Saturday, September 28, 2013

Happiness Journey #1

Last weekend as I was catching up on my favorite blogs, two especially stood out to me, and they happened to be by bloggers in the same family:  Colby Sharp and Alaina Sharp.  Colby has blogged a couple Sundays in a row about "5 Things I Loved About Last Week" and Alaina  has kept a blog for 1000 days straight (she reached 1000 this past Sunday) on things she's thankful for every day.  Each blog post ends with a prayer thanking God for the simple and profound things that make this life a joy.  Both husband and wife were very honest about how those blog posts bloomed from feelings of frustration, negativity, and self-doubt.  I was blessed to meet both of them this past summer at NErDcamp BC, and they are the most positive, upbeat, passionate people you will ever meet.  When reading their blogs, you know why.  They are CHOOSING the positive over the negative.  They are human like you and me, but what makes them extraordinary is that they know they have the power to overcome human, ordinary feelings that can drag us down into the quagmire of negative thought.


They've both inspired me to keep a weekly blog post about things that made me happy that week.  Sometimes they're going to be about school, sometimes about family and friends,  sometimes about life in general.  I'm not going to try for 1000 days straight - that's an unbelievable feat, Alaina - but I can try for once a week!  I'm going to try for a list of 5-10 things.  The cool thing about knowing this post will come up every weekend is that I'll have to write happy things down as they happen.  I have to FOCUS on those!  As you teachers out there know, September can hit you like a brick wall!  It can quickly drown and overwhelm you.  I'm not going to let that happen.  I had a couple freak-out Fridays in which I was tired, upset, and doubting myself.  NO MORE.  While I know those feelings will periodically bubble up, I'm going to vow not to focus on them. And since my word of the year is JOURNEY, this is the perfect quote:

Here is my happiness journey this week:

1.  I always remind kids that even if they don't have specific ELA homework one night, they always need to read.  Spencer said brightly, "Reading isn't homework - it's a hobby!"

2.  One of my favorite things is reading aloud to my class.  I have kids sit over by me in a "reading corner," and I sit in a big comfy chair, and read aloud just about every day.  On days I don't, I'm not as happy and neither are the kids. I always have kids who try to sit as close as possible to me on the floor in front of my feet.  One student called that space, "the best seat in the house."  Ha.  I'm reading Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin to my 5th graders. Poor things - I always stop at cliffhangers, and they give me a hard time about that - saying I love to torture them.  Of course, it's not me, it's just that I choose great books written by brilliant authors who know how to keep you wanting to read.  I'm reading A Long Walk to Water to my 6th graders.  This book is powerful, and although it took a while to get the kids hooked into it, now they're riveted.  I can't wait to tell them what we're going to do after I finish the book.  Already kids are inspired to take action. 

3.  While standing in the hall while one class got ready to leave and another class waiting to come in, I overheard a 5th grader say, "I wish we could stay in this class all day."

4.  Reading this article, posted on Facebook by one of my college daughter's friends, Katie.  It was another inspiration to start this weekly post: This picture in the article also makes me happy:

5.  Watching this YouTube video.  My husband sent it to my daughters and me.  I hadn't seen it before, even though now I realize it's gone viral.  Just this week my students have started talking about it.  It makes me happy that my husband is on the cutting edge of pop culture. ;-)
6.  My college daughter getting a 2nd interview with a company she's interested in interning with this summer!  My younger daughter watching the premiere of "New Girl."  She loves it, and she's hilarious when she watches it.
7.  The first day of fall.  It's my favorite season.  I love Bath & Bodyworks fall candles!  I love when the leaves start changing.  I love the chill in the air.  I love pumpkins.  I love premiere week on t.v. Our town has their Country Applefest today, and it's a beautiful day.
8.  Writing for Choice Literacy with Megan Ginther.  Our October article was on The Big Fresh this morning.  I also loved receiving beautiful folders and our checks in the mail from Brenda Power this week!

9.  Eating dinner with one of my best friends twice this week and watching the premiere of "Grey's Anatomy" together!

10.  Being asked to present at our district in-service day.  I'll be talking about teaching gifted kids in the regular classroom.

Wow!  What a great week!  Tell me some great things that made YOU happy this week!

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