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Creative Voting

For the last few months, my life has felt more chaotic than one of my over-used palettes.

For I’ve struggled to hold a brush or stay awake after work long enough to fire off even the tiniest of posts. For a while I thought that grief over the quarter million Covid-19 fatalities just in the US or worry about the election that’s now almost behind us was sapping my creativity . Then, just as I started an online Special Educator teaching job, my second bout of pneumonia this year roared through my lungs while anemia from a chronic illness sucked the strength from my limbs and psyche. The combination left energy only for the essentials – job and making sure the one kid still living at home is fed and reasonably clean.

This morning, as I sporadically checked the election returns, however, I decided that, instead of worrying about the results, I’d get out of bed and work on my lessons for the coming day. As I pulled together interactive Google slides and Kahoot games, I realized that, just because I haven’t had a brush in my hand, doesn’t mean there’s been no creativity in my life. It’s just been going towards making sure kids who are struggling can read and do math.

As I put together a game board for one of my reading students, I thought about how much progress she’s made in just the last month and how far she’ll go long after she’s forgotten most of her 5th grade teachers. As I imported game pieces into the Google slide we’ll use later this morning, I felt like I was casting another vote for hope in her future and ours. I’ll keep doing it today and the next day and the next, regardless of who the next president is. Not voting for her future — and all the other kids who are just discovering their gifts – is not an option.

The nature of chronic illness is that it comes but it also goes, and when it does, there will be more energy for creativity in the other parts of my life. For now, creative voting in the Zoom classroom is enough.