On A Farewell Tour

And like that, thirty four years as a public-school educator have come and gone. So much has happened since 1984; believe me, I've been feeling like this 4th grader,

mostly in response to all of the stuff I'd hoarded collected saved.
{Don't judge me, but I even had some floppy disks in there.}

One small office, one large learning lab,
and four practice rooms from when it was a band hall,
all filled to the brim with my treasures,
all needing to be sorted, boxed, and moved.
It was an incredible chore, which would have been easier
and given me a lot more time
had I not called an audible at the last hour.
I'm happy to say that I got it all cleaned out,
with some last-minute help from my friend Carol.

That was Thursday, after an epic week on my farewell tour.

Tuesday morning started off with breakfast
with my FISD counseling colleagues and forever friends.

Their biggest gift is their loving kindness, but I was also pretty excited about the tangibles, the shirt with one of the things they've heard me say, 
Be Where Your Feet Are
a spa day, gift cards for coffee and books, a towel that says
Kindness Matters
and a succulent plant to put by my pool.
That afternoon, the HS counselors joined us for our last meeting;
that's where we played the Elephant Exchange game.
I wrapped up some really good stuff from my office,
one valuable thing (that they can possibly use),
a reminder that counselors always address the elephant in the room,
and one funny thing (that they may or may not want),
to remember that laughter is an amazing antidote to what ails ya.

On Wednesday, our neighboring district hosted a one-day character conference and invited me to present a learning session. I chose mindset, one of my favorite topics, and my session filled up fast.
The hour flew by, and before we knew it, it was time for the breakout after mine, on mindful minutes.
As the clock ticked by and there didn't appear to be a presenter,
I thought how brilliant that might be, that maybe
the presenter on mindfulness was sitting in the audience,
taking a mindful minute by practicing mindful breathing.
But no, actually the presenter had gotten sick
and wasn't able to make it.
Thankfully I had my computer with me, so I stepped in 
and offered to share what I knew about mindfulness.

And then I repeated the mindset session. 
What a blast, to plant these self-care seeds. 

 That afternoon we were inspired to be relational in a keynote by Houston Kraft from Character Strongwhom we'd hosted at our B & B the night before. for the win, time to hang out with and learn from that passionate leader.

On Thursday I was treated to lunch with our APs,
Wendy and Lee. We didn't get a picture,
but it is indelibly imprinted on my heart.
With their servant leadership at our schools,
those families are in incredibly strong and loving hands.

Friday found me preparing for our third-annual Poolside PD.

Twelve counselors strong, we sat in a circle and shared growth mindset ideas that are guaranteed to make last year jealous.
We laughed and we cried.
And when our precious time had ticked away,

they went shopping for new-to-them books from my collection.

It gives me great joy, to pass these titles along
to superhero counselors like these beautiful women.
My CCISD counseling friends brought me this angel for my collection; her name is courage.
I wonder how they knew which one I didn't have yet.

They also all signed a copy of I Wish You More and gave it to me along with a kindness journal and a bath bomb.
They are a blessing to me.
I am grateful.
And I want them to have it all.

So that's how my Farewell Tour has gone,
except to mention that I am now scheduled to
give ukulele lessons,
do some life coaching,
mentor a young counselor,
plan my FJH workshop,
and prepare for a day in Deer Park
lifting up their paraprofessionals
in a self-care, mindfulness learning session.

Talk about having it all ... 

did someone say retirement? 

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