I have spent a great deal of time this winter break familiarizing myself with social media outlets that I have never used or never understood. Twitter has quickly become a favorite for all of the teacher-networking I have been able to do. Ideas and book suggestions galore!
This morning, I read a blog posted via Twitter from Michelle Haseltine: "From Still to Risk, 2014 Word of the Year." Rather than making resolutions, Michelle chooses a word to help define her year (an idea she got from another blog). How can I not steal an idea like that?
Coming up with a word was easy. It popped into my head immediately: BREATHE.
I was really excited about turning forty, but forty and I have not been getting along. The past four months have been some of the most stressful of my life: my son moved out, my daughter started middle school, some friendships have been strained, issues at work with colleagues and students and my own best interests make my head spin, problems with my house are never-ending, and of course, issues with getting older in general are taking a toll on me.
I constantly find myself breathing shallowly or barely breathing at all. The only time I find myself breathing deeply is when I sit down to do a guided meditation - and I am not doing that consistently - and it usually results in my falling asleep from being so stressed out to begin with.
So in 2014, I will BREATHE.
I will BREATHE when I think of my son. I will BREATHE when I remember that he is an adult capable of making his own decisions.
I will BREATHE when I look at my daughter's grades and wonder why she thinks it is acceptable to get some of the marks she does. I will BREATHE every time I look at her and see her developing into a woman. I will BREATHE when she makes independent decisions, just like I have taught her to do.
I will BREATHE when certain friends seem to forget that they know me.
I will BREATHE when that colleague... well, everything with that colleague. I will simply BREATHE.
I will BREATHE when my students are working my nerves. I will BREATHE and remember that they are still children, after all, and not quite the grown folks they think they are.
I will BREATHE when I the washing machine breaks and the tub starts leaking and a window gets broken.
I will BREATHE when I pull a muscle. I will BREATHE when my back hurts. I will BREATHE when I forget to take my meds, and I become super emotional.
No matter what the situation, when that stress starts to kick in, I will BREATHE.