Today was an interesting day for me. It was my first day back at school for the new year. Usually, I almost have to be knocked out, gagged, and drug back into the building, as I slowly release my grip on my lazy summer freedom. But, somehow, this year it was different. I woke up with a spring in my step as I faced the day ahead.
The whole cancer thing? Well, it changed my entire perspective on life. The very lens through which I view my world is somehow cheerier than it was before.
I can now face my job with thankfulness for the health that I have, with eagerness to influence a life, and with motivation to teach with excellence simply because I can.
It reminded me of a phrase I coined at my wedding that has continued to ring true. If you notice the picture of my wedding cake above, you'll notice that it looks a little, well crappy - not to be crass. In the first place, the bakery did a less than quality job, and then they transported it in 100 degree weather to a parking lot in which it became airborn as the delivery van sailed over mountainous speedbumps. To say the least, it took quite the beating and arrived unlike anything I had described or pictured.
Upon its dismal debut, my mom got a little miffed at its presentation. Again, it was not like ANYTHING we had described to the bakery, so she had every right to be perturbed. For some uncharacteristic reason, as my mom's stress level was quickly elevating, I simply grabbed her face, looked her in the eye, and said, "Mom, this day is so NOT about the cake." For both of us, that was a pivotal moment.
So now, when I feel overwhelmed or dissatisfied, I try to remember to simply step back, take a look at the situation, and remind myself - LIFE IS SO NOT ABOUT THE CAKE!
This year, this is going to be my slogan as I journey through the ups and downs of being a public school teacher. When children make me want to scream, when I am at the end of my rope, and when the demands seem to high, I am going to remind myself that life is about living and loving, not about the itty bitty nuisances.