Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Be Optimistic, Don't You Be a Grumpy...

...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...

Digital Camera Pics 724.jpg

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).


  1. i am so bad at showing people appreciation. i need to get better. even if it's something simple.

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaand i'm probs a pessimist. or at least i complain enough to make myself seem that way!

  2. Oo, love the photo of the 12 apostles at the bottom. cool to know that we've both seen that! :)

    I am not so great at being an optimist. I sort of struggle w/ a natural tendency to be a bit of an eyore... But I am working on this, mostly because I know some people who are always complaining/not happy/freaking out... and they are NOT fun to be around. So I try to choose positivity!

  3. That is a very cool picture! April is a tough month for you, I'm glad you are choosing to be optimistic and positive.

    I am a pretty optimistic/positive person, maybe TOO optimistic sometimes but I really don't like it when people are all negative and moody all the time. It can be kind of annoying, so I try to not be like that :)

  4. The strange thing about April is that I have SO MANY family and friend B-days in April, but like you I also know a lot of close people who have passed away in April (such as Nick's dad). And then it's always rainy....ugh. BUT to put a POSITIVE spin on things, the flowers are nice and bloomed and gorgeous!

    I try to end all conversations on a good note, especially with my mom. I always remind myself there is that SLIGHT chance this might be the last time I talk to the person, so ending on a positive note makes me (and the person) feel better. That's so cliche, but it works!

  5. What an awesome post Kel. Very inspirational and exactly what I needed this gloomy morning. I am glad we share in that "realistic" optimism that isn't blind, but sticks it out when things get hard. I'm so lucky to have you! And even though you are not a big hugger, you definitely show your love in other ways :)

  6. I think that's a really nice idea. I try to sent notes to people every once and awhile just because. To let them know I'm thinking about them. I do it because I know I would like it.

  7. I'm optimistic almost to a fault and I've been trying my best to send thank you notes to people as much as possible as well as making sure the people I love know it every day!

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