“Marsha, how are you are always happy?”
“You are always smiling.” I am honored to hear this from time to time. When my dying day comes, I would like to be remembered as a happy person. When students remember Mrs. Sirkin, a smile is a good way to be remembered. The truth is, I choose joy. To be happy is a choice. Does that mean my life or journey is any easier than any one else? I’m afraid not. I am a firm believer in Newton’s Third law, and feel that it works in our mind as well. For every negative there is an equal and opposite positive, we just have to choose to acknowledge one or the other the most. There are a few tricks to this one, and I would like to share those with you.
Find Your Purpose and Keep it Sacred – Everyone has a different idea of their particular purpose. My purpose is to change the world for good for and through children. I take this job very seriously. Do you remember yourself the first day of your teaching career? That person still exists and you should channel that version of yourself to help you remember your purpose. Keeping a little reminder of your purpose is a great idea. I have a 14-year-old photo of my very first kindergarten class framed in my classroom. We all are unique, and we all have a God-given purpose. I find that pretty cool, and do not want to disappoint. When I find myself slipping away from joy, I spend time with children. They are the best remedy.
Remember That Everything is Relative – Sometimes this is easier said than done, but it helps me not sweat the small stuff so much. Someone always has a situation worse than your own, and survive. This pencil poem comes to mind when thinking of relativity.
Joy is a choice. It is not naive. It is not ignorance. It is not easy. Sometimes joy is not in a smile, but refraining from saying something ugly when you have the urge to. I choose joy not because of who I am, but who I am striving to be. It is a choice to choose to find the silver lining and forge forward, because after all, our children are worth it. The good thing, is that joy is contagious. Spread it.
What can you do to help remind you of your purpose?
Who do you have in your life that brings joy to the table?
What strategies can you share about finding joy?
How can you shift your thinking to choose joy?