I started day one with the idea that I would just take one day at a time during this challenge. Some of my motivating thoughts were: how I really enjoyed reading other people’s posts last year, thinking that if I encouraged people in their posts it would help me be more positive, and that I would feel like there is a world outside of my own little bubble. These ideas pushed me forward. I would try my best to keep up, even though I knew that our new reality with the pandemic brings so many unanticipated responsibilities in school. It is also the end of robotics season, which calls for unpredictable time expectations for me. My son and daughter are making transitions in their college careers that require additional support. And, I could go on and on. You know that often our free writing time is the first to suffer.
Here we are on the last day of the challenge and it appears that I have written every single day. I learned to carve out time to write. My anticipation of what my experience would be this year was fulfilled. I felt more positive about life and writing. I learned about other writers’ experiences and was amazed at how they made themselves vulnerable in their writing. I learned from other writers’ writing techniques and their interpretation of the world.
I am sad that the challenge is over. But, I know that this practice of sharing and discussing writing is not over for me. I am fortunate to be a part of a writing group where I have a similar experience throughout the year. I hope other writers in the challenge are able to make connections and continue sharing their work.
Some highlights from the challenge:
- I read a post from someone in India. She shared about her culture and some traditions that her culture has. She felt so fortunate to reach out to others through the internet. I felt really blessed to have made a connection with her.
- I read a post about the grieving process in Judaism. The author shared her thoughts on how the pandemic did not allow time for grieving and for all that is lost. The author expressed concern about not having this time to process.
- One of the welcome wagon members is someone I started following in last year’s challenge. I read one of his posts in February before the challenge and it motivated me to join up this year. He also provided some great tips for keeping up with the daily postings. I always enjoy his posts on his experiences in Iowa.
- There was a post on hiking in Colorado that provided such vivid descriptions that I felt like I was there.
- There was a post from someone living in New York City that described all the noise and made me thankful I did not have to listen to it.
- Someone posted about how they had a ‘secret friend’ program at work throughout the year. They would secretly give someone a treat or encouragement every month. What a great idea!
- Reading posts from administrators reminded me of how hard their job is and what it’s like to be on the other side. One of their big tasks this year was being the main ‘cheerleader’ for teachers when, at times, they probably looked at the situation and felt hopeless themselves.
- It was interesting to read posts from people who taught at different grade levels.
- There were people who wrote about raising their kids and the different phases they go through. I comisserated with people who were teaching their children to drive. I related to those people that were watching their high schoolers react to remote learning and how to help them through.
- It seemed like so many of us were getting vaccinated. We shared the relief of having the vaccine (even through all of the symptoms) and the anguish of not having our families vaccinated.
- I loved hearing the different levels of book love. I read a post where I was reminded that not everyone was a ‘reader’ from the start and needed some proding. I read a post where someone was friends with the author of the book they were reading and described how this impacted her experience of reading.
- There were so many more and I loved reading them all.
- And, the kindness and generosity of the comments to me and to others reminded me that there is still goodness in the world.
Thanks to the creators of the Slice and to all of you for building a supportive community.