Let’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.
1. The Light in the Cracks. While sordid politics have surely done a number on dividing the country, there is one thing we can agree on — Last week was rough. This was not a normal election. Policy preferences aside, we all let out a collective gasp (whether in aw or in disgust) at this major upset. And then we lose two great musical legends, feeling like an insult to injury. I’ve heard enough people say things on social media like, “How can people cry over this? Get over yourselves already. You lost; suck it up.” I can’t help but feel, however, that we’ve all lost. My tears weren’t about losing (although I can’t say I wasn’t profoundly disappointed); my tears were for my hispanic students, who I saw crying in the hallway saying they feared for their families; my tears were for my muslim friends; my tears were for the LGBT; my tears were for the strong women in my life who taught me to never give up on what I felt was right — I felt like giving up. I felt like my job as an educator was all for nought. But I’ve since picked myself up again. I allowed myself to cry (please allow everyone to feel what they feel — I respectfully ask everyone to give people the time to grieve what they feel is a loss for this country for as long as they need, even if you disagree — you can’t deny feelings). I’m ready to take action to continue to fight for what I believe in because that’s what the women in my life taught me. Join me. Whenever you are ready.
2. Kate McKinnon. Just when I thought I had cried all the tears I had left… What a gift this woman gave us just when we needed it most.
3. What He Said. I can’t share with you what my boyfriend told me on the phone the day after the election because he told me it was a secret, but when I thought there were no words that would comfort me, I was wrong. With as much dark that this election has brought us, he is the light for me that has helped me to channel this grief into positive action. To say I am grateful for him would be a profound understatement.
4. Call Me. I feel like I’m in high school again. The last time I talked on the phone for hours on end was with my best friend DJ, as we talked on the phone for hours, sometimes falling asleep with our cheeks pressed against the phone. And although I’d much rather have my boyfriend around in person, it’s been such a treat to be able to talk to my boyfriend for hours at a time each day while he’s way on a music tour. Neither of us particularly enjoy talking on the phone, but somehow it’s different with each other. It’s the best part of my day.
5. Happy For You. Happiness often comes in the form of being happy for other people — I am happy for the smile I can hear through the phone on my boyfriend’s face while he is touring with his band. He is doing what he loves, and even though he is far away from me, I can’t help but to share in his joy. In other news, my twin sister and her husband got back their house that was completely renovated. It’ll be a long time before I’m ever able to own a home (poor ol’ teach!), but in the meantime, I can live vicariously through my sister’s beautiful new home. I can’t wait to see it and spend family time in a house they made very much a lovely home for themselves.
6. Project Girl. The following is a post I shared on Facebook last week: If you need your faith in humanity restored, read this. It’s long, so bear with me; I felt compelled to share!
I’d be lying if I said there weren’t days that I’ve come home and felt like a horrible teacher. This year, more often than not, I’ve come home feeling like I’ve failed — like it’s likely my students are going home having learned absolutely nothing but not without simultaneously feeling like I’ve fought a hard battle. I’d also be lying if I said I haven’t seen the divisive politics in the media taking its toll on my students hearts and minds. The combination of these two things has left me feeling discouraged lately — BUT my faith in our future and in the immediate impact teachers can have on their students and them on us was present today, and there is so much hope.
I run a club, Project Girl (actually my students run it), which I put together primarily to give girls a space to feel comfortable talking about issues important to them, give them a voice, work on self-confidence at a time in their lives when it can be the most challenging, and allow them to lead projects that spread positivity at their school. Today, I prefaced the time by saying, “What I’m about to show is not about politics; it is about her message to you, and I want to know what you think about it.” I showed them a clip of Clinton’s concession speech where she says what is in the attached photo. The girls had differing views on who should have been their president, but they never once disrespected one another. It was one of the most respectful debates/discussions I have ever heard. In fact, their focus was on the message and on how important it was to them to continue to aim to break that glass ceiling. I said nothing, but I sat back and listened to their compassion, their constructive criticisms, and their hopes for the future. Here are some of the things they mentioned that are important to them as twelve-year-old girls. I thought you should know them.
1. They want to be taken seriously. “Our thoughts are not silly.”
2. Some of them expressed people laughing at them for being in this club, and they want people to know that it’s more than what they think. “It’s actually really cool.”
3. They want to feel understood.
4. They want less pressure on them to feel perfect. Many of them talked about social media filters and comments on them making them feel like they need to look perfect, but they don’t want to have to care about that so much.
5. They want to “break the glass ceiling.”
6. They care about things beyond boys (Some of them said, “Wait, I love boys!” or “Eeeew, boys” but they all agreed they cared about so much more than that).
7. They don’t want people thinking they are princesses looking for a prince to save them. They want people to see their “inner princess” (actual quote! 😉 ).
8. They want movies and commercials to start depicting how girls really are. They said often it feels unrealistic.
9. They want people to stop arguing about politics, respect each other, and come together.
10. They want a woman to be President of the United States. Some of them want to BE that President.
There is SO much hope for our future.
7. Getting Sh*t Done. One of the best ways to channel fear and upset is to get shit done. And while I can’t say it was for a good cause, I blasted records, cleaned out my closets, and put together bags upon bags of clothes I no longer wanted. Sometimes it’s just awfully therapeutic to toss stuff out. I’ll take them to Goodwill later this week, so okay, I guess it wasn’t an entirely selfish action!
I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss! Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!
Have a wonderful week …and get shit done!