Mirror/Window

Soooooo I know I told you that I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts. I revert back and forth between informational ones and pure garbage. If I’m honest I still lean heavy on the garbage end. And I think I’ve decided that I’m an auditory learner. I’m never reading a book again! Just kidding. I just think it’s so much easier to retain what I’ve heard vs what I’ve read (also I can’t see anything anymore so there’s that). Anyway these podcasts are making me super interesting. I think I’m smarter too. I hardly ever use exclamation marks anymore! Are you rolling your eyes yet?

I heard one last week that has stuck with me. I think about it every day. It was about how people react to mistakes.

Mistakes. I make them. Everyday. Big ones. Small ones. Mean ones. Dopey ones. I’m a master mistake maker.

That doesn’t really bother me too much. Most of the time I know the intent was good. And I’ve been trying to do what I see many men do… just shrug it off. No apologies. No nothing. Just….oh yeah, that’s wrong. Oh well. Instead of sinking into the deep well of misery and self loathing which is my first instinct.

But the podcast wasn’t about mistakes. It was about how people, specifically leaders/parents/partners react to them.

When something goes wrong, where do you go first. The mirror or the window?

Are you drawn to the actions you created, the things you may have done to cause the error/fight/mistake/lapse in judgement – or do you immediately look to blame the outside world? Your partner, your child, your co-worker or colleague.

This isn’t rocket science. And those of you that are used to spending time thinking about deep things will probably think this is highly simplistic. But remember, I spent most of January still thinking about the Hilaria Baldwin scandal and whether or not I should get an eyeliner tattoo. I told you I lean garbage.

So this week I spent some time thinking about it. Spoiler alert, things went wrong this week. There were errors. F’ ups. Each time something happened I stopped and did the mirror/window approach. Another spoiler. I lean window! It seems that I think most of the things that go wrong in my life are the fault or actions of other people/things/situations. I’m really surprised by this in all seriousness.

In my mind I am very self-critical and hard on my actions. But in reality – I let myself off the hook pretty often. Like almost immediately. I’m like….oh that….I’m good. That’s that other moron’s fault. The storyline of my mistakes has me as the victim way too many times.

It’s a work in progress. I’m a work in progress.

Anyway just sharing. Today is Friday and it’s sunny. I’m going to go for a looooonnnngggg walk and listen to another podcast. Probably about Hilaria Baldwin or eyeliner tattoos.

Here’s to you Mrs. Jones

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This is my boy and his all time favorite teacher – Mrs. Jones.

A second after 3rd grade started, the teacher he was supposed to have all year had a baby and Mrs. Jones stepped in. She immediately turned the room into an interactive, dynamic place – new rugs, new wall coverings, new everything. It wasn’t just room B-6, it was Hollywood.  All the “kiddos”, as she called them, were mini directors in their own productions. The room was covered in colorful, themed imagery.  She was animated and sweet and my boy (and the whole class) loved it.

As the year went on and we all got to know Mrs. Jones, it was clear how much she loved teaching and how much she loved our kids. Yes, all the usual teaching stuff happened. They learned, they read, they wrote.  But her class was more than that – it was fun. It was silly. It was over the top. And it was exactly what those little people needed. I’ve never had a teacher send me daily updates (sometimes more!) or pictures of fun things the class did that day.  We even got Sunday reminders of what the week ahead would look like. I don’t know about you, but I try very hard to forget where I work from Friday night to Sunday night, not her.  It was obvious that this wasn’t a burden for her.

This past week we got a letter from the school that our original teacher (who I’m sure is a wonderful person) is coming back for the last two months of school.

Devastation ensued.

9 year olds crying everywhere.

I still remember my favorite elementary school teacher, Mr. Walter Freeman. 4th Grade. He ate oranges at his desk every morning. When you went up to talk to him,  he had a citrus halo around him. Is it weird that almost all my good memories have food related connections? Anyway. He was dreamy.

Teaching is a calling. You need some sort of superpower to be able to walk into those classrooms every day and actually enjoy being there.

So good luck to you Mrs. Jones – there’s a lucky class out there waiting for your cheery voice.  Thanks for making a really good memory for my boy.