Monday, August 18, 2014

Sabbatical - Day 1: Being Accountable to Self

I am a hard worker.  I always liked school. I enjoy investigating projects. I like finding solutions. I enjoy my work and I enjoy the people with whom I work. 

I am reliable. 

. . . to other people.

On day one of my sabbatical I actually set my alarm! Because I am using this year to learn how to be accountable to myself.  I have dreams and visions of how I want to lead my life, interact with others and change the world (one dance at a time).  I have always used my obligations to others as motivation for my work. And, this is not a bad thing. I have made great choices and accomplished a lot by living my life this way (See Blog post Healthy Obligations). 

What is new and wonderful (and scary) about this upcoming year is that I will have a chance to return to the childlike wonder I remember in my formative years.  I am a product of Montessori schooling (for my k-5 years).  I distinctly remember my classroom for grades 1-3 taught by Miss Susan Lindert.  I loved learning. I was allowed to love learning. I was given the space to discover, imagine, and play.  The Montessori classroom was based on the work cycle.  I had my own list of tasks each day-- reading, cursive/writing, math, geography.  I got to choose which to start with, and I was allowed to spent as much time on each of them as I needed, keeping in mind the goal of finishing all of the tasks.  I always finished my work cycle with tons of time left over.  And, it was at this point that I was set free to be anything, to learn anything, to play and discover. 

The Montessori classroom was covered in materials for discovery.  Displays on Egypt, waterways, farm animals, musical bells, books, and books, and books, plants, languages, etc.  And, I could do anything I wanted.  I often got sucked into my Laura Ingalls Wilder books or would dream stories in my notebook.

I remember wandering around the room and just looking at the possibilities

Looking back I see that the most important lesson was not the content I learned, but the sensation of free-form learning that I remember. I had hours each week in which I was only accountable to myself, my interests, my passions, my drives.   

I was never burdened with a feeling of "I have to. . . "

Waking up this morning, I felt transported to Miss Lindert's classroom again.  Excited to learn, to do the work, to discover.  These drives are part of my nature.  They are real, and they are wonderful. I don't need to worry about being accountable to myself.  I can trust my internal passion for discovery to move me forward.

Interested in reading additional posts related to this topic? Click below.

The Burden of Expectation (First day of Summer before my year long Sabbatical)
The Power to Choose
Time: Your Most Valuable Currency
Agency: Remembering You Have It 
Finding Success
Giving Yourself Permission
On Being a Better Over-Achiever

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