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On-Site Staff / Opinion / Staff Leadership and Management

Grace and Space

Grace and Space. That’s what I’ve been saying to myself and others lately. We need to offer it to ourselves and to each other. Grace and space. The words just popped in my head, but once they got there they clutched on tight and won’t let go.

2018 has been a hell of a year, for me personally and I think for us in general. So, I think those are my words for 2019. I’ve never been a resolutions girl because I feel they just set me up for failure at the very start of a new beginning (which may be just means I’m prone to setting my resolutions bar way too high and need to re-think the kind of resolutions I set). But a word… something I want to embrace or manifest or focus on… well, that’s something I can get behind.

So, grace.

And, space.

Can we let some breath come in 2019? Some forgiveness? Can we honor our own humanity and the humanity in those around us? Can we find beauty even amongst division? Can we lead with love? That’s grace.

A new year is a new start. A new start is a new beginning. A new beginning is a new opportunity. A new opportunity is a new canvas. A new canvas is a wide-open blank, just waiting to be filled. And everyone fills their canvas differently. That’s Space.

My boss always likes to tell us that as educators we get the great gift of TWO New Years… the start of the school year, and the actual new calendar year. Which means we get the blessing of using January 1st as a time to also reflect on how the school year is going so far—if the goals and hopes and dreams we set forth in our first new year are happening the way we imagined. And if not, this second new year is a good time for a shift or a re-focus. I love this idea…  and it recently got me thinking about the fact that though not everyone has two “formal” new years in a year, we ALL have multiple new starts. Every single morning when the sun rises.

It’s not just that January 1st is a new canvas. I have the opportunity every morning to say “Today is a blank canvas… how will I fill it? How will I show grace to myself and others today? And how will I honor others’ space, and how will I fill my own today?” And when I start thinking down that path, a whole bunch of other words start to flood my mind. Words like kindness, forgiveness, adventure, joy, peace, laughter, mischief, quiet, acceptance, magic, and (most important of all, for me) love.

So now I’ve come to believe that my two words—grace and space—are like the doorway to all the things I want to do/see/feel/believe in 2019. Once I figured them out, the doorway opened and all those things spilled out and rained on me like some kind of magical word confetti. And I just want to swim around in them and see what others might appear. Because these words are creating my path forward into 2019; they are the arrows pointing me in the direction I should go.

What will your words be for 2019? And where will their arrows point you?

(Wherever they point you, I hope it’s unforgettable.)

For breakfast, I had a cup of coffee and a few stale leftover Christmas cookies. (Hey…. grace)

Author: @erikap

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