A few weeks ago, I wrote about my own kids and their reading habits. As our routines have adjusted to fit with our ever changing lives and schedules, I’ve noticed screens seeping into more and more of our minutes. My kids wake up and they want to watch TV immediately. They come home from school and they watch TV now while my husband continues working and before I’m home. Every night I ask the same question, “Did you read?” and there is usually an excuse or a dodge of the question. So, this week, I printed out blank calendars and told the girls that I wanted them to write down what they read. “Let’s make a little time for reading.” I know that when they make time for reading, they enjoy it. They still need a little help in the finding time department.
Many years ago now, I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I’ve probably written about it before. The book shared many practical examples of ways to make your life happier. One that has stuck with me is to do what can be done in a minute instead of putting it off. I think they book talked about bringing the clothes on the stair railing up instead of just letting them sit there another day. Even though reading takes time and so does writing, this principle resonates. Take the time to get it done.
On February 28th, I wondered if I had anything to write about in the month of March. How could I pull this off? I felt depleted. I didn’t have a storage bank of ideas or even thoughts of ideas. I was dried up. Yet, I still filled out the Google Form to register for the challenge. I knew from past experience that March is a gift. A gift of connecting to a community I value, a gift of memories documented, and the gift of living in a way that my eyes are open to the joys that I know are always around. And like magic, most days, the ideas came. My writerly senses returned and I noticed snippets that grew into slices.
March did not disappoint. The Slice of Life community once again showed up. I grew closer to real life colleagues as I read their pieces, catching up on life events, new thinking, and day to day life. I also reconnected to Slicers from past challenges, learning about how this last year has impacted them. There were also new writers met and new bonds formed. My writing felt simple this year, mostly relying on bits of the day rushed into a “published” piece. Most days, I marveled at the writing of so many of you here. Admittedly, I was also envious at times. Some of the words you put together…the cleverness, the emotion, the big ideas packaged in ways that stuck with me long after reading.
In life, I’ve learned, that we make time for what we value. There will always be excuses or obstacles…or in the case of my kids, TV shows to watch. There are also things that add value to our lives. This challenge and writing every Tuesday with the Slice of Life Community is one of those things for me.
Right now, as I wrap this up, my eight year old daughter is sitting across from me, tapping away on her Chromebook, drafting her April 1st post for her second year participating in the Student Slice of Life Challenge…and the joy will live on for another month.
Thank you to all of the co-authors at Two Writing Teachers for creating this space and fostering this beautiful community.