Surprise! Stopping to Smell the Daisies

Once in a while you get a surprise that takes your breath away.
Allizon Zmuda with flowers in front of signs and gifts from her family

I am sitting writing this blog post with my to do list by my side. Checking off a box is fleeting as it is immediately replaced by 2-3 other important items.

I have worked on time management strategies to focus on what is most important given what I hope to contribute to the world. Most days it looks and feels like a precarious juggling act that requires constant recalibration to regain my footing.

Meditating helps. Writing my morning pages helps. Staring at the sun (sunrise, sunset, through the trees) helps.

But once in a while you get a surprise that takes your breath away. When I was visiting my son in Baltimore, he and my daughter surprised me with a display to honor the publication of my 12th book.

Allison Zmuda with a paper chain around her neck
This paper chain is made up of my 12 book titles
  • The paper chains were made up of book titles.
  • The embroidered sweatshirt has the logo of my company — Competent Classroom — that was born 22 years ago with a vision to do curriculum work that was challenging, possible, and worthy of the attempt for both staff and students.
  • The cookies, flowers, and bookmark were just cherries on top of the display.
Over the years, there have been so many early morning writing sessions trying to write something that was fresh, important, and helpful. And when my adult kids turned around and celebrated that … their witnessing and honoring the effort and persistence that it has taken over the years … that moved me to tears.

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Work with Allison

Just as Allison advocates for personalized learning to be used by her clients, she practices it when engaging with her clients. It is important to Allison that she develop a relationship with those she pours into, preferring long standing relationships over quick, one-off sessions.

Toolkits by Allison Zmuda & Bena Kallick