Tuesday Slice of Life:
I get to...
At one of our staff meetings last year one of our high school principals, Dr. Mineau, mentioned the power of this phrase, "I get to..." Dr. Mineau was referring to our mindset in how we approach situations. The idea is to replace the phrase "I have to..." with "I get to." For example, instead of "I have to be at Open House this week" you could say, "I get to meet some of my students and their parents." The second sentence sounds much more positive, doesn't it?
For a while, I have been trying to focus on what is positive in my life instead of dwelling on the negative, especially on the factors I have little to no control over. According to author Kendra Cherry in "Benefits of Positive Thinking for Body and Mind," positive thinkers can cope better with stress, have improved immunity, can be more resilient, and can have positive impacts on overall health. I don't know about you, dear reader, but I could use all of those benefits!
I have been trying to apply this approach to my personal life all summer, consistently applying the "I get to" phrase when I can. Honestly, I have dealt with some tough things lately, and while the "I get to" phrase has not taken away what's messy and painful, it has helped me shift some of my perspectives so I can manage in a healthier way. Ultimately, this has helped me show up as a more decent human being.
Today I get to begin a new school year. I get to work with amazing colleagues. I get to work with some fantastic students. I get to keep learning with and from my students. I get to be a part of making a positive difference for kids. I get to reflect about each day in my writers notebook. I get to see students make progress.
What do you get to do in your life? In your profession? At home?