reflecting and DOCUMENTING

It always seems that a free Saturday in October motivates my wife to grab her camera, put our young children in adorable outfits, and demand that I drive to a perfect setting to take pictures.  Well, not really demand but strongly request.  I guess you can never pass up an opportunity to capture that ultimate moment for the Christmas card that will hopefully gain an audience when it is posted in the main office.  Let’s face it–the holiday card display in schools in December takes over the conversation. Well, last Saturday we were successful.  Successful in getting my kids to simultaneously smile with a glimpse of the water backdrop in the San Remo section of Kings Park and successful in finding the inspiration for my blog on the letter D–DOCUMENTING.

While making funny faces behind my wife to get Olivia to smile and admiring this serene setting that overlooks boats, calm north shore water, and pure zen, I witnessed documented love.  On a wood bench, two lovers (or just one lover who assumed the carving role) carved their initials in a prominent heart, G + B.  Cute.  I think I was actually jealous because I can’t remember the last time that I could have just sat on a bench with my wife and potentially carved, E + L.  Next to the deeply dug G + B, two other couples marked their love, J + K (which probably stood for just kidding) and Joe + Syd.  I started to analyze these engravings.  Oh, I was still jumping, clapping, laughing, screaming, making bird noises to get a smile. But, I began to make judgments on these three couples.  G + B were either really in love to dig so deep into this bench or were just fifteen and thought their love would last forever.  Ha!  Regardless, they wanted this moment to last forever.  Well, at least the engraving did.  What about J +K or Joe + Syd?  They barely got into the wood.  In fact, it almost looked like they just used a pen to write on the bench it was so faint.  Their love would certainly be washed away by the salt from the water, the constant use of this bench, or through the analysis from other bloggers (well…).  Do they care though?  Does it matter to them?  Who knows!  Yet, I do know that this bench is symbolic of the power of documenting the reflection of one’s craft.  It is those who go the step further to dig deep in documenting their thoughts who reflect and learn the best.

Even further, joining this blogging challenge with Audra Beberman, Danielle Gately, Danielle Mammolito, Dennis Schug, Don Gately, Hillary Bromberg, Scott Garofola, and Tania Willman (others will join this list once their blogs are shared) has been transformational for me as a leader.  I was already extremely reflective of everything that I do.  I really work hard at it.  I think about how every decision that I make can build relationships, culture, and morale. Or, potentially tear them apart.  But thinking about it is simply not enough.  It is the J + K and Joe + Syd.  Eventually, the thinking will be washed away and the reflection will be gone.  Blogging has heightened my level of reflection and has documented my thoughts so I can truly assess my ability to lead.  Using Voxer, our group has discussed the process of blogging at length.  Similar to teaching and learning, the process is by far more important than the product.

If you are wondering, we will most likely be taking pictures again.  Hey, maybe I can analyze others’ intent to document their love in another setting.  Or, as I look at my two awesome children, savor the moment and find inspiration for my next blog post on E.


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