Most of my posts are related to education and even those that are not directly, I find a connection to my years as a teacher of young children.
I enjoy starting my day reading my emails to see if any of the bloggers I follow have posted on their blogs. I also read my Twitter Feed to read what people in my PLN have been thinking about and check out hashtags that I find relevant to my interests. And that’s how I came here thinking “about resilience.” In the #resiliencechat educators discuss the lives of their students and often themselves as they are impacted by situations that demonstrate resilience. A tweet from @ResilientMichae (Michael H Ballard) had me take a look at his tweets and that brought me to one of his posts on resilience and a conversation
Then the support of family, friends and colleagues had me thinking yet once again about my resilience to a life hit with some curve balls. I don’t feign modesty and say, “Oh it’s nothing. You could do it too.” Because I don’t know that part of you. I don’t think many of us go through life unscathed by trauma, illness or loss. Nor do I know how you face them or overcome them; what mechanism helps move you forward. Or are you in denial and shy away from situations that are too difficult to deal with or how you cope. But I know me and I am a fighter! I have alluded to some of these ideas in other posts, so suffice to say as a child, wife, mother, grandmother and teacher I have had periods of joy and heartache. My role models, my incredibly strong resilient family, who came through the Holocaust, demonstrated what it meant to live life to the fullest; not to wallow in self pity or in blame. How could I know as a young child, that although I was different (I lost my father at a young age), I was still one who loved to go to school, to play, dance and rough house with my friends? Our outside play was a wonderful equalizer where we built friendships that we relied on in times of need. How could I know as a wife and mother it wouldn’t all be smooth sailing even though the fantasy was strong? My adult children at times remind me of my foibles, but we have learned to smile and understand that as adults there are few do-overs and we move on. Along the road my two heart surgeries showed me the power of my resolve to be me, wife, mother and teacher. (My teaching has been a beacon of light for me. It has been my crutch when personal issues have overwhelmed. The people I have worked with have been supportive and understanding through many difficult situations.) And now how could I know that illness would derail my retirement plans as my husband struggles to regain what he lost after a debilitating stroke? But I learned early on there were bumps on the road and we were the navigators of our journey.
I wonder if my willingness to open up when I am ready to ask for help, to understand what stood in my way and then setting my goals, has helped me build resilience in the face of obstacles, hardships and heartache. I know there is bit of Pollyanna in me, but I am also a pragmatist. And I believe in Hope.
And to teaching and the kinders. How could I not be the person who is there for them: to listen, to hold their hands, to give hugs, and play with them. How could I not be there for them as they build their own resilience.