‘The three blessings’

Recently I have been working through a course which focuses on Positive Psychology. This is a movement which seems to be making its way through our education system… as a teacher we sometimes sigh at hearing these words and in our heads we simply think, what now, how long will this last…

Well when presented with the course and a small snippet of what it contained it actually sounded like something I could relate to and in fact already find myself doing.

I am  now completing the second module. It has been personally rewarding and I wanted to share with you one of the things that I have had to do and now continue to do that has resonated with me.

So often when we get to work, or get home, or even pick up the kids, but mostly before we go to sleep we always turn over in our minds what happened in the day.  We ask ourselves questions like;

  • What did we not get done?
  • What went wrong?
  • What could we have done better?
  • What does this mean I have to add to my list tomorrow?
  • Was I a good parent? Did i respond badly to a conversation? Did I yell to loud?
  • Why did I argue with my husband? I am not going to be the one to apologize or reach out? I wasn’t wrong….
  • Should I have done this or that..

These questions and the list of them could go on forever, however, I want you to try something new. I do mean actually give it a go. It will be fun! I cannot guarantee it will be easy or give you the desired responses straight away but I will tell you it makes a difference to your day, how you feel and then of course this flows onto your well being the following day.

Before you go to sleep – ask yourself what went well today? Just that…. What went well…

For a week each night write down three things, yes thats all, three things that went well. Do this for a week and see how you feel. Do it with your children, your husband and see what happens. If you don’t feel like writing them down just have the conversation. It can be over dinner, in a movie break or even in the car on the way home. However, it’s best just before bed!

I have been doing this and I must admit when I asked my husband the following evening, in true male fashion he said well my three things would be;

1. I woke up

2. I breathed in

3. I breathed out…

I had to take a breath myself and go no lets think about three things that went well….

We did laugh – which is a good thing and became one of his first things that went well….

Change is not easy in itself, but to change how we think is even harder!

Let me give you a few of my examples:

Three things that went well:

  1. My soda stream has not exploded on me again, phew!
  2. My daughter was amazing in her second debate this week and their team won! Well done to a group of Year 7 girls!
  3. I walked along the beach and watched my two puppies launch themselves through the water and then role in the sand.

It doesn’t have to be something big, small or have meaning to anyone else but yourself. Give it a go and see how it makes you feel, let me know what it does or even share some of your blessings.

“Be Brave, Be Bold, Be all you can be!”

(I dare you)

A trip to Aldi!

I don’t know about any of you but Aldi is dangerous!

I say this with a smile across my face as I imagine the soda stream machine I bought yesterday that now proudly sits on my kitchen counter…… something I didn’t need but as I waked down past the aisle, you all know the aisle I am talking about, where all these amazing ‘nick nacks’ sit piled up, tempting you to find something even though you need nothing, there it was, it caught my eye!

(Retrievded from Google images 2018)
The Soda Stream

They say women through evolution have better peripheral vision as we were the protectors of our family’s while the men were out hunting… well I must say I agree and this is but one example!

Well like a kid in a candy store I looked around excited wishing I had someone to look at and and say ‘whoa how cool is that, I could use it and create so many amazing things…. flavored water’ but there was no one there, so I just jumped with excitement and celebrated in my head…. the 12 year old was off retrieving the items we actually came for!

The choice now was how many bottles will I need. I think well, one in the wash, one being used and oh maybe two more just in case one breaks! I didn’t read the box which tells you it comes with one so now I have 5… who knows what I am going to do with 5!!

I line up at the counter having forgotten my Aldi bag and so am balancing the soda stream, the extra bottles and a few tins of cat food, the item I actually needed, all while thinking of the amazing things I can do! My 12 year old is laughing totally embarrassed at how excited I am about a stupid machine and she says, ‘that puts bubbles in water mum…. I mean come on, how sad are you!’

Well we return home and I immediately start to set up the machine…. as another thing dawns on me, a litre of soda water costs 90c at Aldi, how much will a new gas canister cost me and where on earth do I get them when it runs out… ah well I say… I will deal with that when we get to it.

So reading the instructions we fill the water bottle to the level, put in some flavoring and away we go……

So when I said before I read the instructions, I really only glanced over the pictures and thought this is easy, just hold it up and push the button….. I forgot the part where it shows you need to seal the bottle, like screw it into the machine to prevent what I would call an explosion of bubbles, water and orange flavoring!!!

You can imagine what happened next…. if not…. I encourage you to try!

(retrieved from 1Funny.com 2018)
The nuclear water explosion

The orange mess of bubbled and water exploded from the bottle, I squealed, miss C collapsed in laughter while still managing to make awful whining sounds complaining I had wet her…. children are amazing at making two opposite emotions seem to go together…. I was covered, the table, and of course to top off the whole event the dogs who had been keenly watching on bolted through the cat door and with such speed! Such amazing protectors!

