Amazing Kids

Amazing Kids

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Living Up To Expectations

We all have tapes playing in our heads. Some good; some not so good. And some are downright negative. I think I'm pretty normal in that. 

Sometimes those tapes result in making decisions that are not necessarily the best ones. Not that they're bad; just not the best. It's so easy to jump on a bandwagon to gain approval from someone we respect or admire and before you know it we're over-committed. That, then, almost always leads to feelings of failure - or at least not being good enough. We compare ourselves to others who seem to have it more together, who are farther along the path, or a plethora of ideals or qualities we deem inadequate in ourselves.

Today I'm sitting in my windowed great room watching the snow swirl outside. It has taken over the landscape. It's impossible to ignore or escape. Where just last week there was green grass, now it is white - all white. It makes me think about the "stuff" in life that wants to take over and cover up what really drives me, much as the snow is doing to the once green and thriving grass. The temptation of doing in order to keep up with or impress others covers up and makes dormant the life we are meant to lead. In an attempt to be clever, likable, or even popular we allow ourselves to be "covered" with whatever it is that grabs our attention and might move us up the ladder of, well, you fill in the blank.

Josh Stumpenhorst shared a poignant story from his own classroom on his blog, Stump the Teacher. A student in his class just wants to be noticed. She wants others to know her name. Not famous, not a star, not a Steve Jobs or Meryl Streep. Just noticed. Immediately I thought of students in my classroom who may share those feelings. I've been asking myself if I'm doing all I can to be sure each one feels known. Mostly, I think they do, and I work hard on making sure each one knows his or her importance to me.

Then it hit me that quite possibly I'm the one who is feeling unnoticed. There's really no logical reason for that. But it's those bad tapes. AS the snow is coming down outside, covering the flowers I never cut down, I realize that I have fallen into the trap of doing some things out of compulsion. Compulsion to succeed, to be part of the pack, to be seen as more worthy. And it's backfired. Not terribly or irreparably, but my own sense of self is getting a little lost. Instead of moving forward, I'm a little stuck. Almost feeling trapped. I'm not allowing my own creativity and knowledge of my kids and my abilities to drive me. That's not good for me or for my students.

So I have made a decision. Although the snow will inevitably keep all things covered at its will, I will get out from under my blanket. I will be more than satisfied with my own skill set, my own abilities and creativity, and my own perspective. I will get back to the business of doing what I know is "me" in every area of my life. Even in writing this post.

Are you allowing yourself to be covered up? Stop it. Be you.

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