Over the course of my life, I have acquired many titles and roles: daughter, sister, friend, teacher, mother, professor, board member, Director of Teacher Education, leader, agent of change, colleague, disruptor, team mom, Dr. Coach, mentor, and the list goes on. In each of these roles, I try to lead by example, leaning into each moment whether the moment is comfortable or uncomfortable, and live in the realization that we have one shot at every day. Once the moment is over, it’s over. The words we say, the way we make people feel, and the actions we take, whether people are watching or not, matter. They matter a lot.
This isn’t an easy way to approach life. In fact, it’s really kind of hard. However, when I intentionally focus on the things I can control, like my attitude and the words and actions I spend, I am much happier. If I’m happy, and the others with whom I interact are happier because of what I have done for them or said to them, then it’s a win-win! It is a life well-spent. Ultimately, my life seems to have more purpose when I start each day answering the question Mary Oliver asks in her poem “the Summer Day:” “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Getting to this point in my life didn’t happen by accident, and it certainly didn’t occur without heartache and a little guilt. What’s important, though, is that I arrived – that I am arriving – that I have plans to continue arriving.