As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to limit my time with those who see the glass half empty because they suck the life out of me.

It’s not that everything in my world is perfect, but I’ve decided to try to always look on the bright side of life. (Monty Python fans, are you singing the song? 🙂 )

I’ve found that the littlest thing can have the biggest impact – from a simple thank you to the kid who waited and held the door for me on my way into school to a passing hello in the hall, it matters.

I’m convinced that it’s the little things people say or do for us that set the tone for the day or the week or even a lifetime.

This past week I didn’t have to look too hard for the bright side, it just seemed to find me.  These are the highlights that made me smile.

  • Last Sunday I wished a former student happy birthday via Facebook.  This was his response:  “Thanks! Me and Sean used to make finger skateboards and play with them when you weren’t looking. Now that I’m 32 I feel comfortable telling you.” 🙂 I laughed because I’m sure they did. I probably knew it at the time and ignored it, but I loved that he wanted to share that all these years later.
  • Tuesday at the Veterans Day Assembly, a World War II veteran from the local American Legion Post gave me a big hug. Then he told me how they’d been talking about me on the car ride over and how much they appreciated me.
  • As I was leaving to head back to the high school, a young mom got out of her car, stopped and stared at me and said, “I know you!” When I asked how, she said, “You were one of my teachers, I think.” I asked her name, and as soon as she said the first, I said the last. Her face lit up.  I was a long-term substitute in her 4th grade classroom. It was 18 years ago and in a different district, but she remembered me.
  • Wednesday morning I had an elementary parent catch me in the hall. She wanted to tell me how much she appreciated all I do for students, but more importantly, she appreciated the time I took to talk with her about her child.
  • Thursday’s mail brought a handwritten thank you note from a former student. I had sent a little gift to him and his wife – a few books for their new baby boy. He’d already thanked me through Facebook, but then he took the time to write and send an actual note.

These are the moments that keep me centered.

They remind me why I do what I do.

They remind me that teaching is still an amazing profession.

They remind me that I’m truly blessed.