While it may not be the best purchase, or really an impulse buy, the laughter and sore bellies we had after we actually stopped to realise what had just happened was worth the soda stream purchase! So be sure to make those impulse buys sometimes, as who knows what could happen! Its all about making memories!

Oh and rest assured this morning when I made my soda water to take to work – I did screw the lid on properly…. I was still  a little apprehensive pressing the go button!

A normal day!

It’s funny how people always comment that teachers have an easy job. We get all the holidays, the weekends and should never complain, well even more recently I feel this needs to be nutted out or explained more.

So many have done this before me and many will after me but eventually people may listen.

Today was just another normal day, let me spell it out for you:

It started by being awake most of the night contemplating the school camps coming up; thinking about the numbers, the plan for the days, the number of kids, cabin groups, activities, teachers going with, bus quotes and much much more….

Its not the only physical fatigue that eventually wins out but the mental. You fall into a fitful sleep for a few hours before the next day begins.

Up and at it from 5am, the dogs are ready to go, they let me know this by leaning up on the bed and waking me with the smell of ‘dog morning breath, you thought ours is bad in the morning……. man……. I cannot explain the smell of a dogs!

It’s raining so no they won’t get a walk and follow you round like crazy! Playing games inside and wrestling. You try to settle them while waking a 12 year old.

This in itself is an experience, you slowly ease the door open, hoping the sleeping child will wake as an angel….. nope today we have the tired and grumpy….. so you step away and hope for the best. That her 5 alarms set 5minutes apart will wake her and after the half hour shower she will again come out as a refreshed and energised angel………. nope………

Feed the dogs, feed the cats, make lunches and have the first fleeting thought of what’s for dinner…… who knows that can come later!

Rush to the car at 7 and head off the only saving grace for the day, your coffee stop on the way to work.

While driving you go through the day, the to do list! What have I got to get through? This doesn’t account for what comes across your desk that you DID NOT plan for! Let me tell you this happens ALL the time!!!

You arrive at work and it starts, you are go go go from one meeting to the next. A parent is waiting for you that you never knew was coming, a quick and cordial chat, but this has now taken the few minutes you have to ensure you are ready for the day.

Off to class you go at a very fast paced walk. On a side note, if you know a teacher, they generally walk fast everywhere!! This is a side effect of our jobs! Sorry!

Morning tea swings by and you shovel what you can in as quick as you can. If you’re lucky you get a toilet break. Off to the next classes, then lunch. This is not how most imagine it, where we all get together and have laughs and chats over a fresh cup of coffee and a hot meal.

Rather a frantic run to the toilet as you didn’t get to go at morning tea and you’re about to wet your pants. The relief is intense! Then we again shovel what we can in, sip some water and head off for the afternoon….

If it’s your lucky day when that final bell rings you have 10 minutes to change and get to after school sport, which you spend coaching a sport you only had a marginal role in choosing, to kids of various ages who are just as tired as you are.

4:30pm rolls around and you realise it’s not over yet, the teacher has to become the mum!

Rush the kids home, change in under a minute, chuck an Aldi $3 pizza, promising yourself you will plan a more healthy meal next time, in the oven, which you made the kids run in for on the way home. Set a timer and off we go to walk the dogs. Yelling behind you as you close the gate, telling the kids to take it out of the oven when the alarm goes off, oh and don’t burn yourself, and turn off the oven……… again a fleeting thought of, hmmm what if they burn down the house, burn themselves……. you don’t have time and know they will be okay. They have done it many times before!

I return home and wash the wet dogs in a split second. This is an event where if someone was watching they surely would think I was mad! I feel like a deamon who has multiple hands and arms, I think the dogs don’t know whether to enjoy the massage or be scared I am going to rage at them if they move knowing I am in a rush.

The neighbours are probably wondering what is going on, this wet dishevelled person washing dogs in the front yard barking orders to the daughter and her friend saying we leave in ten to take them to their debating meet, all the while I am thinking man I have to shower and change as I can’t rurn up to the debate in wet, dog smelling gym gear!!! Or can I?

We make it, with 2 minutes to spare and we rush to the debate, which mind you is back at school again!! Who would have thought…

An hour later, after being an active listener, while in your mind you are again thinking of what you need to do and what is needed when you get home…… anyway …. a great result at the end, they win their debate…… your dinner was a yogurt and a make shift spoon made from the lid – but hey, it’s food! It’s all you could manage!

The drive home is full of high emotions and what a celebration for young girls in Year 7. They certainly were amazing, I wouldn’t have been able to do what they did at their age!

This elation fades as we walk in the door, it’s 8pm and they say, “we have homework”….. a deep sigh……. a very deep sigh….. a deep breath and we all sit at the dining table and work our way through their homework….

Its now 9pm and I haven’t even sat down yet and have to plan for tomorrow, but you know what, I won’t have time. Taking a moment to myself and to take stock of the day, celebrate the great things that have happened is by far more beneficial than trying to be effective after what is another normal day!

Sleep may happen tonight, well I hope so!