I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, sort of slogging around through a toxic sludge of negativity, not super pleased with being in my own headspace. (Probably not thrilling those around me either, for that matter.) Overall, I’ve just felt primed to go dark. Here’s a small example: On the Teacher’s Room bulletin board, someone wrote, “What are you looking forward to in 2022?” Others had already responded, writing things like, “To thrive, not just survive” or “My son’s wedding” etc. My immediate knee-jerk response (internal thankfully, since the filter held this time and I didn’t say or write it) was “June 15th”. That just happens to be the last day of school. So, you get the picture.
Anyway, last week, I was walking down the hallway at school, stewing in my own negativity, when I happened to look up and see this bulletin board.
I’ve seen it before, but this time, I stopped and read through it, line by line.
As I read, I thought about the things that have been coming out of my mouth lately: Complaints. Snarky comments. Pessimism. (Just to be clear, the audience to all of this is primarily adults–friends, family and colleagues (sorry, everyone!)– not students. But still.)
So I stood in front of the bulletin board and considered.
Think Before You Speak
is it True? Well, yes, what I say is generally true (though perhaps I’ve been catastrophizing a bit.)
is it Helpful? Um…maybe not so much
is it Inspiring? Oh. No question there. Definitely not.
is it Necessary? Probably not.
is it Kind? Well, it’s not un-kind …
I bumped into two colleagues a little while later and mentioned thinking about the sign.
“Oh, that’s a great bulletin board,” one of them said.
“Yeah,” I said, “I used to have it in my classroom. After reading and thinking about it today, I realized I find the poster and put it back up. I also realized that, in the meantime, I mostly just need to stop talking.”
But I wasn’t totally joking.
The next day, out of the blue, a text arrived with a photo from a distant friend (who courtesy of that distance honestly hasn’t been forced to listen to my negativity).
Clearly the universe is sending me a message.
I’ll look for the poster tomorrow.