Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's a New Year

While I was working on this piece in the shed today, I was reflecting on the past year. I was thinking about some of the things that I have learned during 2014. One of the greatest lessons that I have learned, is to say "No, Thank You" to many of the things that are personally worrisome or irritating to me. It's sage advice from my friend, Christine. Let other people hold their "negative stuff" dear, I'm not interested in taking part.

I began last year with that philosophy, and it served me well during the last few months of my job. People who want to be unhappy or miserable are not the kind of people that I want in my life. It's amazing that it has taken me so long to figure out this little gem of an idea! I used to work on a team with a group of teachers, who were very negative. I'm not entirely sure why they were teaching children, they certainly didn't seem to like them very much. Any new idea or innovation was resisted, in favor of the status quo. There were a lot of meetings filled with complaining, or with ideas about how to control kids, not to actually teach them. One of the teachers pointedly harassed me, screamed at me in front of students, destroyed the artwork my class had donated to the school, tattled on me to my boss, sent me ranting emails, and generally behaved like a complete nut case. When Christine mentioned her philosophy of "No, Thank You" to me, it was after spending a few years putting up with this behavior. It seemed refreshing to realize that I didn't have to be burdened with mitigating the negativity, I could just shut it off, and turn on my heel. Silence is often said to imply consent, but "No, Thank You" says that you actually want no part of the negativity.

Growing up, we learned in Sunday School, that we were searching in life for "anything that is lovely or of good report". I firmly believe that my life has finally taken a turn in this direction. Better late, than never. There is so very much to bring us down, and to hurt us in this world. But, conversely, there is so very much that can uplift us, make us better people. I am looking forward to the exciting new opportunities that 2015 will bring.

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