Back to School! My goodness, I am such a nerd! When I was young, back to school was just so refreshing and new! It meant new supplies, new clothes, new books! It was the smells, sights, and sounds of fall beginning to emerge! To confess, after finishing primary, secondary and now 6 years after completing graduate school, I still find myself wanting the experience yet again.
As a parent myself, I find I’m having this crazy desire to live vicariously through my children in this process; happy as a lark when we get the new school supply list for my sons or daughter. Looking back, my parents were always unusually happy during this time of the year as well. Curiosity strikes as I write this, and a question comes to me; did they have this strange affinity for the new school year as well, or were they excited to get my sister and I back into a normal routine? Now that I think about it, I can relate to both perspectives! LOL
All that being said, it was a beginning, a source of hope, the hope for what was old and tired. And folks, this year we have a lot of need for a season shift, bringing some new life to what has become very old to many of us. “Our physical health in jeopardy requires our mental health needs to be nurtured excessively”!
As fear runs rampant, attempting to take our joy, I challenge myself and all of you to strive to find the excitement and little joys in our lives! As simple as the smell of new shoes. You know, the ones that you keep putting back into the box, just to care for them? I propose this is also the same smell on a smaller scale as that awe-inspiring and much sought after new car smell! I mean come on, who in their right mind ever got into a new car and said: “um… what is that smell”? No one!
This year 2020 has been a year of struggle, and uncertainty. Even going back to school this year is clouded with the unknown. We have things that have never been on a school supply shopping list popping up: masks!
Now, I have had the honor and privilege of starting several school years as a therapist in multiple schools. I have heard many pep talks and seen rallies that got us all pumped up for the challenges ahead. One of my favorites was when someone in the staff assembly showed the video “Cowboys Herding Cats”, linked here https://youtu.be/Pk7yqlTMvp8. We all rolled! We laughed until it hurt, and we needed it!
Now, imagine, if you will, adding a variable: the need to keep masks on the cats! WOWSERS Batman! Then add social distancing on top of that! Equally as strange, let’s throw in many kids who will not even have the option of face to face learning. Setting aside personal bias, or even thoughts of what is or isn’t going on in the state of the world, think for a second about how many of these children may feel very overwhelmed by all of these changes as they unfold in the fall of 2020.
So much of what we have known up until now appears to be changing. We have uncertainty breeding into more uncertainty. It is during these times that we need to have love and grace for one another! Our kids can launch into this year successfully, with all the newness and joy that we have experienced in the past. That just takes one ingredient on our part: TIME!
We can give one another our time! That is all that we truly need or desire. I challenge myself, and all of you that I hope will find this helpful, to give those you love time. Investing in relationships is difficult. Not because the other person is a difficult person (and trust me, I know that that is hard to believe), but because there is a history with others in our lives. The struggle with all of those around us has one thing in common: Us. Myself included. The great side of this though is that the ‘Us’ is also the solution!
Always work toward an ‘Us’ mentality (more on all of these this month).
Understandingly- Knowing that if we ask a question, we don’t in any way control the answer if, in fact, an answer is what we seek.
Uniquely- Each person in our lives is Unique! This is such a cool thing, and when we see it and stop attempting to make those around us ‘UN’ unique, we win.
Underwear(ly) or at least (ee)- We all put it on one leg at a time, and at the end of the day they all stink!
This month let’s focus on getting some excitement back in our lives! There is a lot to be ‘Un’excited about. Be it the COVID-19, the racial tension and fear on all sides, or even the upcoming election. The thing I really want you all to know is that the ‘Us’ doesn’t have to fall prey to any circumstance. The ‘Us’ can change everything one conversation at a time by implementing the ‘U’s. So let’s start all traveling to the place all of ‘Us’ can succeed in: Togetherness!