“What did you get to do today?”
I’m not sure if Lori Jeschke, our former Director of Education was the first person to ask this question. But she was the first person that I heard ask that question.
Not, what did you DO today?
Not, what did you HAVE to do today?
But what did you GET to do today?
What a difference that one simple word makes.
Growth mindset is something that we talk about a lot: that the way we think about things or frame them when we talk to ourselves is important.
I’m partway through watching “The Last Dance” that details Michael Jordan and the Bulls quest for six championships. (I don’t know what happens! No one tell me!!) But in a plot twist, after his dad dies, Michael retires from basketball to be a rookie in professional baseball.
But as he says in the documentary, being away from basketball gave him a chance to adjust to a life without his dad.
*here’s the growth mindset and resiliency part*
He says, “I gotta play catch-up, but I’m gonna do it.”
When we face adversity in our lives, how we look at it and how we frame it to ourselves is crucial. There is a delicate balance to not tip into toxic positivity, but it’s clear that having a positive outlook is imperative to weathering tough times. And the last 18 months has been tough.
A social media post caught my attention this weekend and puts it more succinctly: “There’s a reason you feel like absolute sh*t right now.”
“The psychological reason for this has something to do with ‘surge capacity.’ Surge capacity is a collection of adaptive systems - mental and physical - that humans draw on for shirt-term survival in acutely stressful situations, such as natural disasters. The issue is that our surge capacity only allows us to adapt to major disasters if they are temporary. However with the pandemic, the disaster stretches out indefinitely. The emergency phase has now become chronic. So because this is going on, and on, and on….your surge capacity is depleted and it needs to be renewed.”
I spend too much time on Twitter following COVID charts and forecasts already and have heard a lot about surge capacity and system failures. If I didn’t feel like sh*t before I read that little tidbit, I do now.
Ahhh, but here’s the list of things we can do to feel better.
“Accept that life is different right now. Expect less from yourself. Recognize the different aspects of grief. Look for activities, new and old, that continue to fulfill you. Focus on maintaining and strengthening important relationships.”
Yes! So important!
“Build regular practices into your life that promote resilience such as better sleep, good nutrition, exercise, meditation, self-compassion and saying no.”
Okay…also important! Going to try harder with these ones.
Right now, everyone is tired. I didn’t write this blog last week and was determined not to let it go two weeks in a row. But I am tired too. COVID has sapped our mental and physical systems. There is no doubt.
But I have also seen resilience. Growth mindset. Looking for the positives in crappy situations. Extra-curr starting back up. Masks back on. Excitement to be back in classrooms, and a fervent hope that we can stay there.
And always the important growth mindset question: What do I get to do today?
Perpetual amateur. Lifelong learner. Vice-Principal. Teacher. Musician. Mom. Annnnd if you're reading this, then I'm still a blogger.