In Ohio, the weather has turned cold and gray. The days are shorter, and we are more tired than we were at the start of the school year. I feel myself needing a bit more sleep and rest. I can feel that it’s taking a bit more energy for me to show up with positive energy.
I’m pretty sure others are feeling the same.
So, I’m telling people when I notice something good. I’m also making sure to take in their reaction to what I say because that’s important too. For a lot of reasons. But specifically, it is a way to receive that good energy back in return. We are all swapping energy all day every day. It’s science. Any chance to give and receive the good stuff is…well…good stuff.
One day this week, I ran my car through the car wash. When I pulled up, the attendant greeted me to ask me which wash I wanted to buy. As I was reading the menu of options on the laminated card, I glanced over at her name badge. Underneath her name it said, “ASSOCIATE OF THE YEAR.”
Ya’ll. I was being helped by THE Associate of the Year!
I said, “Omg!!! Sarah! You are the Associate of the Year?!”
She tried not to smile too big but a little smile crept up the corners of her mouth and she replied, “Yes, I am.”
I exclaimed, “That’s amazing! You must be so proud!”
There was more that I wanted to say but a line was forming and I drove off. I couldn’t help but smile thinking about that little smile that formed on her face. She should be proud, and I was glad I noticed it. Seeing her smile made me feel happy.
Later in the week, our district office team served Thanksgiving lunch to our students and staff in the cafeteria. I’m fairly certain that it was more work for the middle school cafeteria team to direct me on what to do than it would have been for them to do this work without me, but they were gracious. My job was ensure that we didn’t run out of slices of pumpkin pie in the serving line. Each little piece of pie had a cute little dollop of whipped cream on top. In our industrial-size refrigerator, I noticed this about the sea of pumpkin pie slices what were being stored in there: they all had this cute little dollop on top. I learned that those little dollops were all hand-placed with care by one of the women serving lunches.
900 slices with dollops of whipped cream to be exact. Can you imagine being in charge of 900 pieces of pie and placing 900 dollops?!
So, I said to her, “I heard that you did all 900 of these pieces of pumpkin pie with the cute dollops by yourself?! Is that true?”
She smiled and nodded.
“Are you a super hero?! That’s an insane amount of dollops!”
She couldn’t help but laugh at the energy I was bringing to the conversation at this point.
Her laugh warmed my heart. It felt good to recognize her hard work and attention to detail.
Recently, a teacher sent me a very kind text message. It didn’t feel like I deserved her words of affirmation, but I cherished them and held them dear. It felt nice to have someone see something good in me, and it made me want to live up to those words the next day and every day.
I guess all I’m saying is that our winters are long. The middle part of the school year can feel long and messy. But the work feels better when we feel better and a great way to feel better is to notice and acknowledge what’s great around us: the people.
The people make our schools special. Let’s hype them up.
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