Thursday, January 16, 2014

Just Begin by Ann Haywood Leal

I am from Seattle.  Every member of my extended family owns some sort of whamadine coffee device to get them going in the morning.  And even though I am halfway through my triple espresso, I am having trouble beginning this blog. 

My mind is wandering and the delete button has become my best friend.  Then I start to get anxious, because time is running out, and I have to go prepare a busy day for my twenty first graders.

Those twenty first graders don't need a jolt of Seattle mud to get going.  They jump into their day with both feet and eyes wide open.


First graders don't worry about how to begin when they are writing or speaking.  Show and Tell is performed each day with gusto.  They aren't concerned with what their readers or listeners will think, because they are for sure positive that what they are saying or writing is the absolute most important and interesting thing ever.  They boast, they brag, they shamelessly praise themselves.  Constantly.

Last week a girl stood up in front for her turn to share.  She wore a ratty used-to-be-white veil.  It hung down over one eye.  "I got this from my cousin," she announced.  "It's almost time for my first communion, so I need to wear this."  

A boy nudged her out of the way to take his turn.  He proudly wore a shiny gold medal.  "It's for being the fastest runner," he said.  "Everybody got one."

So I'm going to take the cue from those twenty wise little creatures.  I'm going to begin without the worry about what someone will think.  I'm going to turn off the doubt button in my head, put on my ratty veil and shiny medal and just begin ...


14 comments:

  1. Ann, I was just talking with some of my writer friends at VCFA about how children just get right into whatever it is they set out to do. No hesitation. We also talked about how children aren't time wasters. If something doesn't feel right, they just move on. They will try a new game, abandon a book, or seek out a new friend until they find what feels good. Staying in situations that aren't serving us well....we know the dangers of doing that. Thanks for your post! Mary-Walker

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this post. When did we lose our ability to be our own best cheerleaders? We should all take a tip from those in-the-moment children and show our talents without fear or judgement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Darlene! It's so easy to let the self-doubt wash over us!

      Delete
  3. Ann, I love this post, too. Yes, when did I forget about just diving in with no reason for looking over my shoulder or worrying about anyone else? Just begin. Here, here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great post. I need to just begin. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Heather! Now I need to go take my own advice! :)

      Delete
  5. LOVE this! I'm off to grab my own ratty veil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Holly! Now maybe I need to go find one of those for myself!

      Delete
  6. So hard, and so important. Deep breath . . . beginning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am the Queen of Procrastination!

      Delete
  7. This is a great reminder to live in the moment! Thanks, Ann.

    ReplyDelete