Why I blog...

I use this blog as a kind of therapy. Sometimes I'm happy and want to share it, sometimes it's just a random thought and sometimes it's to deal with things in my past. After all a burden shared is a burden halved

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sunshine on steroids and end of year blues

I have been teaching since 1992 and I have loved every minute of it. Every year at this time though I get very nostalgic as I am preparing to say goodbye to my class who are going off to big school.

Every year I make a DVD slide show of pictures I have taken of them during the year and as I watch their happy little faces I feel like a little part of me is going away. These are my children, yes I call them mine, because that’s what it feels like. I have worked with them all year for 4hours every day and they have become a part of me. Each child is unique and each class brings something new and different. Each child has different strengths and all of them have lovely qualities. To name a few: I have a boy who has the most enquiring mind, he never stops asking questions, then there is another boy whose smile is so big that his whole face lights up. There is the little girl who is loving and affectionate she is always making me little drawings. I could go on and on about each child and find at least one wonderful thing about them.  And then there is one little girl who just stands out, not as a favourite or anything like that, but just because she has taught me something amazing this year.
She is the most cheerful little girl I have ever met. She loves everything and approaches all activities with such enthusiasm and joy. She arrives every morning with a big smile and gives a big hug. Then enquires about our activities for the day and when I tell her she just gushes with excitement. She is like cheerful on steroids. I call her my little ray of sunshine.  I have only ever seen her unhappy once, and that was because her dad was away and she was missing him. Her attitude towards everything is so positive and she is caring and kind towards her fellow students.

Last night was our class gym display and at the end when I was saying goodbye to everyone in the doorway, this little girl turned to me and said: “Oh teacher, look the sky is pink, it’s so pretty” I looked up and saw that it was. And you know what, had she not pointed it out to me I probably would not have noticed. As I was driving home last night I marvelled at how pretty the sky was.

This little girl has taught me to look for the good in everything and have a positive attitude towards life. I hope she never loses her sunshine.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A life full of rewards

Monday evening I had a moment of shear euphoria, yes I was happy. In fact I was so happy I had a fit of laughter, the kind of uncontrollable laughter that left me with a headache and aching tummy.  And then of course in true Karen tradition I had to over think this phenomenon, why am I so happy and how did I get here?

I started thinking about rewards and what the term “to live a rewarding life” really means. We all (whether we realise it or not) do things based on a reward system. We work all month to claim our reward of a salary at the end of it. You see rewards are great incentives. We enter competitions in the hope of being rewarded with a prize. There are businesses whose marketing involves some kind of reward system should you join their mailing list and what not. Buy in bulk and you are rewarded with a discount. Buy a magazine and you get rewarded with a free pair of sunglasses etc. Rewards are everywhere and in almost everything we do.

One thing I have learnt about human beings is that no matter where in the world you live, who you are as a person and despite cultural differences, there are two things everyone needs:
1.        The need to feel loved
2.        To feel good about yourself
Everyone wants to feel loved, whether it’s  in an adult relationship with a partner, the love of a pet or simply the love of a parent, everyone needs to feel loved by someone or something other than themselves.
Feeling good about yourself, everyone loves to feel good, in fact it is even better when you are feeling great. That feeling you get when you leave the hair salon and your hair is perfect and you feel awesome. The feeling you get when a new outfit fits just right in all the right places and makes you feel sexy. When you are praised for a job well done, you feel on top of the world. I could go on and on about feeling good about yourself, but you get the picture.

Then there is the unselfish act, the one that you do to help someone else feel good and expect no reward.  When you help someone in need with no expectation of them returning the favour, a true act of kindness.
 Even in those moments, there is a reward. Even if you don’t want one, there is, because it is in those moments that we feel good about ourselves. Not in an arrogant way where we smugly proclaim to the world, I am a good person, see I just helped someone. No, it’s in those unseen moments when we genuinely have compassion and want to make a difference for totally unselfish reasons. Even in those times we are rewarded.

 That is the true meaning of living a rewarding life.