As I wrote this article, two more mass shootings dominated the news. Again I heard blah, blah, blah, and listened while nobody took responsibility for contributing to the hate. I heard blaming but no suggested solutions. I thought back to Columbine, 20 years ago, when I was a counselor in a neighboring school system. The developing American story, spinning wrong upon wrong, left me feeling depressed and helpless.
As Forest Gump said, “And that’s all I have to say about that.”
I am going to erase my current reality of fear and focus on the hopeful fun of school starting. My seven grandkids range from kindergarten to a sophomore in college. It is too bad we can’t bottle their collective enthusiasm, excitement, and joy.
While sitting with my younger sister as she received treatment for leukemia, I asked for stories of her life. “The first day of school was great,” she said, “because I had new shoes and clothes, and new pencils and paper. I got to see all my friends.” She smiled as she gazed across the sterile room. After a few moments, she added, “Oh, and new crayons. I can’t forget crayons. Brand new crayons.” Her eyes sparkled.
As a young mother, I rejoiced over the start of school. I was lucky. A big yellow and black bus pulled into the yard, and, voilà, the day was mine. I could keep the house clean, bake cookies, start a project, visit with my husband, and anticipate the bus returning with my three nearly perfect treasures.
After I retired from teaching and school counseling, I missed the beginning of the school year. I would spend several days preparing my bulletin boards, organizing files, and planning lessons. The day the entire staff would show up with over-the-top positivity and endless summer stories is what I missed most. The connectivity of those days was magical.
Maybe new beginnings are the common denominator for vivid memories and joyful emotions. Could we improve our mood by merely starting something new, reaching for a goal, saying yes instead of no?
This week I did something new and sent an actual money donation to my chosen presidential candidate. It felt great to put action behind my thoughts. To risk a cliché, I put my money where my mouth was.
Today, I am going to dig out my brushes and finally join an art club.
Tomorrow? Who knows?
Seventy-plus million kids are about to step into classrooms, hopefully with excitement and high expectations. Today, as I attempt to keep my mental health above the bar, I search to duplicate the emotions of those glorious first days of school.
What’s NEW in your life?
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Powered by WPeMatico