Glass Half Full

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I’ve noticed recently that I haven’t been my most positive self (not in front of my students though, of course). Daily life, stress, frustrations, and annoyances have gotten the better of me, I’m embarrassed to admit. My usual cheerful smile has been on vacation for quite a while…

Annoyances with my best friend who seems to call everyday with something new to complain about…you just bought a house, you have a wonderful boyfriend, a great job…sheesh what else could you ask for?

The stress of grading a never ending stack of papers, planning creative and thought provoking lessons to keep my students engaged through out the testing season, hunting down texts from multiple libraries near my home and school in order to replace the computers we will be without for the duration of march (thanks PARCC!).

Frustrations with Comcast….seriously guys, a week and a half to fix my internet…don’t you know I’m a teacher?!?! With my family who act as if my day is a piece of cake…clearly teachers just hang out and watch movies all day…I shouldn’t be tired. With the highway…never ending traffic that always seems to appear the days I need to arrive early anywhere…seriously, how does the highway just know?!

All of these thoughts and more have recently taken homage in my mind…until Friday afternoon following our girls on the run practice. When chatting with one of my girls about her weekend plans as dad was running late, I discovered her family didn’t have any power. No electricity. For several weeks. Here I am complaining about the most superficial of problems (traffic and no internet…seriously?! How shallow am I?!) when my student was struggling to just have the basics.

What do you say at that moment? All I could do was give her a big hug and offer her a few books from my classroom to read while it was light out…which she graciously declined…too dark to read she confided in me.

This amazing 9 year old had been showing up to school for weeks with a giant smile on her face and a positive attitude…never once letting on that something was happening at home…and I’m sitting her complaining because I don’t have internet?! Whoa…

I like to think I’ve never been a selfish or superficial human being…but as of late, I’ve come to realize my mindset has been too busy focusing on the negative, the unimportant, a glass half empty.

After hearing of my runner’s struggles and seeing the positive attitude she can put forth even though times may be hard, makes me realize that what I have to complain about just isn’t that important…or worth the stress, frustrations, and annoyances it beings to my life. So with that, I’m choosing to live my life as a glass half full kinda girl…starting today.

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13 responses »

  1. It can be hard to not feel guilty when you hear of others’ struggles – but I like your take on it. Become more positive. I too am struggling with constant stress and pressures (where does the time go everyday?), and it can be hard to keep a positive attitude when you are so bogged down.

    Keep it up, and good luck! You are not alone!

  2. Definitely puts things into perspective, but don’t be so hard on yourself, Missy. We all have frustrations and we just have to ride the wave. You’re a shining light of a gal. 🙂 I’m looking forward to summer fun, largely in part bc of you, Mr. Pullman. What do they say.. Even the smallest spark can illuminate a room… or something? You still got it.

    • Aww thanks, Brighid! My Mr.Pullman voice will be making a reappearance this summer. We should probably start trying to talk Carrie into letting us teach the same grade level again this year!

  3. Yes, perspective! You can still be annoyed about all the “little” things that go wrong every day of our lives, as long as you keep that 9-year old in mind. And yes, I agree, that having a smile on your face will remind you of that perspective. Thank you for sharing, I think we all needed that!

  4. I applaud you for being the kind of teacher who supports Girls on the Run; the kind of teacher a child will confide in; the kind of writer who shares openly and honestly. Thank you!

  5. What a great reminder to be thankful for our own lives! Its amazing what some of our kids go through and, like you said, show up and work and play like nothing is wrong. I’ve been struggling with staying positive lately too. I have to keep reminding myself to find the good in each day.

  6. Sometimes perspective comes from the most unexpected line of sight. This has made me realize I’ve spent the better part of this evening in the doldrums over what now seems like nonsense, when there are people with real problems. Thank you for sharing.

  7. It’s easy to get onto a “roll” when you start thinking about the things that are bothering you, irritating, difficult, etc. I know– I’ve done it! Fortunately, people who are generally upbeat can’t stay “down” for long without realizing something’s seriously out of whack. Sometimes it just takes a situation like what you experienced to bring some perspective.

    That’s not to minimize the difficulties you face. It’s normal to feel frustrated sometimes! You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t experience those feelings, and you likely wouldn’t be as helpful to your students if your life was “Suzy Sunshine” all the time.

    You’ve done some nice writing here- I can definitely “hear” your voice!

    I’m glad you’ve found a way to start to climb out of your “glass half empty”. I’m also glad your student has a caring teacher like you.

  8. It’s okay to have these kind of frustrations in your life. As Stacey said, they are valid. Just because they are different from others does not mean they aren’t valid to you. It’s all in how you handle it and it seems like you are going to be keeping perspective, which is great. That young lady is lucky to have someone to care about her, as you obviously do.

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