Sunday, February 20, 2011
Lessons I'm (Re)learning
I'm coming out of one of those weeks where I ask myself what is the lesson for me in this? These are the tough kind of weeks when a person like me feels a little rattled to my core. My bravery has been tested, and the results are not yet in. When I told my brother that I thought it was odd that I lost my voice for about half a day, he responded with, "Stress can do that you know."
So here is the BIG lesson: I DO NOT HAVE A MAGIC WAND!
I sure wish I did, but I don't--not at work, or at home, or about my body, or my friends, or money, or my future.
In fact I'm so limited on the amount of control and influence I have, that I'm embarrassed to admit how many places and ways I try to wave the magic wand I don't have.
For example, my job is to teach. I do not get to magically make children happy or organized or respectful or honest or kind. My job is to teach--beyond that I'm powerless.
This does not make me hopeless, but it does give me focus--an amazing amount of clarity.
I'm not sure when I lost that focus, but it did happen. I suspect it is tied up in desperately wanting the best possible future for my students that they can imagine--it's out of my control. My job is very specific in a very finite window of their young lives. I have no capacity to change their pasts. The limited impact I have in the present I hope will in some way carry over into the future. I get myself into trouble when I let my heart expect something else.
I often have described myself like a banquet chef. I know what kind of food kids at this age need to grow up healthy and live long prosperous lives. So I cook that food, and I make it look as delicious as I can with the limited resources I have. And then I set it out. They ultimately decide what and when to eat.
Don't you sometimes wish you had a magic wand?