It’s been 11 months since my last slice and while some of the daily grind remains, lots has changed. For this new batch of 5th graders I dipped into a PD idea and decided to focus on having my kids track goals. I made a huge bulletin board and titled it “Relentless Mountain Goals”. I got the name partly from this big speech I kick off the year with and partly from an inside dream that wound up being an inside joke I wound up being the punchline for.
When my kids successfully track and pass a goal we move an avatar up or down a mountain and when the class cheers I remind them we are mountain climbers, not mountain stander-onners, we cheer the struggle, not the completion. On to the next. More sage wisdom from a PD.
In that vein, my goal for this year’s slicing will be to find positivity and write that. I feel like each year I begin by stating something similar and forewarning future readers that I’ve always loved to write, but have also always conflated it with sadness. It’s been my outlet in down times all my life, writing. I’m trying to live a life. Like, suck the marrow and drink the lees and such. And I have a lot to be proud of and happy about. But I am also, it seems, a sad magnet of sorts.
To try and purge a little in the first one, with the idea being I leave the sorrow in the first one, what I want to say about sadness is that it’s actually ok. “Fake it til you make it” is masking so others don’t see and get annoyed. Sad people seem to be wallowing to others. But guess what? If a person is experiencing sadness, embracing it is embracing truth. Honoring the honest vulnerability of pain. Honoring, even, the source of it. No, that doesn’t need to be done out loud I suppose. But being seen is a thing. Reaching out for empathy is not always an RSVP to a pity party. Also, telling sad people to remember that others have it worse off is a heart in the right place-type deal on the surface, I have done it, but usually it amounts solely to flinging guilt into the eyes of someone already hurting. Truth is always ok. Even when it’s inconvenient for others. Even when it’s uncomfy for you.
I know I am going to write about a good friend who has been there with time tested advice in attempts to help me through my struggles lately. I know I will write about my pride in my kids’ successes and my fears over their rough spots. I know I will try to meet this first slice goal and I know there’s a chance I will fail. But I’m going to be honest. I’m going to try. I’m excited to be here. I look forward to reading all of your slices. Good luck to all of us in this and all the mountains we try to climb this month. If you’re going to be a punchline, hopefully it’s at least a good joke, right?
“The crumbled cities stand as known
Of the sights you have been shown
Of the hurt you call your own
You know, you know”