Transitioning from summer-mom mode to working-school mode in August is always a challenge. The warp speed from 0-60 mph happens so quickly you can almost feel the whiplash before it happens. Being an educator and a mom is a balancing act that always get toppled at the start of the school year. As much as I want to be there for my own children, I know that all my time, energy, and effort has to given to my work at school.
This year has brought even greater challenges on top of those that already exist. We are still in a pandemic. We are called to be stronger allies to our Black friends and other people of color. There are residual effects from our students being out of school for so long and we are now asked to lead, love, and learn in ways we never knew possible. And for me personally, I have battled a kidney stone and shingles all within the past few weeks.
There is stress.
There is anxiety.
There is frustration, anger, and even at times despair.
There have been moments where I have been so overwhelmed, being pulled in so many directions, that I have wanted to fall to the ground, stretch out my arms and legs and pound them as hard as I could – an adult version of a toddler tantrum. There have been other times where it took every ounce of energy not to crumble in a corner and cry.
But if you were to ask me on any given day how I’m doing, you might here one of these refrains:
“Thanks for asking! I’m hanging in there!”
“Whew! It’s crazy busy, but we’re doing the best we can!”
“It’s all good… just living my best life!”
While some might argue that those responses are generic and not a true representation of how I’m feeling, I would argue that those statements are true, not simply a Pollyanna platitude.
I am hanging in there.
I am doing the best I can.
I am living my best life.
This morning, that last sentence made me stop and reflect. What does it really mean to “live my best life?” Am I really doing that? If I left this world tomorrow, would those around me look at my time here on earth and agree that I lived my life to the fullest?
Maybe not today.
Maybe not even this week or month. (And most certainly not this year, heavens no! I am ready to kick 2020 to the curb!)
But, what about my life?
What about yours?
Are you living a good one? Have you made some happy memories along the way? Are there moments that bring you such incredible joy that you smile when you replay them in your mind?
Have you made a positive impact on someone else during your life? Have you reached a milestone, an accomplishment, a challenge where passion and perseverance revealed your strength and sustainability?
It’s ok to have an awful day.
It’s ok to feel all those negative feelings and bear the weight of the world on your shoulders.
Just remember that you are living your best life, and all those moments wrapped up together are what make living so incredible.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You can do hard things.
And one day you might find yourself saying, “I’m living my best life,” and realize it’s absolutely true.