In life we must learn not only how to live, but how to die as well.
Day 252 – Today Rolf celebrates life’s little lessons (my words, not his). His opening quote to today’s reading taught Rolf that “an adult lives many lives.” Further, he continues: “We invest years in a moment, and then that moment passes and we must be willing to let it go, so as to be able to embrace the next moment.”
As I was working several union events this week, I realized that some of the littlest acts done with love are the most important things to embrace on a day-to-day basis. It sounds so basic, but it has always seems that there is so much unnecessary drama everywhere: social media, sports, and work. More recently, the drama has increased at work, which–for me–means in our classrooms, the schools, the district, the state, and the nation. So much anti-public school sentiment. So much anti-teacher sentiment. Moreover, today’s event showed me no less. Why are people so afraid of “The Union?”
And so we (the other volunteer) held our ground, jazzing up the old nasty table assigned –after telling us we weren’t supposed to be there– to us, by decorating it with paper I had just purchased for the classroom that happened to be in my car. And the teachers flooded in and I said, “Hey! Good morning!” with the biggest smile I have (my daughter said my cheeks should be sore), like I was in charge or something. We were just giving away free stuff. And after we had handed out about 300 bags, I said to my fellow volunteer: “They won’t remember this breakfast they were told they had to go to, but maybe they will remember all the smiles and the free goodies from the teachers’ union.”
And maybe not, but that’s okay. As one of them (“The Public School Teachers”), I will start tomorrow setting up my room, decorating my bulletin board, organizing my “work” clothes, and getting nervous and excited for all the ta-do’s before Meet Your Teacher one week from today. I hope that at least one teacher there remembers that we welcomed them–we weren’t allowed to recruit–and that we smiled. We were happy to be there, even if they were not and even if the district wasn’t happy we were there either. In the end, our main job is teaching our students (without drama). Our jobs are challenging, so why add to it? Our personal life, as Rolf points out, plays out differently over and over and over in our adulthood; we lose, we win, we celebrate, we grieve, we sleep, we falter, we fall, and we get back up and do it all over again.
Rolf writes of yoga and shavasana (corpse pose): “This is the lesson…we embrace a moment with all we have, and when the moment is over we step back and let go.” Today’s step forward took 15 school years. Today, I stepped back, stepped forward, and then stepped back again. The act of letting go is presence AND that allows me to smile and mean it. Love is all.