

What did I learn?

I love the feeling of growth.  The summer was a blast for me.  I was reading and writing consistently.  I felt amazing.  Once school started, I felt blocked in my personal growth.  I have been struggling emotionally.  But, I realize my focus is on the wrong set of goals.  I focus on my own growth instead of the growth of others.  I never want goals to depend on other people, so having learning goals based on student performance is something I don’t want.  But, I must find goals related to teaching that I find inspiring.

My support group has grown.  Abbie’s family supports me.  Her mom wants to sponsor a science experiment.  That is so nice of her!  We also went camping with her mom and step-dad.  Also, we’ve been attending more meals with her dad’s family.  It feels good to be supported.

When I get scared, I run to comfort.  School was getting challenging and I found myself turning to food.  Especially peanut butter.  Compared to last year, I realized I am facing challenges more often, but it is not something I do consistently yet.

I am at the most peace when I write consistently.  From my time keeping a journal and to writing these blog posts, I realized I am calmer and happier.  I find writing to be revitalizing, but I also view it as less important than, say, lesson planning.  But, what happens is I will sit and complain about lesson planning instead of making progress.  Writing would likely clear my head and allow a far more effective lesson planning session.

Dreams of Next Year

Ideally, I want to feel engaged in what I do.  This means I want to understand why I am doing what I am doing.  There are many times when I jump to what is easiest, such as playing videogames, instead of doing what would be helpful.  The feeling of autonomy is desired.

Interacting with more people.  Abbie and I have a house now, so we should spend time inviting people over.  People are interesting.  I want to learn from them!

An article count above 100 for this website.  No, an article count above 130 (I have about 30 now).  What I really want is to be writing consistently.  Might as well share my thoughts.

I want to learn about online education.  I plan on taking the Coursera certification course on online education.

Lastly, I want to ensure I plan out my weeks.  I’ve already scheduled Sundays for working on the upcoming week’s plan.  This will help in feeling engaged in the moment, for I am giving myself the time to plan what I truly want to do!

Create Time to Create

Where does the time go?

We tend to get distracted quite easily.  For example, I just watched an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee which I didn’t have planned.  I just happened to see Jerry Seinfeld on an episode of The Daily Show.  Then there are the times when I start looking at Facebook and find myself continuously scrolling down absentmindedly.  Been there too?  This also occurs at our jobs.  Microsoft surveyed their workers and reported that 2 out of 5 days per week were unproductive.  Yet, we often times wonder why “there just isn’t enough time in the day.”

So where does our time go?  I encourage you to make a list of what you believe are your key distracting activities.  Then, spend two or three days tallying the number of times you do the distracting activity.  I think you’ll be amazed to see where the time goes.

Create Life Standards

Remember the easy days when parents controlled our life?  Just one cookie for dessert.  Just one hour of TV tonight.  We spent time complaining, sure, but we also did something amazing.  We did other things!

Look at the list of distracting activities you made.  Choose one activity and set a limit for how many times you can do it.  Maybe only check Facebook once per day.  Watch only one episode of The Big Bang Theory instead all six on TBS (yeah, that used to be something I did.  No wonder I didn’t keep that first job).

I decided to limit how many hours I spend playing video games per week.  I decided on limiting myself to 4 sessions and/or 5 hours, whichever comes first.  Here is the document I created to help myself keep track.  It is currently on our counter where I see it daily to help remind me.  As a side note, I noticed a benefit to limiting the activity: I allow myself to be fully immersed in it.  The internal nagging voice saying, “do something productive!” is no longer present.

But Now I’m Bored!

Good.  The purpose of this is to create time to do other things.  Let go of your crutches and security and start being the person you deeply want to be.  Being creative is challenging.  But, think about how good you will feel by living up to the image you truly want to be.  Let me know what you are starting to limit.  We can do this together.