Yesterday my daughter reminded me that she returns to school next week, and I suddenly got a wave of nostalgia. For teachers , every year is a new beginning. We have a chance to face an entirely new group of children after a summer of reviewing our successes and failures of the previous year. Hopefully, we grow from our mistakes and our students are all the better for our growth.
My entire family has been sending me on a nostalgia trip this week. My sister has tackled the nearly impossible task of scanning all of their photographs into the computer and then giving the actual photos to relatives who might enjoy them. Since my brother-in-law spent years as an amateur photographer, they were in possession of thousands of pictures that followed us through the years. I received my shoebox of pictures yesterday and spent some time going down memory lane.
Like all families we had our sad times, but it is the laughter that I remember the most. The game nights, family cooking nights and family vacations left me with indelible memories, while the nights I spent worrying about health, money or the millions of little “mommy worries” seem wasteful now. I knew then, like I know now, that worrying neither prevents things from happening nor makes anything better, yet it is an aspect of so many of our personalities that seems to unfairly haunt us.
The pictures did highlight those good times though. The fact that we probably spent almost as much time in Disney World as Mickey did might be why I want to stay as far from Orlando as possible these day. I do have a little hint for those who are taking kids now. The best time to experience Magic Kingdom is during a non-electrical rain storm. The temperature drops quickly (and in Florida that is a plus) and the park clears out. Just buy one of those ubiquitous ponchos that every store sells and go from ride to ride without any of those interminable lines. My favorite Disney memory will always be of the eight of us (Disney trips always included sister Judy’s family) dodging raindrops and singing a made up “plastic family” song while people gathered around thinking we were one of the Disney “acts.”
Most of all though, these pictures and their memories are reminding me to appreciate all of the good things that I am lucky enough to be experiencing now. It is easy to get buried in the mire of everyday life and forget to smell the roses, but we need to make a concerted effort to focus on the beautiful. Argue less, laugh more, worry less, play more, fear less, experience more...each day, and each loved one, are gifts, not necessarily our due, and if we see them as such we will have birthday celebrations all through the year.
In keeping with the theme of this blog, I read/reviewed an awesome book this week. It certainly isn’t a literary epic, but The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha is a perfect book when you need a smile. His recognition of the importance of appreciating the everyday things in life is refreshing, and I recommend this book as a starting point for a list of your awesome moments.
As always a complete review of this book follows my blog.