Stretch: What I Learned Along the Way

"Lean into the stretch and grow, breakthrough limits and old ways that no longer serve and eventually soar and reach deeper levels of strength and faith and expression."  

 - Christine Arylo, Are You Feeling Stretched?

In 2017, I chose the word STRETCH (read about it here).  I'm honestly having a hard time leaving in 2018 though I know what I've learned will stay with me.  In a new position at school, STRETCH gave me permission to tackle tougher challenges.  An introvert at heart, STRETCH made me reach out to others a bit more (yeah, I'm not there yet).  Here are a few favorite STRETCHes from 2017.

STRETCH helped me in my new role as a literacy instructional leader.  I worried about being out of the classroom (and I still do), but I have been so inspired by the people I am beside each day.  This role has given me the opportunity to work alongside our district's fourteen literacy coaches, the new teachers in our district, reading support teachers, and classroom teachers.  Their expertise is always pushing me and challenging my thinking.

STRETCH took me to new places.  I finally made the trip to Tucson in March and spent some time with my brother.  What have I been waiting for all these years?  It helped me find adventure in Maine as my husband and I visited for the first time this summer.  It took me to Indianapolis to see U2 and stand on the floor maneuvering for a prime location as close to the front as we could get.

STRETCH gave me courage in the kitchen.  Oh, baking.  I've always been a bit intimidated by the art and chemistry of baking.  However, this word, Pinterest, and lots of encouragement from a friend (- thanks, Julie) have helped me to give it a try.  I haven't mastered the art of presentation, but the science of taste is improving.  Here are a few of my favorite recipes from this endeavor:

STRETCH has given me the permission to try things that are a bit uncomfortable.  I have a feeling the lessons I've learned will stay with me - as will the power of this one little word, STRETCH.



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