“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou
My mother would have been 68 today. I say would have because she lost her battle with metastatic vaginal melanoma thirteen years ago. Before her diagnosis, she worked in our local school system as a kindergarten para-professional. She did other things as well. She founded a mentoring program at her elementary school, the Men and Women of Orrs. It started out as a way to get positive male role models for some of the boys at the school and grew into a program that served both boys and girls and as a result, the students were able to spend quality one on one time with adults. My mother was able to get sponsors for the program, organize field trips, and was featured in an ad in People magazine. She was a Girl Scout leader, a Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader, a room mother, PTA officer, band parent, and an Army wife. I really can’t put into words all of what she did because she did so much. She did everything that needed to be done, and she did it with passion. She baked, sewed, worked outside of the home, and managed to move our family each time the Army said move. Unfortunately, the cancer diagnosis robbed her and us. Once she was told her cancer was terminal (she was given six months to live), she gave up. I’m not judging because I don’t know what I would do in that situation. I suppose she really didn’t give up. She was given six months to live. She held the cancer off for eighteen months.
I speak of my mother today because it’s her birthday, and because I want to honor her memory. I think she knew I wanted to be a teacher; however, she passed away three years before I started teaching. I think she would be happy with the teacher I became. As I make more of a concerted effort to blog, I have been trying to get focused on my not-so-new anymore job. I came across an idea last week that really struck a chord with me. I have been making resolutions for a long time, and I have been not keeping resolutions for even longer. While looking at Twitter, I noticed the hashtag #OneWord. I did some reading and realized that I didn’t need to make resolutions for this year. Why set myself up for failure? There are a lots of things I need to do. I know it so why make a list. I needed to find my #OneWord for the year, and let that word drive everything I do. Because I have been thinking of my mom and all that she did, it came to me that my #OneWord is #passion. She did everything with passion, and it served her well. I can do the same.
For 2015, I will let passion be my guide.
As an instructional technology coach, I will approach my job with passion. The teachers in my district deserve my very best. If I give them my best, they will be better equipped to share our district technology initiatives with our students. We are here for the students.
As a daughter, sister, aunt, and friend, I will approach my life with passion. I owe it to myself, my family, and friends. Life is short. There is a great big world outside of my home. Living a life with passion means I will love, laugh, and most important, LIVE. I will go, do, see, explore, and learn.
Happy Birthday, Mom. You lived your life with passion. For you, I will do the same.