Life is not about making others happy. Life is about sharing your happiness with others. — Unknown
For the last five weeks, I have been recovering from major surgery. Although I am a planner, and I did a LOT of planning, I was unprepared for all that came after I got out of the operating room. From the moment that my surgery was scheduled, I had my handy dandy Google Keep to-do list, and I added items just as soon as they popped into my head. By the time I went to bed the night before the surgery, everything was checked off my list. Everything. I tried to plan for every contingency, and I read everything I could get my hands on. I even watched a YouTube video of my surgical procedure. I went to several stores and purchased all kinds of things – just in case. You would think that with all the planning I did beforehand, I would have been better prepared. I was not. I can safely say that the only thing I really needed was the socks.
In retrospect, what got me through my recovery could not have been planned. I got through my recovery because people shared. I did none of the sharing, but after reflecting on my journey to a better quality of life post-surgery, I realized how very important sharing is. That realization came as a result of many people in my life who were willing to do just that for me. On the heals of my realization, I decided that my #OneWord for 2016 would be #share. Yes, I know that I am almost three weeks into the New Year, but I am of the opinion that late is better than never. Besides, I am still recovering from major surgery :-). Moving forward into 2016, I plan to do more sharing of my time, talents, and treasures.
Time is a valuable asset. In my opinion, giving of your time is one of the most selfless things a person can do. As a child, I valued the time my parents gave. I remember spending hours watching my mother as she prepared delicious meals and sweets for our family and friends. My dad was a soldier in the Army. Although he worked a full day and went to school at night, there were many evenings that he and other dads would join the neighborhood kids as we played baseball. In the last month since my surgery, I have been blessed to have been visited by many friends. They didn’t have to come by my house to check on me; they chose to give their time to visit.
I recently visited with high school classmates I had not seen since we graduated. I graduated in 1987. There is really not a good reason to not see friends. I plan to make more time to be with my friends. Spending time with friends and even strangers is a gift.
Everybody has a talent. Many will say they don’t have a talent, but they do. Sometimes we just have a hard time identifying what our talent(s) may be. I love to organize and volunteer. If I am not volunteering, I feel lost. Right now, there are three organizations that are receiving my talents – the University of West Georgia Alumni Association, the Flint River Council Boy Scouts of America, and the American Red Cross. Each organization is dear to me for different reasons, and I feel strongly about giving back. I can’t write big checks, but I can give my time and my talents. Once my recovery is complete, I will jump back into my role as a volunteer. I have missed the connections I made with the people I’ve met.
Money. I’d love to have more money. I don’t; however, I can give what I am able when I am able. There are lots of people who can write big checks, but I am not one of them. I am a public school employee with limited financial resources. What I do know is this – I can give a modest donation and paired with other modest donations, a difference can be made.
In 2016, I plan to give my time to those I care about and organizations whose missions are in line with my personal values. My plan is to apply my #OneWord to my personal life, but I think that as a tech coach, #sharing would benefit the teachers in my district, the students, myself, and maybe even the whole world.