Wednesday, March 25, 2015

But I don't WANNA!

I first need to get this disclaimer out of the way: “The opinions expressed here are solely my opinions and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Girls on the Run International.”

This school year has brought obstacles and struggles that I never would have imagined having to face ten years ago as I was in the midst of my undergraduate degree. My teaching assignment changed drastically in the fall, leading to a busier, more physically tiring schedule and to more time spent planning to teach brand new concepts. As I got busier and busier throughout the past few months, and the stress of the job began to work at me, I did not really notice how negative I had started to become.

Three weeks ago (although it seems like only last week), this year’s Girls on the Run program began. After my experience last year, I knew I wanted to coach again. Although bringing with it its own challenges, the program once again has taught me to reflect upon my choices in life, upon the way that I face the world. The program is meant to help girls transitioning from childhood to tweenhood build their confidence and become stronger, healthier individuals who make a positive impact on the world, but it also is so helpful to the coaches and others involved.

Our first lesson this week spoke of the importance of gratitude. So often in life, we take things for granted. We begin to only see the negative in situations, to complain, and whine, and lament the color of the grass on our side of the fence. I realized after teaching the lesson yesterday that I’d begun to be like that. I think back and realize that such a great percentage of what I say every day is negative. I am no longer finding the joy in small things and being grateful for the things I do have. If I were to actually count the number of times I’ve complained in a day, I would probably be so embarrassed.

Yes, my job this year is not what I’d ever expected or desired. Yes, I’m busy and tired. But yes, I have great things in my life.

I am grateful for...
  1. A job which allows me to interact with so many interesting children and professionals
  2. An assignment which has allowed me to be more physically active, and has thus helped me improve my fitness
  3. Teaching music classes on Mondays and Fridays
  4. The freedom and creativity I can have when planning for my technology classes
  5. Having an after-school elementary choir with a beautiful sound and spirited enthusiasm
  6. Having awesome assistant coaches in Girls on the Run
  7. My loving, supportive husband and wonderful friends and family
  8. Having a GOTR team full of girls with unique personalities, boundless energy, and the ability to surprise me every day
  9. Finding time to relax when I need it most
  10. The idea of change for the better which has begun to grow in my heart and in the heart of our school and district
It’s not too late for me to turn my attitude around. I can become more positive, but I am most certainly going to have to be present and aware at all times of my responses to the situations which present themselves to me. Instead of complaining or bemoaning, I will try to breathe and seek out the positive. I will be a happier person with much less stress weighing down upon me if I simply avoid adding more negativity into the mix.

"One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts--just mere thoughts--are as powerful as electric batteries--as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live...surprising things can happen to any one who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place."

"Where you tend a rose, my lad, A thistle cannot grow."
-- Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden