Be a Good Human

The founder of CT Working Moms, Michelle, graciously handed over the reins to me two years ago and left all of the management duties of this site and community to me.  She then started a new initiative, “Colchester is Kind”. Her goal, as stated on her Facebook page, is “to foster a strong sense of community in our town using kindness to create a feeling of connection”. Isn’t that just lovely? I am not a resident of Colchester but I was allowed to join her group and I continue to be impressed and inspired by Michelle’s (and the other members of her ever growing group) unwavering show of kindness to others.

Michelle designed a sweatshirt recently and offered to order and deliver them to interested folks. I ordered mine and I cannot wait for it to arrive (and for the weather to be cool enough for me to wear it). Here’s a pic of Michelle showing it off:

Be a good human.  So simple. Yet, so important.

My summer vacation is over.  I go back to work this week as a special educator in a high school here in CT.  September is rough.  Not only am I adjusting to early mornings, late nights, and busy days, I need to manage all of the stress that comes with the beginning of a new school year not only for me but for my children too.  Unfortunately when I am struggling I’m not the best human I can be.  I lose my temper, I struggle to compromise, I often think some pretty negative and judgmental thoughts about others who cross my path…and myself, my negative self-talk is the worst.  Every year I promise myself that I will manage THIS September with much more grace and much less angst.  Every year seems to get worse.

As I wrote in my last post, my father has cancer.  He is a fierce fighter and he’s going to kick cancer’s ass.  However, my worry and sadness for him and for our family is an added challenge to what is always a hard time of year for me. My friend Elise recently sent me a wish for “enough grace to allow yourself to be sad, but not let it swallow you whole.” That beautiful message hit me right in the soul. And I’m worried. I am definitely sad. I need to find a way to stay focused and relatively at peace if I’m going to continue to stay out of that hole.

I think I may have the answer.  Kindness.  I need to focus on kindness.  I need to smile more and I need to do more for others.  I’m not talking about starting my own charity or offering to help someone move.  It’s September and I need to be also focusing on some self-care.  But I could try to give others the benefit of the doubt more often.  After all, they too are managing the stress of this new school year and every person I engage with may also be facing a private challenge as well. I could ask about their summers and genuinely care about their response.  I could grab a second cup of coffee one morning to give to a co-worker.  I could give out more compliments.  I could work harder at staying in a judgement free state of mind remembering that I am not in anyone’s shoes but my own. I can check in with my friends more often to be sure their heads are above water. I could spoil my children a bit more than usual this month. I could be a better human.

I’m feeling pretty positive about this plan.  Have you ever seen that episode of Friends when Phoebe attempts to find a completely self-less good deed? She finds that every act of kindness or charity she performs makes her feel so good it’s selfish, not self-less. But I think that’s the beauty of kindness, actually.  Being kind to others has the added benefit of making you feel good about YOU. I’m going to need that kind of positive self-talk if I’m going to keep fighting off my stress and my sad.

I’m still not thrilled to be headed into a new school year but at least I have a goal to work toward. I’m going to be a good human.  Seems simple enough. And let me start by wishing all of our readers and followers a calm, happy, and sweet start to a new school year. We’ve got this. And…if you’re struggling…reach out. Comment here, on our Facebook page, or on Instagram. Send us a message. We are here for you and we are always willing to send a little kindness your way.

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