On Sunday night for the first time since I started writing my blog, I couldn’t think of what to write. As I’ve told the young writers I’ve worked with for over three decades, it isn’t a matter of not having a topic, but of having too many to choose from. Life has been full lately and there’s always an endless list of situations that bring personal reflection and growth. One thing I’ve been thinking about lately is the role of one’s perspective in approaching what appear to be obstacles.
For much of my life as a school director, I’ve felt frustrated by situations that arise and seem like they’re getting in the way of what I consider to be my real work. I have my list for the day all figured out and then ten other things come up demanding my attention. At the end of a busy day, not one thing has been crossed off my list and more items have been added. Over time, I’ve come to embrace the idea that the apparent obstacles aren’t getting in the way of my work, they are my work. Just coming to this realization has relieved a lot of stress in my life. It hasn’t eliminated the constant stream of challenges, but it has allowed me to handle them with considerably more grace.
These are challenging times and as I move forward in my life, trying to live each day with integrity, I am learning to see each apparent obstacle as an opportunity. Each one stretches me beyond what I think I am capable of handling, extending my ability to respond with clarity and wisdom. Every obstacle/opportunity is a chance to practice deep breathing and to remember that there are very few events in life over which we have control. I will be the first to admit that I have much to learn about being a human being. I make mistakes, I stumble with communications, I fall short of my own self-expectations. But I keep trying, and remind myself that even the most exquisite rose has its thorns, there for a reason but not intended to overshadow the flower’s beauty. If we can help each other remember this, we’ll go a long way in helping our planet be a healthier place for all of us to live and grow.