Life is filled with unexpected twists and turns. You can plan on one event, but then something gets in the way and you have to change your plans. That happens.
As much as possible I try to stick to the plans set, but at times life has a way of pulling you in a different direction. So rather than attend the MTA Conference as planned, I'll attend to a number of personal needs and issues instead. This was unexpected, but it's the right thing to do.
Every chapter in life has its pushes and pulls. I always look back on a time early in my career when an older colleague had expectations for me that I could not fulfill. At that time I was consumed with my classroom efforts and my busy home life with young children. Then there was a period when I could devote lots and lots of time to extra education events as well as family and the classroom, and now I find a number of family needs pulling me in a new direction.
I think it's important to listen to the calls that life makes for you--it's important to read the signs and symbols both overt and subtle around you as you decide how and where to spend your time and energy. For example, I am happy that during my children's early years, I did make room for them and my most important professional responsibilities--it was a choice that was important to me and a choice that laid a good foundation for them. I'm similarly happy that I was able to invest considerable effort and time into deepening and growing my professional repertoire in the last twenty years as that has provided me with a strong foundation as I teach and work with colleagues in and outside of school with respect to teaching well and supporting the profession. And now, life is calling me in different ways--ways that find me focusing on the day-to-day needs for my close and extended family as well as for the students I teach and colleagues I work with.
Life throws all of us unexpected twists and turns, and what's important is that we take a thoughtful approach to those unexpected events and make decisions that help us to stay true to ourselves and the directions we deem most important. Onward.