“We’re here to connect. Love, time, death. Now these three things connect every single human being on earth. We long for love, we wish we had more time and we fear death.”-- Howard Witt
This is a quote taken from the first few minutes of the movie, Collateral Beauty. During this monologue, Will Smith’s character is talking to his staff about their “why” in life. As I watched the movie, the message is one I couldn’t wait to come home and share with my husband. It’s one that I knew I wanted to write about. How could I not? It’s meant to reflect over. It’s meant to start a conversation…. especially during a time of the year when we look back and reflect.
During 2016, we all feared death:
“Just be sure to notice the collateral beauty. It's the profound connection to everything.”
Sadly, death has been a part of my 2016. The losses were tough to take and I can’t always make sense of it all. All I can do is look for the collateral beauty during those times of mourning.
We all wished for more time:
Don’t we all want more time? At one point, the character of Time talked about how time is endless but that we humans have to measure it to make sense of it. While this is very thought provoking, what matters most is to remember that time is a gift. I no longer wish for time to fly by. I’m trying to savor every moment and every stage of my life because the years seem to be going by faster. Time has become a precious commodity.
We all longed for love:
In the movie, the character of Love says that love is:
The only why we will ever need is such a powerful sentiment. I believe that we are here to connect with others, to care for one another, and to maybe make the day a little brighter for those around us. The common thread is love.
Why be a wife, mother, friend, sister, or educator?
Love is why. Love is everything.
It’s that simple.
When people find out what I do and where I do it, many ask me why I drive all the way to Hutchinson (a 45 minute commute) every day to work as a principal. They ask me things like:
How do you handle the drive?
Doesn't it take a lot away from your family?
How do you handle balancing it all?
What about dealing with all of the behaviors? Is it worth it?
Why would anyone want to do such a thankless job?
These are all valid questions. They can also be great hurdles. I have to have strategies in place to help me combat the side effects. Here are some of those answers/strategies:
How do I handle the drive? I handle the drive because my morning and afternoon drives are filled with Voxer messages from fellow principals from all over the country. They offer support, advice and professional development every single day. They are my life-line. They make it possible for me to get back on the horse...even after the days where I've been bucked off. And even though I heard some version of "Cowgirls don't cry" from my Papa all the time, sometimes it does help to do that on the way home, too.
Does it take away from my family? How do you balance it all? I'm a work in progress when it comes to balance. When education is your passion, you can't ever turn it off. It does get in the way of family time. I never see my kids in the morning and I leave way too late. However, when my family needs me, I don't ever feel guilty about putting them first.
What about behaviors? Well, we all know behaviors are the toughest part of our jobs. They wear us out. We don't have the answers or the magic wand. All we can do is work as a team, keep coming up with ideas, and keep trying. Our kids can't afford for us to give up on them.
(However…IF someone has a magic wand, I would be happy to ask PTO for the funds to buy it! J)
Why would you want to work in education?
There are many reasons for my why:
I know this time of year can be very difficult so I want you all to take care of yourself and lean on your tribe. It’s the difference between surviving and thriving.
Principal of PreK-6th Grade