...When the Road Gets Bumpy, Just Smile, Smile, Smile!
Are you an optimistic person?
I am. This is not to say that I don't complain, or ever think negatively, because I do. In fact, I often joke that I think negatively about things so I will pleasantly surprised when they turn out well. For example, I LOVE hearing that students on my list for next year are SO hard, because they rarely are as tough as the reputation they hold. It's the kids I don't know about ahead of time who are the tricksters!
Even so, I am overall an optimistic person, especially about the big things. Early on this April, I came to the realization that three very important people in my life have passed away in April. My grandfather passed away April 27, 1994 (17 years ago today, age 66). My cousin (age 24) passed away April 8, 2009. My former student (age 9) passed away last year, April 29, 2010. Not that you ever say someone was "old enough," but it's plain to see these 3 were not even close. For me, that is a lot of people in one month. I had to put a little effort into not freaking out every time my principal came to talk to me about something early in the morning, or someone who doesn't call me frequently called.
But, since I'm an optimistic person, I couldn't let the entire month of April be defined by this. April is a great month. The weather starts to get beautiful and sunny. Everyone in Boston is in a fabulous mood when the days are warm and sunny after a long and SNOWY winter. Plus I get April vacation. I can't let it be a bad month. So, I thought about things people have done lately to make me feel good. Actually a lot of things came to mind... I have wonderful family and friends. I'm lucky to work in a job where I get a lot of positive reinforcement from my students (in the form of hugs and "you are the best teacher in the world"), their parents, and my coworkers/principal (since I'm an optimist I won't mention the occasional negatives haha).
I've talked about my love for snail mail before, so it won't be a surprise that one of the things that stood out as something nice someone had did was this...
It's a postcard from one of my college friends, Cristina! She used that cool paper where it's all black and then you write on it with a special wooden stick (I think) and it comes out all rainbow and pretty. Obviously the Kindergarten teacher in me loves it. But also I just love getting snail mail from people, especially people who live far away and I don't get to see too often.
So I decided to combat the negative thoughts I was having about April, by declaring it the month of post cards. I created a bunch of post cards on Vista Print using this picture...
Then I thought about all the people that I just want to say hi to (that I don't always remember to, in particular), and just send them a little reminder that I care about them and I'm really glad I have them in my life. Wow, that just sounded corny. Oh well, isn't it a given that a kindergarten teacher is a little corny? Whenever you talk to someone who has lost someone they love, they always, always say they have learned to appreciate life and the people in their life more. We all show it in our own way. I'm a writer. One of the reasons I love having a blog is that when I mention something awesome someone did for me, or how much I love them on the blog- it seems to be the best possible thank you note.
I know I'm not a big hugger but I think everyone I love knows I love them. Don't you? Alright fine I'll give you a hug to prove it next time.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist? What do you do to show people that you love and appreciate them?
PS. Heaven hugs to Pops, Brian and N., all inspirations to live every day to it's fullest and never forget to bounce into my kindergarten classroom ready for whatever the day will hold :) (sometimes it's a metaphorical bounce at 6:30 am I'll be honest).