Well, we’ve reached that time of the Challenge where we review the month.

So, the Slice of Life Challenge, a reflection:

1) First, a special thanks to the wonderful writers, teachers, and moderators of Two Writing Teachers. Without this outstanding group of educators at the helm, this ship would be adrift and I’m sure my own writing habits would not be as good as they are (not that they are stellar right now).

2) I’ve already written about this, my writing has been herky jerky all month. I’m not going go into that too much longer, but I’m making a spot at home to be a bit more organized personally, which I hope helps with not only writing, other things as well.

3) Although my writing wasn’t up to what I think I can do, it connected with people, and that’s to be a step in the right direction. My views are up, my comments are up, and the number of people who follow my blog are up as well. No, that’s not why I do this, but yet, a little validation never hurt anyone, not at all.

4) I enjoyed the topics this month of my writing this month because we did cool stuff. We managed to buy a camper, visit family, watch basketball in person, and had our 28th anniversary dinner out for the first time since 2019. Again, I feel like those topics connected with my reader and that means a lot. My voice projects world wide, which is insane to think about a fat, middle aged, balding dude from rural Iowa can reach people India, Ireland, Canada and a host of other countries as well. And I’m not even that GOOD of a writer! Imagine some of our Slicers and the tons of people they interact with on a daily basis. It’s so cool that our topics connect us across wide distances.

5) I was not as good of a commenter as I’d like to have been. Usually I’m able to get into more blogs, but having more classes that I’m teaching, and every other day, I’m seeing all of sixth grade, half of seven and eighth grades, I’m bone tired. Not an excuse, but just my reality right now. I don’t know how many times I came home and fell asleep on the couch. Too many.

6) And finally, I managed to get a couple of outside runs in, my wife and completed another 112 miles on the bike, 26.2 miles running, and 2.4 miles in the pool. We started a 30 minute of exercise a day challenge on Monday. If we keep moving, it will keep the junk thoughts at bay, although I’ve allowed myself to lose some of that focus on health and nutrition to fade.

I tweeted something yesterday: “I’m exhausted from trying to be stronger than I feel.” This challenge has made me feel like I’m connected through words, which is what I needed, that feeling of belonging. It’s been a long, hard, draining school year and we have two months left. My hope is that the words I’ve written and the words yet to be typed will help me to manage the tomfoolery of awful behaviors from students, awful behaviors from our state legislature (we now get to upload our plans for the year and possibly will have $75 million dollars diverted away from public education towards vouchers), and the demons inside my own head.

Good luck to everyone as they finish up their own challenge. I wish you all peace, grace, and a little bit of fun. We all could use this going forward. When we meet back up here again next year, I look forward to reading more of your stories, your feelings, your slices.