I’ve been marinating on this topic for quite some time. Over the summer, my family and I were working on our yard. We pulled weeds, trimmed bushes, planted new flowers and cleaned things up quite a bit. Growing up on a farm, I always wanted a nice garden and big yard. When house shopping, we looked for trees for our boys to climb and a space that is just as beautiful on the outside as inside. Living in a tourist area, this took quite a bit of time and what might be more affordable in some areas were more expensive in ours. My husband and I worked very hard to save and prepare for purchasing our home. Fast forward six years and here we are, working in the yard that we worked so hard to purchase. This came to mind: Our lives get so busy that maintaining and showing appreciation for what we have takes a back seat. Some of my best thoughts come while digging in the dirt. How are we teaching students to take ownership of what they have worked so hard to attain? Are we cultivating a sense of ownership? My grandparents and the post depression era comes to mind. Their generation is known for really appreciating and taking care of what they have.
As a teacher, the thrill of the chase of attaining and trying something new is exciting. Our excitement for the new transfers to our students. What do we do once the shine wears off? “The Next Big Thing,” happens to be the theme of our society. If we are always seeking the next big thing, then are we truly appreciating and cultivating a sense of ownership for what we once worked so hard for? I’m all for trying new and seeking information while riding the wave of change. It is equally important to learn to take care of what we have once the novelty wears off.
This doesn’t just apply to things, but to relationships, initiatives, our planet, programs…..I could go on. Learning to perform maintenance is a life skill. Not everything in life is created to be disposable. In this season of Thanksgiving, how can we rethink what being thankful looks like?
Take a chance on that old new thing and dig a little deeper with it. Till the soil and see the beauty.