For the last few days, I’ve been in a slump. It’s really the first slump I can recall during the pandemic. Mostly, my “slumpiness” revolved around feelings about my own self worth and feeling undervalued.
But, today, several things have happened to restore my sense of being valued by others.
- I realized that I do and have done a lot of things to reach a lot of people, indirectly, and might not be aware of my impact on these individuals who are beneficiaries of my good works. An easy example would be my mask masking, most of which I’ve donated. It’s not a “visible” act of good or community service such as volunteering at a food bank or hospital. Instead, someone gets a well made mask and is unaware of where it came from. My oldest son pointed this out to me this morning. He is wise for his age.
2. I receive so much support from my online writing groups. This is a relatively new source of support and an important one to have for a budding writer and poet. I am so very grateful for the comments I receive after my daily blog goes out, but especially to the members of the Slice of Life and Poetry Friday communities. I am grateful to these loyal readers. Grateful is my OLW for 2021 and I need to remember to put it into practice.
3. I realized the importance of reframing. I have a long standing habit of rumination after an off comment is made. I need to stop this. Either, I just have to live with it and let it go OR I have to learn to gently confront the person making the comment that I just do not understand. I know myself well, so I will have to work on non-confrontational ways of dealing with these comments. Rumination is not helpful and it only makes my feelings of frustration fester. Let it go, girl, let it go!
4. I cannot be everything to everybody. After five weeks of trying to get my parents vaccines, I was partially successful with obtaining the set of two doses for one of them. Now, that parent is sick and will not be able to keep the appointment. Unfortunately, there are larger issues on the horizon with my folks – as they are aging quickly and still own not one, but two homes in two different states. Privilege does have its cost. Now we are starting to pay with some serious conversations that include diminished capacity. I am one of two daughters. And, I live 900 miles away. I can only do so much. I have to accept that I’ve done what I can.
5. I miss my wider social circle. However, it is still quite a small circle. I need some more friends who “get” me and my intense ways. One friend, who I haven’t seen in over a year, reached out to me yesterday to tell me how much she valued our friendship and that I was a remarkable person. I needed to hear that and was so very grateful she was able to tell me. I hope I can start to see some of my other friends, soon. I need them to boost me up. And, in turn I hope I can do the same for them.
But, on top of those things that I came to realize after three days of self-reflection, two other things happened just this morning.
- I heard from a fellow parent and community member asking my opinion on some things educationally related. Let me be clear, these were not complaints, just things she was wondering about for the educational futures of our students. They were great questions and I am contemplating my answers. Some of her wonderments include the talented and gifted population, which is close to my heart and a group for whom I have long been an advocate.
2. I heard from a former student! Her email came this morning! I am so very excited about it! This is a student I had for both writer’s circle and garden club. After her third grade writer’s circle was over, this student would periodically contact me to review some of her work. She was in writer’s circle FIVE years ago. This morning, I heard from this student again! I am so thrilled! Again, she is asking me to review some work she did and give her feedback! Do you know how very special that makes me feel?! Her email came just at the right time!
You can be sure I will be getting back to her soon!
And, there is a little serendipity in hearing from her as well that I have to recognize. At the time she sent her email, I was going through my writer’s circle files that included lessons not only on poetry, but on pour quoi, brochures, newspapers, narratives, and persuasive essays. All those lessons should be put in a book! As you can guess, the files did not get thrown out!
Life is funny sometimes, isn’t it? I’ve spent three days wallowing in self doubt and feelings of diminished value. Then, I am blessed with community members and former students seeking me out for counsel and assistance. I guess I am valued after all.
Thank you; you know who you are!