I couldn't figure out what to post today. You'd think with a subject like joy that my mind would be overflowing with ideas. After a few minutes of feeling ashamed, I thought about what has made my past few days so much fun- letting go.
Letting go in what way? All, really. I mentioned the other day that my weekend was pretty crappy. Nothing really went wrong but I am a "stewer." If something is bothering me, I sometimes obsess about it in my head- even the stupid things. I know that this irrational and I try not to be that way but it's a habit that I've held for over 30 years. Lately I've tried to be more aware of when I'm doing this and have then attempted to "let it go." In the past week I've discovered that I get really annoyed with people over some pretty shallow things. (I've also realized that there are some lucky people who don't have to try very hard to annoy me.) These things are easy to let go- mostly because the real issue is me being sinful and not a relevant problem. What is harder is when I have to stop worrying or need to forgive someone. Oh yeah, still a sin. Whenever I have found myself in this situation this week, I have just stopped to pray. God tells us that he's willing to bear our burdens- so why do I feel like I need to "control the situation?" This will be be an ongoing struggle for me but there is a marked difference when I'm attempting to "let it go."
The second type of letting go is a little less serious. In my role as a mom, teacher, Christian, friend and more, I often feel a need to look like I have "all my crap together." Let's be real; being functional is not always the same as being happy about how I am doing in all these roles. I read a post yesterday (from another 31 Days blogger) that talked about embracing imperfection. There is nowhere in my life that I can just let everything go, but I can definitely take myself less seriously in many areas. Yesterday I found myself feeling really joyful and satisfied at the end of the day. I think this had to do with the fact that I let myself just be myself in all areas of my day. In school I chatted with a new a colleague and told her that I would really like to have her over for dinner some night. I don't have a huge connection with many people from work outside of school so this took a little bravery for me. Then I had a prep period where I worked really hard on organizing the rest of the day. I wrote about my choreography lesson with the 8th graders in yesterday's post. I allowed myself to laugh with them and to permit them to be themselves- even if it looked less structured than what some people might like to see. I was proud when I saw students who normally are not engaged let go of whatever is holding them back on other days. They were appreciative that I showed my joy in being with them. I invested some extra time in a few students who needed a little one on one attention. I took the unpopular route and enforced the rules of class for my younger students. I took the instruments they were using away after repeated reminders of playing them correctly and listening when expected. I danced with my 7th grade class while teaching them a piece. (This class has some "mean girls" and some kids who frequently express their opinions- regardless of whether their opinion is appropriate.) When I got home, I put my family first and spent some time hanging out with them. (I should have been cleaning or correcting.) David asked me if he could "take me out dancing" in my dining room so we let it go all over the place there. It was so much fun. I even used some of my newly acquired moves from my 8th grade boys. At one point my husband even jumped in. (Those of you who know Matt know that this would be a RARE occasion.) Some of the blogs I read yesterday reminded me to appreciate what I have while I have them, so I took a little extra snuggle time with the kids and let the schedule go a little. All of these were good decisions for me and contributed not only to my joy but the lives of others around me too.
What has brought you the most joy this week?