Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

March 19, 2013

Navigation & Contemplation

Forsynthia from my front yard.

Navigating middle school. Simon will be heading to middle school in the fall. The school district will place him in a middle school that they think will be a good fit for him and the services he needs but we (Chris and I) are also touring schools and talking with administrators and teachers and considering options for him. He is excited. Open. Willing. I want to bottle that up.

Navigating meetings with my CPA and attorneys. Work stuff. Life stuff. Tax time. Listening. Receiving advice. Making decisions. The business stuff of business. There are days I feel very alone in these decisions. Sitting with the fear of the unknown, sitting with the fear of making the wrong decisions, educating myself, practicing bravery. Out of my element but wanting to be a “grown-up” and make the best possible decisions for myself and my kids.

Navigating office floors. If you are taking One Little Word you probably heard me talking about my action item for this month which is to make a decision about new floors for my office and re-arrange the space again. Katie and I will be cleaning out my office this week – removing everything in preparation for the floor guys to come in next Monday.

Navigating soul-searching. Finding a home for myself between independence and need. Between “I can do it all myself” and “I really want to be sharing this journey.” Between control and letting go. It will likely be one of my greatest struggles throughout the course of my life.

Navigating the everyday. Last week I had the best dinner table experience with Anna and Simon. It wasn’t one thing in particular but the entire experience in general. There was back and forth conversation. Everyone stayed seated at the table. There was minimal complaining about the food that was served. It was all these things in conjunction with one another that seemed so awesome. It might have had something to do with the new chart set up – I’m not sure. Whatever it was, I noticed it and my heart was happy.

Navigating towards open. All of this navigation results in a lot of contemplation. Sometimes I feel frozen and literally have to will myself to take the next step (or be pushed over the edge). Other times it all feels fluid and smooth and easy.

Navigating time. Those of you that get my newsletter might have read about how I’m changing up how I approach my work schedule. This past week I spent time assessing how long some of my tasks actually take. Now it’s time to take action. I’m noticing that I’m thinking way too much and not implementing (and adjusting as I make progress vs. living it out in my head without any forward movement).

Life is a constant series of navigations. Figuring out what makes sense, directing, recovering from mistakes, celebrating success, opening vs. closing, riding the waves, surviving the lows, listening, learning, choosing, taking action.


  • 51.
    Nita K. said…

    This really touched me today. Thanks for sharing.

  • 52.
    KimP said…

    I am so pleased to hear that Simon is excited & open about middle school. It is such an enormous transition, chaotic but wonderful.
    We are looking forward but nervous to be sending Ethan off to college in the fall (not sure if you remember meeting him in CT after CKU so many years ago.) I have to say middle school and high school simply flew by.

  • 53.
    Kara said…

    Thanks for your words today. Somedays you just need to know you are not the only one out there that feels like this.

  • 54.
    Brooke said…

    You continue to be such an inspiration for me and for my life, not just with paper! I’ve been doing less thinking and more implementing lately. There is certainly a balance because I’m finding I still need that calm thinking time. I kind of miss it.

  • 55.
    J3SS1C4 said…

    I love this post, Ali! Sharing this is very brave and open of you! It really is a reminder that no matter how things seem on the outside, everyone really is navigating things in their own lives, even if it’s not always obvious on the outside! Goodluck with the school decisions with Simon, I’m glad to hear he’s excited about it!

  • 56.
    Jamie said…

    Thank you so much for your honesty and your openness. It means more than you know. Often (more like always) I look at myself & what I’m doing, and then I look at people like you and I feel like such an under-achiever, like I’m just missing the boat. Thank you for letting me know that it’s not always easy for you; that your life & your process isn’t the fine-tuned seemingly naturally effortless, confident final product we all sometimes see. You are awesome!

  • 57.
    Beth said…

    Felt your heart-wrenching decisions, particularly Simon! We made the wrong decision when our son moved to middle school. We didn’t know how important that IEP was. The District saw our son differently than we did. I commend you for looking at your options and those schools outside the District.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Beth – I’d love insight or suggestions from you if you are willing to share.

  • 58.
    Tammy said…

    Ali, I heard a quote a few weeks back that really struck a cord with me regarding action and perfection and making decisions.

    “Imperfect action beats perfect inaction every time”.

    It was actually something I wrote down for myself for OLW and really even just a daily reminder for me for life. I am sure you have heard it before, but if not, I hope it helps.

  • 59.
    Ingvild said…

    Thank you for sharing and for always beeing so open. You are a big inspiration, in many different ways. Both creativity and life. You have a big heart – and we all love you for that.

  • 60.
    Michelle said…

    Thank you for sharing, I can relate to you in many ways and it is nice to hear from other who have challenges but keep NAVIGATING.

  • 61.
    Tinka said…

    WOW, this statement really hit home: “I’m noticing that I’m thinking way too much and not implementing (and adjusting as I make progress vs. living it out in my head without any forward movement).” Living it out in my head is exactly what I recently realized I have been doing, instead of achieving (my OLW for 2013) all the things I want and need to accomplish, particularly those tasks I really need to get done!! Thanks for the added reinforcement!

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