Monday, November 18, 2013

21 Days of Gratitude: Day 3 {A Driving Passion}

{Note to readers: I'm participating in a 21 Days of Gratitude Meditation Program, which you can access for free here.}

Yes, I recognize the irony that I wrote a blog on the power of focus and then stepped away from my computer for a week. (Like I said: those Frasier reruns don't watch themselves.)

I was in a bit of a quarter-life crisis when I wrote those first two blogs. I was tired, cranky, and overwhelmed with the amount of work on my plate everyday. I was aggressively texting anyone who would listen that I no longer wanted to be a teacher. (When I say aggressive, I mean all-caps/depressing emojis sort of stuff. Not cool.)

Then I woke up last Wednesday and read this in my meditation email:

Today we look at the subject of passion. How do you know if you are following your passion?

  • You look forward to your work
  • You are incredibly happy
  • You feel fulfilled
  • You know success is imminent

I realized I needed to snap out of my self-absorbed pity party. My work was (and is!) incredibly fulfilling, while also being incredibly difficult.

The bottom line: reading and writing are my passions. I'm lucky enough to wake up each day and have the chance to ignite that same passion into a group of rambunctious, hormonal middle schoolers. My kiddos face more challenges before breakfast than I have in my entire lifetime and yet continue to show up and give me 100% everyday. (It's not always my definition of 100%, but it'll do.)

No, it's not honors English. No, we aren't debating the nuances of contemporary literature. But more often than not, we are getting absorbed into the world of language and books and storytelling.

Yes, sometimes the kids drive me so crazy that I literally have to bite my lip from saying something I regret. (Sometimes I still say it.) I have mounds of papers on my desk that I will throw away rather than grade and parents whose numbers are in my phone that I still haven't reached out to. Everytime I do something well, I have to acknowledge there are still about 10,000 things I could be doing better.

On my best days, I laugh and high-five and hold back tears at the end of a beautiful book. And on my worst days, I go to bed knowing I'm at least attempting to make a positive difference in our world.

And in the end? I don't think one can find much more passion than that.


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