First of all, Happy New Year!!! 2017, let’s rock it! I hope your break, assuming you had one, was restful and rejuvenating. You and I both know that we’re going to need to pull strength from those restful days as we trudge through the remaining half of the year!
I wanted to take a minute, or several, to reflect on my 5th Blogiversary which occurred this week! There are so many parts to this post and to my reflections on blogging. I was initially going to do this privately, reflecting and making goals for myself. However, one goal I have for the year ahead is more transparency and connection with you. So here it is, my blogiversary reflections, celebrations, goals, and… a gift from me to each of you! Read on!
I began blogging in 2012. So much has changed since then. For one thing, my logo has had a few facelifts:
Another change has been me! I began blogging during my second year of being an SLP. I began blogging because I was adapting so many “ancient” materials while trying to engage my students and I wanted to share my ideas with anybody else who cared to see them. Now, in my 7th year as an SLP, feeling more “seasoned” (or insert another less-negative word for being about 1/4 of my way to retirement) I have had so many more experiences as an SLP and as a blogger than I could have ever imagined. I have worked at 11 school buildings and countless homes while working in Early Intervention. I have had my own office, shared with others, and had an “office on wheels” when in EI and while working in Chicago between schools. Each of these experiences have shaped my blogging and I hope you have enjoyed learning from each of them.
I’ve also learned that blogging is hard work if you’re going to do it well and consistently. I can say that most years I have done both of these. However, 2016 has been an exceptionally busy year for me with juggling 7 school sites in the spring as an itinerant SLP and then moving to Phoenix over the summer. I have learned to give myself permission to take breaks when needed and focus on other areas of my life when needed. It has led to fewer blog posts in 2016 which has, if we’re being transparent, given me so many feelings of guilt and failure. I am a person who wants to give 100% to each area of my life and blogging has not received even close to that this year.
My last reflection involves reactions and transparency. I try to be as “real” as I can through my blog posts and social media, letting you see me as I am. Truthfully, it’s terrifying to put yourself out there for thousands of people to critique. I’ve been so fortunate to meet so many supportive people through this blog. I have met some of my best friends and fellow bloggers through networking and have met SLPs from all over the world through social media and conferences. I have learned to have a thicker skin when errors are exploited and to be okay with failure as long as intentions were good. I know how to keep moving, dig deep, and work hard. Blogging is a great teacher!
Since my last blogiversary I have celebrated so many great milestones and achievements including 8K Instagramers following @sublimespeech, 100th material posted on TpT, presenting at ASHA 2016, figuring out snapchat filters (hey, don’t laugh, you remember when you finally figured this out!), and more! Each time I read feedback on TpT I see a small celebration in helping you to help the clients that you work with. I have always wanted to be a traveling SLP and, in some way, I see that I have traveled all over the world through the materials I have created and that you have felt were beneficial to your clients. Thank you for each of these celebrations, I hope for many more!
2017 is a new year and I’m always so happy that my blogiversaries happen at this time of year when goal-making is fresh on my mind. Over winter break I spent 20 HOURS driving to and from Kansas City. Needless to say, many podcasts were finished and a lot of thinking occurred. I have set some personal and blogging goals for this year and beyond. One of them is to be 98% transparent with you. No, not 100%. I’m probably going to still re-record some videos, I’ll probably not take videos and pictures when I wake up on Saturday mornings looking like I got in a fight with my bed, and I’ll probably not tell you EXACTLY how I feel about everything. But, I don’t think you’d want to see all of that anyway. I’ll show you the good, the bad, and the “oh my heavens” of my SLP life. I also have a goal to finish many of the materials that I have started. We won’t go into details here (there’s a whole calendar shindig going on in my blogging planner right now) but just expect to see some new beauts making their debut very soon! (Right after progress notes and medicaid billing, let’s be real here!) And, finally, I will be blogging a whole lot more. You should see my draft folder on my blog. There are 25 draft posts in there, abandoned at varying points of completion. My goal is to finish as many as possible as well as authoring new ones about how we are twisting up speech & language therapy this year. We’ve gotten creative and I can’t wait to show you what sort of activities and techniques we’ve been using!
I promised a gift for each of you. I wouldn’t let you down, no party host ever should. First of all, I want to thank you. Each of you. It always humbles me to know people care what I have to say and share. Thank you for your time, for your comments, for the laughs, for purchasing and downloading materials, and for sharing this crazy SLP life with me. I truly appreciate you! To say thank you and celebrate our 5 years together, please head over to this link to download a free resource to help assessments, IEPs, etc. go more smoothly. Pass along the link to this blog post to any friends who may want to access the freebie as well, I’d love to meet some new people this year!
Have a great 2017, I’ll see you around!