Hello and happy Monday! I can’t believe summer’s already coming to an end. I’ve never been good at goodbyes, but with Westmont it’s always more of a ‘see you later’ than a goodbye. The photo above is from when I started my journey at Westmont. I hope that everyone who read these blogs has enjoyed them as much as I have had writing them. Over this summer I feel as though I’ve been taken back to my roots—not only because I physically returned to the place I grew up, but because I returned to so many concepts I thought I understood, but had lost touch with. As adults, we seem to get in the habit of getting something done or understanding something as quickly as possible so we can ‘check the box’. Then once we finish that task we don’t see any point in revisiting it. I’ve found through being around the children that this mindset can make it hard to hold onto what we do accomplish and understand. Westmont encourages children to take their time with whatever they do—whether it’s a seahorse craft that takes five minutes or map work that takes months to complete. Westmont culture teaches children to be entirely present and focused on whatever they choose to do, something we lose touch with as adults. It can be easy to buy into the idea that slowing down and taking your time doing something isn’t as productive as tearing your way through tasks as quickly as possible. I heard a child say this week, “Look! I’m really taking my time and being super careful.” Westmont’s emphasis on patience always pulled me back to focusing on the work itself so that I could gain real satisfaction when I was finished regardless of how long it took.
Being at Westmont this summer reminded me that it’s always worth taking your time to really absorb and reflect on the work being done and the ideas behind it. Otherwise, what’s the point in doing it at all? I sat with a child doing a puzzle this week and watched as he slowly turned over the pieces and found how each one fit together with the rest. I got that familiar sense that I needed to rush to get it done even though there was no real deadline for completing this little penguin puzzle. I looked back at him doing the puzzle. With every piece he put together he grinned and said, “Yay! I did it!” He was completely present. Being at Westmont this summer felt like coming home, but it also felt like a gentle reminder to patiently and thoughtfully move forward into the future. I encourage everyone to take their time too. So thank you, Westmont for giving me the opportunity to sit down and take my time with your philosophy this summer—from respect to responsibility to everything in between. I wouldn’t be the person I am without you.
All the best,