Coming home….

Joy
Joy

This photo of my daughter and her boyfriend says it all – summer time is here.

I have been away from blogging for several months. Lots of reasons, no excuses.

I was declared excess at my school and had to find a new position for next year. Due to seniority, I would have been placed at a school had I not been successful in finding something on my own. Yet, I wanted to have some semblance of control in a situation that was somewhat uncontrollable. I went on a total of 8 interviews and had 4 offers, which was a true luxury. That process took several weeks to accomplish.

I also was very intensely training for a long distance ride. I participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer which takes place over two days, covering 200 km. I loved the feeling of accomplishment, not just as I crossed the finish line, but as I got to the top of each of the MANY hills. I was so touched by the support of my donors, as we collectively fundraised over $3200.

The finish line
The finish line – wearing my hubby’s shirt from his 2012 ride.

Another big time issue for me was putting together the yearbook at my present school, the school I have had to leave. This was a great deal of work, but so worth it. Yet, it was hard to do because it just made me realize, again and again, how much I love my little community school. The school is a few blocks from home – it was my children’s school and therefore I have been going into that building on and off for 19 years. There is something undefinable about the school – perhaps it’s just that I feel so comfortable there, like going to work is like coming home every day. I will miss being there and the amazing people I was so lucky to work with for the past several years.

And finally, I was busy planning a surprise for my sweetie. We celebrated our 30th anniversary in May, but I wanted to surprise him with a party all about him. Our daughter goes to school in B.C. and was attending summer school this year, so I had to wait until late June to have the party. And bringing her home was another layer of the surprise. It was really hard to keep the secret of her homecoming, along with hiding all the party items and ensuring people kept the secret. It almost all fell apart a few days before the actual event when my hubby announced he was not going to go away for a few days – the few days leading up to the party, when I was going to get everything in place and my daughter was going to arrive. In the end, he went away and the party went off without a hitch. The first part of the surprise was the party, the second part was when my daughter and her boyfriend snuck up and surprised him!

Sneaking up to surprise Dad
Sneaking up to surprise Dad

Now, summer is here and taking photos should again be happening. Glad to be back.

The upside

The earth laughs in flowers – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Laughter is one of the tools that helps me in my day to day reality. I have worked in situations with students who are medically fragile or aggressive or otherwise challenging. We often say, you can laugh or you can cry.

I have worked with other staff who are so focussed on themselves they forget why we do what we do, or they have to belittle me to feel better about themselves. 

There are parents who can appear to be the greatest obstacle to their child’s success but who are convinced YOU are the problem. You have to laugh about it.

It’s not about laughing AT someone – it’s about finding that moment that makes you say, it’s okay, here’s the upside. Walking by kindergarten and hearing kids talking about their parents (“My dad LOVES beer”). You laugh. Or when you are frustrated by a student, and someone else steps in to help, you can look over the heads of the children and smile together about those frustrations.

Or after an “event” when everyone gathers and debriefs, you can chuckle at your ability to read each other, the realization of how you had each other’s back  or simply to say, “What the heck was that?” You need trust to do this work and sharing a smile can signify you’re there.  

It’s that shared experience, that laughter, that lightens the load. That is what makes it possible to come to work with a fresh perspective, not feel alone in the journey. Without that it would feel like a “job” not something more, something meaningful.