What to keep and what to let go

What to keep and what to let go….
This afternoon I spent a little time in the disastrous “South Room” of our house.  Once upon a time it was a lovely room with wicker furniture and thriving plants.  Currently it is inhabited by piles of paperbacks, shelves of speech materials most ancient but some new, mountains of empty bins and containers, dresser drawers with notecards and paper, craft items in bags and boxes.  It’s hard to walk through there.  Scooting some boxes aside I made room to plop myself on the floor.  I emptied two boxes of papers which went into three piles.   To the recycler: Sure there is good stuff in there. Papers and articles presented by professional colleagues from around the country.  I was drawn to read them, to glean the information and use it in my practice. Oh, yeah, I don’t have a practice. Recycle.
To keep for awhile:  some of my best work or best lessons that I can’t draw myself to part with.  Not today, but soon they will go to the recycler.
To give: worksheets and articulation drill books and story mapping outlines and my unit on humor for the middle school kids. Am I fooling  myself? Will someone actually use this stuff?
As I sat there in the middle of 35 years of professional life I came to a decision about what else I will let go.  My licenses and certifications.  I am not going to renew.   Oregon Teaching License with Speech Impaired endorsement.  Oregon School Administrators  license.  Oregon Board of Examiners Speech Pathology License.  American Speech-Language and Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence.  I am going to let them go.
My college classmate, professional colleague and dear friend, Dana Wood and I used to have long conversations about what we were going to be when we grew up.  I saw her a couple weeks at her retirement party.   ” We are now grown up” I said.  “What are we going to be?” Dana may be still pondering the question.  But I know.  Now that I am grown up I am going to be me.   Not the me that is defined by career or professional affiliations.  
I am going to be me.  Just Carol.  I am getting rid of everything else: The framed papers hanging on the wall that tell the world it’s ok to use my God given skills, the papers in the boxes and the books on the shelves. keeping me tho.  😉

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