My Year of 20/20 Vision (Boards)

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As a child of the 80s, one of my favorite pastimes was making collages. I would make them of my favorite bands, TV shows, places I wanted to visit, basically anything. They adorned my walls and my notebooks, and truth be told, I still have a few from my college years. 

In December, I had the opportunity to go on a work trip to Seattle that allowed me to “just be me.” I didn’t have to take care of anyone but myself. I was able to connect with friends who have known me longer than my husband has. The bed was all mine. I could shower when I wanted, for as long as I wanted with no interruptions. My meals were all that I wanted to eat, and they were hot! 

Though it was for work and only three nights away, I remember feeling refreshed in a way I hadn’t been in a while. In fact, I had been taking antidepressants to help with stress and anxiety, but in Seattle, they no longer seemed necessary. On the flight home, I forced myself to really think about why this trip was so different. 

The trip was basically a flashback to the same trip, thirteen years ago. I reflected back on all the changes I’ve experienced in the past thirteen years: marriage, homeownership, miscarriage, children, managing life-threatening allergies for my family, near loss of my father-in-law, and much. No wonder I had lost my sparkle

Shortly after my return, I had my annual physical, and my doctor asked me if I wanted to continue with the meds. “Are they working?” he asked. As I stopped to think about it, my heart knew the answer. “No.” I was using them to put a bandaid on my issues and continue to push through life. On the car ride home, I remembered what a dear friend and mentor told me she does when at a crossroad….make a vision board.

I spent my winter break #teacherlife researching vision board and chuckled that all things old are new again. Vision boards are Gen X’s collages. I could totally get behind this; the only problem was, who had magazines anymore? As a hoarder, I was able to find a dozen, and on January 1st, coffee, scissors, and a glue stick in hand, I got to work. 

My boys watched as I cut, arranged, rearranged, glued, and finally sat back to admire my work. The end result hangs in my bedroom, so it’s among the first and last things I see every day. This helps me set my intentions for the day, and it’s been working! I no longer take any medication because my vision board makes my heart sing and my soul stronger.

My vision board is not a quick fix, nor does it have an expiration date. What it is, is an ode to my youth and the key to my future.

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Maria is a full-time mom, teacher, wife, daughter, and sister, who feels pulled in too many directions! Her older son Michael took over 24 hours to be born, and at six-months-old was diagnosed with allergies to dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, shrimp, and wheat…all after exclusively nursing because she was SO SURE that would help him be a healthy kid. Luckily at age 1, he began to outgrow some of his allergies. Fingers crossed the others will soon follow because that plus a husband who doesn’t eat any veggies and Maria always battling her weight makes for three meals to prepare every night. Luckily, Christopher, her younger son, is a cooperative eater! As someone who has always been committed to making positive change, Maria uses her privilege and position as an educator and mom to work toward a most anti-racisit, equitibile, and inclusive world. Recently, Maria has even started getting up at 5am to workout in her basement. (Thank you pandemic living!) She is addicted to reading chicklit on her Kindle app in the dark, most Trader Joe’s products, and watching TikToks.

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