Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Before Vegas Thoughts!

Hi All!

I am going to do a before Vegas and after Vegas post to update you on the TPT Vegas experience. I am bringing my husband along so we can stay a few extra days. We are planning to head over to Zion National Park in Utah for a little exploration! We've got some adventurous hikes planned... and this girl is not so sure she loves heights...  I'll let you know how I do!

I'm doing a little self reflection before I head out that maybe will resonate with some of you as teachers, TPT sellers, bloggers, wives, and mothers. I am guilty of perfectionist tendencies... I love to reach my potential and push myself to do more so that everything under my care is the best that it can be. Anyone else like that too? Here's what I've already learned in just 4 years of teaching... it's really hard to make everything in your life the best that it can be at ONE time.

Well organized classroom, best instruction/assessment and all that we do each day to keep our students and families moving forward, a clean house, time to take care of loved ones, cooking healthy meals, exercise and sleep, a content-rich blog and social media, a happening TPT Store, and new products in the making! Have you expected that from yourself on one given day? I have. Several times. Then, I go to bed at night feeling like my product is not done, I need to go into school early to get a few more things ready for the students that day, and cleaning will have to get done tomorrow night. To me, incomplete tasks feel messy and uncomfortable.

Sometimes that product that you thought you would have done by Thursday isn't done until the next Friday. Sometimes those messy periods go on for a while, and it takes time before it reaches the beautiful you had in mind. But pouring 100% of yourself into all that you do, you will eventually reach the beautiful you set out to achieve (or even more than what you imagined). A personal goal of mine is to feel more content "in the mess" as I reach toward my goal. After all, God tells us "He has made everything beautiful in it's time" Ecclesiastes 3:11.

My goal for the TPT Conference is to have fun, learn how to create and sell better products, set new goals for my personal growth, learn time management strategies from more experienced sellers, and be inspired by very creative people. My goal is NOT to compare myself to sellers that have had huge success or have 10X the amount of products in their store and a few thousand more followers. I will not leave feeling overwhelmed and putting pressure on myself. That takes all the fun out of this journey and will not lead to joyful personal growth. Creating for my students and other teachers is FUN and so rewarding. There are products I have purchased from other sellers that have made my life easier and made creative learning possible for my students when I wouldn't otherwise have the time/resources to do so. I am so honored when other teachers find the same value in using my products, and their students enjoy engaging with the content. Impacting students' lives and teachers' lives is why I went into teaching, and TPT is a part of that now. Additionally, learning how to think more like an entrepreneur and being a part of the greater teacher community is challenging me and teaching me each step of the way.

I promise myself to be happy with where I am in my TPT journey today and celebrate every 2 inches of progress I make. Progress is enough - It doesn't have to be a huge stride. Everything in the "messy stage" is a sign that I am on my way to something beautiful! BIG things happen when we push ourselves outside of our comfort zone.

Teaching and creating is not about "doing it all", being perfect, and receiving a reward at the end. It about loving, learning, and growing.  You can't put a price on that!

So carry on strong teachers... As you approach a new experience ahead of you, whether it be the TPT conference, a new school year/position, a new baby, or whatever you are pouring yourself into, remember that you may very well feel that you are in a "mess" as you are challenged but it is leading to something beautiful. Enjoy every step of the way!

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