I saw the best concert that I’ve seen in years on Friday, Josh Ritter playing at Webster Hall.  He’s a little bit of a heart throb, which hadn’t really registered with me because I discovered him through a guy’s recommendation, so a big part of the sold-out audience was screaming 19-year-old girls (really, of all ages… I started to feel about one song away from becoming a 29-year-old screaming girl).  But there were also older people, indie guys, couples, so obviously the music speaks to a lot of people and it’s not just popstar appeal.  He came out on stage smiling and never stopped smiling for the whole show, and his (very stylish) band looked like they were enjoying themselves as well.  And I thought to myself, watching people on stage so obviously enjoying the work they do, Can I feel – and show – that kind of exuberance about my work?  Why is it sometimes so difficult to smile at work?  I like what I do and feel good about it, but I want that to show.  I want the kids to know that I’d rather be nowhere else than with them in the classroom building pulleys.  I want to give them a little more space to be kids while still expecting them to do the right thing.  I don’t want to wind up wiggin’ out because I told them not to play with things on my desk and now they’re playing with things on my desk.  Maybe I should put something on my desk that’s meant to be played with.  But really, this isn’t about the kids, it’s about me: I want to be a little happier, a little quicker to smile, I want to work hard and achieve a lot with the kids but I want to have something left at the end of the day for myself.  What I don’t know is if this will require a change in behavior, or just a change in attitude…



Filed under music, New York, teaching

3 responses to “Exuberance

  1. R

    What are the things you do in a day (or a week) that leave you feeling happy and quick to smile? Slowly, but steadily try to do more of them, and you may slowly but surely find yourself meshing better with your life.

  2. I think it’s both behavior and attitude. Learning to not take anything personally and to roll with the punches has made my day a lot less stressful. I still have days where I end up yelling at the kids and I feel terrible, but those days are becoming less frequent. I think I allowed myself to relinquish control and in doing that, gained more control, if that makes sense?

  3. wow, that’s so great about the concert! i definitely want to check him out next time.

    as for being happier at work? I think maybe cut down your days–give yourself more time at home to relax, or time to go somewhere else. working on a hobby definitely sounds like a good idea.

    also, though, somehow teaching doesn’t seem to lend itself to smiling, you know? at least in front of your classes, or not very often. but i hope you have some friendly colleagues that you can laugh and joke with during the day.

    and also some more–more hanging out with friends! 🙂

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