Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles
In laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life?

Today represents more than a year and yet as I reflect, what came to mind were those lyrics from Seasons of Love,
one of my favorite songs from the musical
RENT. Today began like any other morning. I woke up, reached for my tablet or my laptop, logged into Twitter and made a post of a #DENspiration. Then I copied the link of the Twitter post and I pasted it into a post on Facebook in the DEN Friends group. And in that regard, today was like any other day. But in one regard, today is different.

Today marks one thousand days of change. Today is the one thousandth #DENspiration post.

I have struggled with the idea of whether this should pass quietly, as each of the previous nine hundred ninety-nine days has passed quietly, or whether it should be celebrated like the ball dropping on New Year’s at midnight, marking the change of the old into the new. I decided on a compromise – a blog post and a small acknowledgement of one thousand days.

Those who know me well know that I don’t like to write blog posts. I’ll express my opinions, when asked and sometimes when not, but I don’t want to be tied, I suppose, to a monthly, weekly or daily writing expectation. Some of this I know is generated from the days when my husband write the junior hockey equivalent of the Drudge Report, rising early each morning to seek out information and collate it into one location. It gave him great joy, fed his passion, and kept him occupied for a time, but eventually it became more of a chore and less of a joy and he allowed it pass along to the wayside as many of his obsessions do.

I have had the opportunity, more than once, in the past one thousand days to share the origin story of #DENspiration, my selfish little passion project that became so much more. I jokingly say that it grew legs, like a spider, and scampered off without me, but there’s more truth to that than fiction. But I will not deny that this particular passion project’s impetus was twofold – first to find a way to thank and express gratitude to the group of individuals who comprise Discovery Education and the Discovery Educator Network because they offered me refuge and shelter and a place to fit in when I felt like a misfit on the Island of Misfit Toys but second to feed my soul and my spirit and to force myself to begin each day with a commitment to see the good in the world.

At the time, I worked in what some would define as a toxic environment; at least it was toxic to me and it was shading and poisoning me in ways that I just simply didn’t know… until I attended the 2014 Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute (DENSI) and then I realized how I was affected and how the toxic environment in which I was working was affecting me. I spent about two weeks processing and thinking and on July 29, 2014 I committed. I committed to positivity. I committed to sharing. I committed to beginning each day with a fresh outlook.

It changed my life. One very small choice changed my life. It changed my outlook. It changed my perspective. It changed my paradigm. If you want to know more about the HOW it changed my paradigm, read this. (Author’s Note: This was presented as a DEN Speaks presentation at DENSI 2015. You simply read the slides… that is how it was presented – without narration.)

I would not be where I am today if it were not for that one choice. I would not be where I am today without you. Thank you to the Discovery Education Community and most especially to my #Tribe. You know who you are.

P.S.: I owe some individuals a bit of “singling out” – to the #BlueCrew (you know who you are), I love you and appreciate you and I wouldn’t be as strong physically and mentally today if it weren’t for your support; to Porter Palmer, wherever your travels are taking you, I hold you in my heart because you offered me a spot when you saw something I didn’t see; to Jeannine “Neene” Shields for serving as my sounding board and telling me when I should be courageous; to Dave Tchozewski for giving a DEN Speaks that gave me my #DENspiration; to Dean Shareski for making me look better than I do and sound more intelligent than I am…and for allowing me to share MY story; and to Steve Dembo for recognizing MY paper crane project.

P.P.S. If you would like a copy of a limited edition run of #DENspiration1K, please contact me. I will be happy to share two cards with you. It is my gift of gratitude. I ask that you keep one card and that you share the other with someone whom you believe needs to hear a message of hope or positivity.

P.P.P.S.: And if you’re curious and want a retrospective of my growth and changes over the past years after my involvement with the DEN, check out these videos.

2014 DENSI Application

2015 DENSI Application

2015 DEN Summer Institute “Accepted” Song

DEN Turns Ten Community Stories

November 24, 2015 DEN Community Member of the Week

2016 DENSI Application

DE In Action

2017 DENSI Application

Lindsay Foster

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A Journey of 1000 Days Begins With One Post #DENspiration
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