The above quote is something I am known for.
Not just the quote, but the ability to find positive and opportunities in tough situations.
I am not sure if I would consider myself an “optimist,” but I have worked to become a solution-focused person. Sometimes, I do force myself to be positive because I know if I am not, it can spiral into something negative that can be long-lasting.
In a recent email I shared with a group, I started with the following:
“If you are reading this, you made it through the week! It might have been rough but we are here now. That is something to be grateful for.”
I had received some feedback delivered in a kind way about that statement. It was noted that I usually share comments that are more focused on “thriving” in situations, not just “surviving.” To be honest, that opening statement I made was more of a projection of my week, than it was on anyone else’s.
I should have shared the image below instead, which would have been an accurate representation of how I felt last week (and part of this week as well):
So why am I bringing this up?
Because it is okay to have crappy days; that is part of being human. It is okay to say, “today sucked” and try again tomorrow.
I have learned to be grateful for every day, but sometimes, I don’t want to be thankful for today at this very moment. I need to be able to say without guilt that “today sucked.” I need to own it and try to move on.
As I was talking to a group of educators, I shared that I was having a rough week and was feeling frustrated. One of the teachers in the group immediately told me the following:
“I liked that you shared you were having a rough day because you are ‘Mr. Positive.’ It validated for me that it is okay to struggle.”
We need to be able to share that we are struggling, even while trying to be solution-focused. The problem so many educators face is that we often take care of others, that we often forget to take care of ourselves and give ourselves grace.
I wrote about this in “Innovate Inside the Box“:
Understand that some days will not work out the way you want them to, so it is okay to start again tomorrow.
I have had bad days as a teacher and administrator and as a human. You can go home and cry (you will sometimes) and be frustrated, but there is always the next day. You will not have to get the most out of every kid, every single day.
Think of it this way: If one of your students has a bad day, would you push them to stay at school until the day turned “good”? Or would you perhaps encourage them to step back and start again tomorrow? The ability to “get back up” is something we want to teach our kids, so it is okay to do the same.
Sometimes walking away, taking a break, doing something else, and starting again tomorrow is the best thing to do.
I don’t believe that we always need to be “inspiring” in our roles. Sometimes putting on a “brave face” is less effective in leading others than it is to share your struggles. People need to know it is okay to struggle, and that doesn’t make us any less grateful, just more real.
I just need to remind myself that I can’t help others unless I am okay.
No pep talks from me today, but I appreciate you listening (reading).