New Year’s resolutions are for sucks. I’m seeking though not finding resolve these days. I want to feel in control of my life, but my personal and professional agendas have been hijacked. These are not atypical occurrences for a woman who is a mother and whose job is to support others in their work. I would like to feel like the one behind the wheel of my life’s schedules is all. I’m not. I could go on and on (and on) about how poorly I’m eating, how weakly I’m planning therapy, how last-minute my presentation planning has been since 2018 began, but blah blah blah. Who cares?
Busy extinguishing others’ fires, I’ve not felt inspired to write lately. I have been reading like it’s my calling since I got a Kindle for Christmas though, and living others’ lives through fiction has been a delight. Reading any well-crafted novel inspires me, leaves me wanting to do better here, to be better everywhere. I’ll get there.
I was on tap for another of our department’s monthly meeting closing thoughts Friday. This wasn’t my Oscar or Tony moment, but I felt OK getting up there Friday morning–I was having a good hair day, and say what you will about my vanity, a good hair day boosts one’s confidence. You know I’m right. My closing message is something in desperate need of being heard and heeded. And not exclusively for big city schools speech-language pathologists, although as a department we could reeeeally use a collective break.
Here’s my little speech:
Happy New Year!
Earlier this week, I was orienting two newly hired SLPs. It occurred to me at some point that the orientations I do mid-year are quite different from those we do for the large group of SLPs who start fresh at the beginning of a school year. As I was talking with our new staff members, I told them I thought it was difficult to start a schools-based job mid-year, and that any orientation I would do would be grossly insufficient to provide all they needed to know. I say what I always say: get in there and see the kids. The children will show you and they’ll tell you what they need. You’ll figure the rest of the paperwork stuff out—getting to know kids and forging relationships with kids though, that’s our strength.
Starting a schools new job in the new year technically means starting in the middle. And that got me to thinking about new years resolutions. Do any of you make new years resolutions? How many of you have kept them??
Personally I don’t make new year’s resolutions, but I have found myself over the years making new school year resolutions. You know. . . this is the year I organize my shelves—that pile of stuff you leave in June to “really go through” in September and never, ever do? Yeah, that. Or maybe it’s the year I finally ditch the file folder games I made when I was 24, and haven’t used since probably I was 25. Maybe it’s the year I swear not to swear in the work place or the year I promise myself I’m going to read all my ASHA journals cover to cover. Whatever. What these professional end-of-summer resolutions have in common with the new year’s resolutions people make is this: Generally a lack of 100% success.
It’s hard to maintain an ideal. And I don’t know about you, but once I dip one tiny toe over the line, I find myself belly flopping madly and spectacularly into the pool of promises I’ve blown. Sure, we SLPs tend to be a perfectionist type lot, but it’s hard to be perfect. Idealism is just that, an ideal.
So how about instead of drowning in that ocean of frustration at our perceived failures, we just keep going? Or we just start over? How about the resolutions we blow on Tuesday we try again Wednesday? There’s nothing magical about January 1 or September 1 really. Let’s resolve to keep trying. That’s a resolution we can keep.
Watch this little girl. Obviously the message has been fed to this super cute little minion messenger, but it is a good message, a message worth hearing. Whether your resolutions are for the new year or new school year or any old day of the week, don’t give up. Resolve to do more of what makes you happy in 2018!
Not a career highlight, no, but not a crashing disaster either. Here’s a little not-resolution for the new year–from me to you–just trust me and my tummy on this one: Resolve never to order chilaquiles unless you are dining in an authentic Mexican restaurant. You are welcome!