Balance Acts

Holy mackerel! No posts since December 2016! What gives? Well-  trying to figure out the balance act of life and allowing self to take some detours to expand experiences.  I also forgot that I had set up the blog to Tweet when I publish – so now everyone is seeing my catch up frenzy! After this rush – I am pointed to just find the balance between this personal blog and a private family blog.

I am finding that a comfort zone and close circle is wealth in life – but it grows richer when one travels a bit outside the trail to circle back. I am starting to see life as a path that goes forward and back – ahead and around. It is not a one way direction. One step forward – 2 steps back. To me it is like Billy’s maps in the Bill Keane comic “Family Circus”.

Did you ever look back at something you did and wonder “who was that person that did all this?”

The ds106 path seems that way for me and now helps me understand when new participants dive in that personal expectations could drown you. There is so much to sample, explore, create. DS106 has no “rules” about how much effort or production one does. But the gem is that so many have added and built upon it as well as continue to add to it that the opportunities to have a path that has markers and resources upon it – doubled with a diverse community who will jump in at a moments notice. It really is like having part of your life in Hotel 106 – you can check out – but you never leave.

Hotel 106 - TDC1585

I am so pleased I committed to myself and started the open course in Jan of 2015 – hitching onto ds106 Noir and expanding into open collaborations with the Burgerons, Prisoner, FairyTale Festival, and ds106Western – I think I even had a small touch of Tales of Open DS106. The experiences opened up discovery, skill building and a sense of creative community. The online world has connected me to others who also practice paying it forward, but without the drama. Individuals who are confident in self and find success in seeing others successful. The selfish, the needy – the ones that see themselves the center of the universe are still there. I think what I find in the online communities is that the introverted extroverts have a place to be heard and to know they are not alone. Now – friends  I am not labeling you! But I have discovered many of you who have highest self expectations but also the heart and soul to support others without enabling.

Well – loads of life and transitions that is what has happened over the last 8-12months. As the circle of the hamster wheel (or is it hedgehog) turns, other things come up and consume one’s life. The ebbs and flow of what should be. I have moved to a new region of our state, bought a home, sold a home, a daughter’s wedding, the birth and first year of first grandchild, taken on some part-time consulting work.

A large part of relocation planning and managing and doing was on my plate due to health limitations of my husband. The blessing of early retirement has allowed for the time and attention needed to work through things in a comfortable (although sometimes lengthy) pace.

I am ds106 #4life – but it is now becoming integrated into life and not the focused and concentrated learning that leaves the rest of ones experiences wedging themselves in. I find the true barometer is how your connections can be intense and focused for a time. You set up the threads of common beliefs and interests, work on things grand and mediocre. But you can not sustain. The sustainability is in knowing and living that you can have the rush of the moments and common path and then take a turn and cross again without feeling like there has been an absence or neglect. Bringing what you gather from the time apart back and never missing a beat.

I had a short obsession with an online FB group of HGTV Fixer Upper Fans. A community page focusing on Farmhouse decor style of Joanna Gaines. It was like being able to tour people’s homes and see their creations. Great advice – some dreaming and interesting to see how no matter what a budget or place – people take pride in their homes. It really is a group who make houses homes. It also was a positive space during the months of first tension due to political climate in the USA. A great escape from the extremes -but also showing that in general people of all different backgrounds and beliefs can find common ground and be nice. I still scan and take part but have “balanced”.

I have been immersed in settling into a new community, caring for family, welcoming a new grandchild and watching him over the last year. I still watch and scan what others are doing and where their new paths are taking them. I know I do not have to be a part of every inch of another’s life to still feel connected to them, still support them and still call them friend.

So – Ronald_2008 – is expanding his art skills and creating some fantastic creations as well as still being the #1 daily create participant. He even authored a book!!!

Our book in the classroom

@johnjohnston is back in the classroom (I think) and making a difference for kids but also still expanding his support of educators and his futzing with how things work. I love that he has found some of his own balance.

Mariana Funes – @mvdfunes –  is finding her balance and together with John are on the airwaves again for all of us to enjoy and break open new thoughts in our brains thru their broadcasts and discussions. Mariana also models how to interconnect all these online spaces. I am excited and intrigued to see how her different online spaces come together and the strategies she has developed to keep immersed, but balanced.

John and Mariana stayed true to their promise to their 1M listeners of the 106Bullets radio broadcast and are back at it with a monthly session of Loose Learners. I missed the first ones due to erratic scanning of feeds – but it is on my calendar for June!  I encourage you to join in. Just look at this awesome poster Mariana created to tell about it! The conversation and tweet along is a must do! And for those in the USA – 1pm EST/2pmCST etc. Check out the archive episodes.

@cogdog expanding our understanding of the alchemy of the narrative online world and sheparding thoughts and directions of Creative Commons. Most of all sharing Felix with us! I love this dog! Such a soul.

You Rang?

flickr photo shared by cogdogblog under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

@jimgroom traveling the world and teaming with @timmyboy in providing reliable, affordable access and domain of one so that we may all connect. Thanks Reclaim Hosting.

So many others who are active and doing things and I can’t mention them all in this post or what they are doing and really – most of you know what they are doing because you do keep up! I know they will come up in future posts. 🙂

I see hedgehogs, stepping out for a concert and Twitter as the date, finding WA state beauty and running for the ds106 Athletic team, research and teaching, creating beautiful daily creates and art, traveling, gardening, grandkids, great things for kids in education led by many of my media specialist friends, classroom teachers with astounding energy and devotion to their students and selves through continued growth and practice, hard working being done in transforming public education from the ground up in SE Wisconsin.

Thanks to all that share and allowing me to learn from you and for your support in my loopy journey of life.

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