Thursday, September 13, 2018
"Don't worry about where you NEED to be. Just start where you ARE right now. Be here now."
Those few words have impacted my thinking so much in the last year that I am starting to notice that philosophy in little moments around me everywhere I go.
On my drive to and from work, there is a house that burned completely to the ground. When it happened I felt so terrible for the family of strangers that live there. My first thought was how horrible it would be to rebuild a whole household, a lifetime's accumulation, of belongings.
Each day, as I drive by, there was more and more progress as they cleared the rubbish, laid a new foundation, added a frame, and busily enclosed walls. Just this week they added the trusses for the roof and added the actual roof. When I drove by and noticed how much progress they had made in just a short amount of time, I was so excited for these strangers and amazed at their resilience. They made the decision to rebuild their lives in the same spot that broke their hearts.
What an incredible analogy for life's obstacles! Even when you feel down or defeated, you don't have to worry about where you NEED to be, you just have to focus on the baby steps to get you to your goal.
A few years ago, I decided to enter graduate school and the task seemed so daunting, at first. But as I completed one class at a time, I felt closer and closer to the end goal. Before I knew it, I was graduating with a Master's Degree. Looking back at that I'm not sure how I did it. Working full time, having two young kids and household to run surely should have slowed me down, but it didn't. I focused on one thing at a time, took each day and task as it's own and the semesters just ticked by.
When I have a challenging student, my first thought is usually what does this child need right now? I try not to assign a story to what I think is going on, but I ask instead. What do you need right now? Starting from the most basic needs and building my way up to the more in depth tasks helps to keep the student and me grounded in the here and now. Whether it's a student sitting and staring out the window instead of reading (I didn't sleep well last night) to a student refusing to do their writing (I don't know I should write about) or a student that constantly seeks attention from me in good or bad ways (I don't get much validation at home). When I can figure out where they are ARE right now, I can help build them up to where they NEED to be.
Some days building is easier than others. Some days all I can do is clear the rubbish. Other days I add the foundation, walls AND roof. I just try to stay present in whatever I'm building right now. I'll try not to worry much about the end result. I'm going to just worry more about the right now.