Well, this morning I got my sorry butt out of bed an hour earlier than in recent weeks. Today was our first faculty meeting of the year. It's always great to see everyone. I feel like they are my second family. My principal is not big on long meetings (Oh darn :). He uses them to go over the basics and to share a motivational talk to kick off the year.
Our principal then challenged us to do 2 things. 1: look past the mask that our students may be wearing. Sometimes it's severe anxiety or depression behind a smile. Sometimes it's anger stemming from difficult situations at home etc. When we look past the mask, leave our judgements behind, we can learn to love those we are working with and are better equipped to help them. 2: He challenged us to take our masks off. Be human. Be real. When the students see us more for "real" people, they can connect better with us.
As he spoke, I thought about my previous post on accepting disability. I know that I am in the middle of accepting a disability at the same time that I am helping my students do the same. I wondered how that should play into "taking the mask off" while maintaining that delicate line of being professional. I know I don't have to worry about it right now. As the year unfolds, I know that the Lord will guide me to know when, or if, my personal journey can help others.
For now, I have the mask on, only taking it off for those closest to me and that's okay.
Back to work. It's quite an adjustment on my body. I've been working part time for a few days before yesterday. I come home so exhausted, but I'm trying to figure out how to keep the exercise on the forefront of my priorities. I skipped a day of exercise and felt so good the next day. This morning however I went to the gym before work (I'm only contracted for a 1/2 day, so could come in later). It's only 9 am and I'm ready for bed. I'm sure my body will adjust. It just takes time.
Seeing that this post is entitled "take off the mask". I end by sharing a quote from a guest judge on America's got Talent. He said, after hearing a touching vocal solo, "There is strength in vulnerability". I've been thinking a lot about those words. I guess it could mean so many different things. For me it could mean two things.
one: By being vulnerable, you gain strength. Two: when you are vulnerable (which takes strength), you can strengthen another.
His solo was from the heart. It was moving and his spirit touched the soul. He could have only done that by reaching into his soul and being vulnerable. I guess I'm rambling, but words to ponder on.