There was a period of several years, thankfully a long time ago now, where I was often bitter and angry about what other people had….that I didn’t. Really bitter. Really angry. Really hurt.
I didn’t want to be any of those things, but I couldn’t seem to help it.
The list of things I didn’t have seemed endless. It was filled with little things and big things.
I don’t know if you have ever lived through a time like that. A time when nothing went your way, no matter how you tried. A time when, no matter how hard you tried, everything seemed to go wrong.
My sons call it “being cursed.” They’ve seen it. They’ve lived it. In some way or another, we all have.
It felt like I couldn’t breathe in, or out, without being reminded that life was very, very hard.
Every jealous thought felt justified, but also painful. I was stoking my own inner misery.
I embarked on an “inner” project. Clearly, things were not likely to get better right away. (It took a long time.) Clearly, I wasn’t going to stop thinking. (I’m a chronic over-thinker.)
But I knew that, with determination, faith and a LOT of patience/practice, I could change my thinking.
So I started to practice “blessing” instead of “cursing”. If a friend had a loving, attentive husband, I practiced being grateful for my friend. Wishing her peace, joy and love…..even though I felt like cursing someone else’s blessings. Like I said, it took a LOT of practice/patience.
I remember wishing blessings on people because they had a lawn, because because they were able to drink a beer without a second thought, because they didn’t have a dog to clean up after, because they could buy a Happy Meal for each child. I remember wishing blessings on people who had bought a new mattress, not a second-hand store one. I even wished blessings on people for having a pedicure, laughing at jokes, being able to read a novel. In many, many ways I really would have preferred to punch them in the mouth.
In time, although I was still jealous of what other people had, I started to see what I had that I wasn’t appreciating. I also remembered that other people’s lives were not perfect either. Most of the people I was jealous of had no idea that I had reason to be jealous of them.
I didn’t share my problems with them and realized that they weren’t sharing theirs with me either. It made it much easier to “wish blessings” on them.
Why am I writing this here?
Well, the monster returns from time to time, and I have to put a muzzle on it.
I see a lot of posts and messages on social media about all the ways I could be reaching my students right now. And I don’t have the time, or the energy, or the money, for any of them.
Not even just individual idea, but even posts like “Top 25 Things to Do to………”
Twenty-five???? I must be seriously way behind!
I find myself envying folks who are ahead of me in technology skills or have a computer with more power than I have. I get a green tint in my newly-replaced lenses when I read about confidently juggling breakout rooms and delighting in Flipgrid responses. Not to mention money to go to virtual conferences, time to write books or ….ok the list goes on and on. It is so easy to go there.
So I’m back to “wishing blessings.” I have to honest. It ain’t easy people. But it doesn’t fester inside me like the “cursing” used to.
So here’s to hoping that those wonderfully-talented teachers have supportive families and sickness-free homes. May they be blessed with understanding administrators and enthusiastic students. May they have homes full of health and sunshine. May they have children who sleep through the night and in-laws who are kind to them. May they have faith in themselves, chocolate when they need it, and fresh-brewed coffee in their cups.
And may you be blessed as well,