The Things I Carry by Alex Rister


The “Things I Carry” project has been really inspirational.  My favorite “Things I Carry” so far was Chiara Ojeda’s elegant deck.  View it here.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the ten things I carry with me, and after a lunch with my superteacher BFF, my “Things I Carry” emerged.  As opposed to creating a deck of slides, I thought I would write an article on the ten things I value the most in life and carry with me on a daily basis…

SERVICE.  I’ve always been committed to service.  I’m not sure where this value came from, as neither one of my parents ever volunteered when I was growing up.  However, a huge part of my middle/high school and college experience was about giving back to my school and to my community.  Since then, I’ve always made time for work, school, and volunteer activities.

A GOOD BAUBLE.  My jewelry collection is pretty out of control because I firmly believe in the power of a good bauble.  I always feel more confident with a great pair of chandelier earrings or a nice chunky watch.

WORK.  I’ll admit it; I’m a workaholic.  I work 50 hours on a light week.  I also like to work in my off time, so “work” is something I value and carry with me at all times.  Whether I’m running three miles, volunteering for an organization I care about, or sweating it out while working in the yard, I really do enjoy hard work.  It’s fun!

A CAT MENAGERIE.  I’m a cat lady.  I am “mom” to 3 precious cats: Sailor, Lily, and Sparks.  My husband and I also feed 3 outside cats though only one is my sweet baby: Bailey.



THE WORD “YES.”  This does get me in a lot of trouble.  I immediately say “yes” to everything… often without thinking.  Great ideas, new plans, and possibilities are exciting to me.  However, I find that I am exhausted at the end of each day because I say “yes” to everything and everyone.  I also sometimes accidentally double-book because I want to do too many great things at the same time, which leads me to the sixth thing I carry…

CALENDAR.  My Lilly Pulitzer calendar is my favorite.  I prefer a hard copy of a calendar as opposed to something on my phone or on my computer.  This helps me stay organized despite a thousand appointments, activities, duties, and errands.

SALTED CARAMEL ANYTHING.  I have a sweet tooth, and I love salted caramel anything: brownies, froyo, etc.  The ultimate is a salted caramel Nutella brownie.  Heaven!



EDUCATION.  My learning-centered, research-based education has meant the world to me.  I earned an A.A. in Communication from Chipola College, a place that taught me the importance of balancing schoolwork and leadership.  Pursuing a B.A. in English from the University of Florida was a powerful experience, and I feel so fortunate to have attended one of the best schools in the nation.  I also earned my M.A. in English from UNF, and I’m going back to school for another M.A. in Communication.  One day, I will earn a PhD in Communication.  I can’t wait!  Teaching and learning are a core part of who I am, so I will always take classes as well as teach classes.

MY BUSTED WORK LAPTOP.  It’s currently rocking an external keyboard because I work so much that my center keys don’t function properly.  A few months ago, my poor laptop was so overused that the screen came unhinged from the keyboard.  I had to send it to the Mac doctor for about six months, and after getting it back, it only took six more months before the most recent keyboard issue.  My laptop is a champ!  She might be hideous and beaten up, but she is the best.

REAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE.  In one of the best personal decisions I’ve ever made, I deleted my Facebook two years ago, and, along with it, a lot of baggage.  After giving up Facebook, I found that I had to work a bit harder to nurture a real life circle of friends.  It is definitely more difficult to call someone to find out how they’ve been doing as opposed to stalking their Facebook wall.  However, deleting my Facebook account really shined a light on the honest, real friendships and relationships in my life.  I’m so thankful to carry my husband, my family, and my best friends with me where ever I go.  Love them <3

I haven’t decided whether or not to turn this into a deck on Slideshare… Stay tuned :)

What things do YOU carry?


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