Lately I’ve been working on being more flexible, and I’ve noticed that there is a fine line between being flexible and being lazy, when it comes to responsibilities. Something I’ve also been working on, are my responsibilities, and what I consider to be a responsibility when in really is not, for example, this gratitude journal.
If you practice gratitude, you’ll notice it is an every day thing, which is something I have to remind myself every once in a while. I’m thankful I have so many ways to show my gratitude, so many ways to be flexible, which include, but are not limited to, talking to my mom and my friends about the best things that happened during the day, sharing pictures of my day, or tweeting something I thought was funny, reflecting on my day and sharing my cookies with others (most likely, with you, students)
I also believe gratitude is about paying attention. This week one of you, my students, said I made them feel happy with my positive attitude. A teacher said he would have liked to have a counselor like me when he was in high school. And it might seem like I want to brag, but these are the comments that keep me going, these comments make me be grateful about what I get to do every day and about the people I get to spend time with.
Also this week, we had a lot of ups and downs, something that forced me to be flexible! During one of the downs, I said to one of my students, that someone who is alone will never accomplish anything. What I meant to say, is that there is little meaning in doing things alone, or only for our benefit. I strongly believe, and I live my life based on the idea of how our well being can greatly improve when we are surrounded by people who support us and who we support. This relates to the little things I like to remember about what people tell me, or people do, that make me understand that there is meaning in sharing our time, energy and effort with others, and I don’t know about you, but I look forward to living a life full of meaning, more than anything else.
With this journal, I realize that reflection is a form of gratitude. For me, another thing about being grateful is being present, living in the present and using our energy to appreciate the little things. I would like to thank all of you who fill my life with little moments that mean a lot more than you think.
Being so close to summer break (one week!) gives me the opportunity to look back and appreciate the 2017-2018 school year. I recommend you do the same, like me, you’ll realize how much you’ve grown (flexibility is my friend, not everything is a responsibility, I get to decide how to face the things I have to do), how much you’ve accomplish (great things to come in 2018-2019!) and how much you have to be grateful for (so, so much!)
Let’s enjoy the last week of school,
Ms. Gaby Di Muro
Even though not all of us are graduating right now, I found this article about advise for newly graduates that I believe applies to anyone. We are all moving forward, maybe not with a cap and gown, but definitely to a new place in our lives, a new grade, a new job or even new relationships. Read the advice, and consider the one that applies to you, and remember, you are not alone during this crazy ride.
Whether you put on your cap and gown last week — or last century — these honest answers can give you some insight and guidance.
“If you don’t know what you want to do with the rest of your life, you’re not a failure. Give yourself time and get yourself experience to figure things out.”
— Angela Duckworth (TED Talk: Grit — the power of passion and persistence)
“Although I think I already knew this back when I graduated from college, I didn’t do it enough: trust your instincts. Deep inside you, you already know what you need to do to pursue your goals. And just as importantly, do not seek permission to pursue your goals. Pursue them. Only by doing so can you show the world what you had in mind and get the support of others.”
— Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado (TED Talk: To solve old problems, study new species)
“Don’t take yourself, your decisions, your outcomes or even your mistakes so damn seriously. There’s nowhere special to get to and no special accomplishment to check off the list. The moment is now; the place is here; the person is you. Make choices that make you feel alive. But here’s my advice about my advice — I couldn’t have possibly done this myself when I was a new college graduate because I was Wrapped. Way. Too. Tightly. This would have sounded like loosey-goosey hokum to me, and I’d have rolled my eyes and gone back to alphabetizing my soup shelf. Truly, what I wish I’d done differently during the past 20 years is enjoyed the ride and engaged in less hand-wringing over my decisions. I wish I’d trusted myself more, trusted the universe more, trusted the love and support of family and friends more, and realized this: ‘I’m enough, and it’s all going to be great.’ Because it has been marvelous.”
— Casey Brown (TED Talk: Know your worth, and then ask for it)
“The advice that I wish I’d gotten when I graduated from college is: Pay attention to the difference between the quick hits of excitement that come from that first kiss of a new relationship or job and those feelings you get when you think about your strong connections with family or friends. Don’t get fooled by shiny things — that shine fades over time, while the gold of strong relationships never tarnishes. Remember the differences between these feelings to help you make decisions as you go forward.”
— Judson Brewer (TED Talk: A simple way to break a bad habit)
“Regarding relationships of all categories (platonic, romantic, professional, etc.): Don’t let someone take up your emotional real estate if they aren’t paying rent.”
— Sarah Kay (TED Talk: If I should have a daughter … )
“Give yourself more time. So many college graduates immediately start wanting to make all their dreams come true at once — this can go wrong in many ways. The first is the frustration that you’re not ‘there’ yet. It’s going to take time to find (or build) your dream career. The second is burnout. If you find your career early, you can find yourself setting all sorts of unrealistic goals with arbitrary deadlines and chase them until you drop from fatigue. You can have it all — but not all at once.”
— David Burkus (TED Talk: Why you should know how much your coworkers get paid)
“Surround yourself with people who help you be the best versions of yourself. Avoid those who don’t. And get enough sleep.”
—Lisa Feldman Barrett (TED Talk: You aren’t at the mercy of your emotions)
“It’s traditional at graduation to offer neat, packaged stories of triumph over difficulties. But life isn’t like that — it’s open-ended, subject to a million contingencies and constant change. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make plans. But it does mean you should be alert to all the changes in the world and in yourself that could render your plan suddenly obsolete, unattractive or perverse. Be open to change. Be prepared to experiment. Take risks. Keep learning. Make your life your own.”
— Margaret Heffernan (TED Talk: Dare to disagree)
“You don’t have to do something extraordinary to lead a meaningful life; you don’t have to cure cancer, become an Instagram celebrity, or write the Great American Novel. Freud said that the meaning of life lies in love and work. So: In your relationships, lead with love. Be generous, be vulnerable, give of yourself to others, and don’t do the expedient thing just because it’s more convenient for you. Make the effort to put others first. In your career, find work that makes you proud and adopt a service mindset — remember how what you’re doing helps others, no matter how big or small the impact may be. Touching the life of just a single person is a powerful legacy to leave behind. Finally, make gratitude a part of your daily life; don’t save it for Thanksgiving. Every day, reflect on one or two things that happened to you which you’re grateful for. Not only will it make you happier, but it will also put you in touch with what really matters. Then, when you experience setbacks or hardships, it will also be a good reminder of how blessed you really are.”
— Emily Esfahani Smith (TED Talk: There’s more to life than being happy)