All The Reasons I Should Be in a Bad Mood
- I’m tired.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Anyone who has ever said “do what you love and you will never work a day in your life” did not work with kids. Especially special needs kids. They probably didn’t write either. I love the work I do with children and I love having written, but the day-to-day labor behind each is next level draining. (Friendly PSA: I’m not saying you need to buy them something, but please be sure to express gratitude for the individuals teaching your children. These people are superheroes. Not many can do what they do and do it well.)
- The call I got.
Two nights ago I went to Parent Teacher conferences for my younger cousin. I drove an hour after a long day of work to sit down with her teachers and listen to them say how bright she was, but how bad her attitude is. I listened. I reflected. I lectured. I loved her hard and she promised me she would work on managing her anger and communicating her needs so that they could be met. I left my phone number and encouraged teachers to call me if there was a problem moving forward. I received a call today that my younger cousin got kicked out of class and cursed her teacher out. I have to leave work early tomorrow to drive another hour to sit down with the dean.
- The ticket I got.
I walked out of work and reached my car only to realize that for the second time this year, I forgot to move my car before 4pm because I was working and I got a $115 ticket. Christmas is around the corner and this is not an expense I was planning for.
- The stress of the day has given me a headache.
All the Reasons I’m Choosing Joy
- I’m blessed.
I am successful. And by successful I mean, I am using my voice and my talents to make other people’s lives better. To spread love and light. I help children discover their voices, communicate basic needs and wants and manage behaviors so that they can learn. I make videos and write stories that share my personal journey and encourage others to push through their circumstances and develop a growth mindset.
- This is an opportunity.
I had a serious talk with my cousin about how I understand her anger. She has not had an easy life. She was the parent in the household before her mother, my aunt, passed away and she was only ten years old. There is such a thing as justified anger, I told her. I want her to know I see her. But she needs to learn what to do with that anger in order to continue growing and learning. I’m angry too. I see where the adults in this school are wrong, especially as an educator. This meeting is a chance to model what I’ve been preaching. I will have to work through my anger to address my concerns about the school and the teacher while also disciplining my cousin in a way that she still feels supported and loved.
- I learned a lesson.
It’s amazing how different life can be when you focus on healing and start to change your mindset. A year ago, this might have spun me into a bout of anxiety. Today, I recognize two things. The first is that there is always a lesson to be learned. The next time I park in that spot, I need to set an alarm on my phone. I was able to reflect on what I did and how I could do it better. That is a skill that not everyone has developed. The second is that God always provides. The money will come.
- I am generally healthy.
I don’t get headaches often. I understand that my body is trying to tell me something. I need to rest for what’s left of the night. I need to take care of myself. That is all. Nothing more and nothing less. I will get a good night’s rest and tomorrow will be a new day.
- Bonus Reason:
I finally finished a difficult essay tonight about my mother’s childhood in Bonao, D.R. , her lack of love and food and how that
trickledhemorrhaged into our relationship as mother and daughter. I stopped by my parent’s house tonight to pick something up, and I read the entire essay to both of my parents and sister. My sister looked at me and told me how brave I was. My mother cried. My father told me I sound like a real writer. I’m so very proud. It’s a kick-ass essay and even if it’s not accepted in this anthology, I know it will find a home because it is beautifully written. It’s also helped me in healing my relationship with my mother.
I could have gone to sleep angry or frustrated tonight. It would not be the first time. Instead, I will go to bed tired, but I will be tired and grateful. Tired and joyful. Tired and well aware of my blessings. Tired and proud. Proud of ME.
In the words of Snoop Dogg, “I want to thank me for believing in me. I want to thank me for doing all this hard work, I want to thank me for having no days off, I want to thank me for never quitting, I want to thank me for always being a giver and trying to give more than I receive.”
Every day you have choices to make. You are in control of your life. Some days you will kick ass. On those days, big yourself up and give yourself all the accolades. Celebrate your growth. Some days you will fail. On those days, be kind to yourself. Ask yourself if there is a lesson to be learned. Forgive yourself when it’s needed. Remember that tomorrow is a new day and you will have new choices to make. You are in control of your life.