As part of the #teacher5aday initiative I wanted to just add in a new heading: #grateful.
My father in law was recently diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and wasn’t even given the chance to put up a fight, and so our little family has been caught up in a fog of despair. We are understandably feeling very sad and rather ungrateful for the hand we’ve been cruelly dealt. We’ve been searchingly asking questions and wondering ‘why us?’ But in a time when almost everyone I know has loved and lost someone to cancer it is probably more appropriate to ask ‘why not us?’. We weren’t feeling very grateful!
Anyway, I had been pottering around, absentmindedly going about my day (and desperately wishing 4:30pm would arrive so that my husband would be home to help me with our new – and at times challenging – baby) when a very good friend posted this message on Facebook:
‘Dear loved ones, having just returned from visiting a man and his wife who live in a shack beside the Ganga, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for winning the lottery of being born in a country where if I were to lose a limb, I wouldn’t have to live on the streets with a bloody, gangrenous stump. The man I met today needs £200 for treatment for gangrene and a prosthetic limb. Then, he can work again and provide for his family once more. If you happen to read this, and would like to help, msg me and I will pass on anything that you would like to give, thank you ❤️.’
The post immediately stopped me in my tracks and I just looked at my rather blessed and incredibly fortunate life for a moment and decided that I would write down 5 things that I am grateful for…and share them with the universe – not in a free-loving, yogic kind of way, but in a grateful and thankful kind of way.
My husband often says that we must be grateful every single day and so here goes:
1. My beautiful, tiring, demanding and incredibly funny daughter Ophelia. We are blessed beyond belief to have a healthy, happy baby girl and I treasure every moment with her (including the ones that involve vomit, poop and tears – admittedly the tears are usually mine!).
2. My husband of almost 7 years. He is without doubt the strongest person I know. He has suffered for the last two years with a debilitating virus that has left him with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – a condition that would have rendered mere mortals bed bound and depressed. But he is a fighter, he continues to work, study for a Masters degree and keeps trying new ways to be back to 100% health and he makes me proud. Every. Single. Day!
3. My health. At a time when others are fighting to lift their heads, failing to save their gangrenous limbs or battling cancer, I am very lucky to be healthy and I will always be super grateful and thankful for that.
4. My family and friends. They’re a crazy and gorgeously irritating bunch of weirdos, but they’re all mine and I would be lost without them!
5. My career. I have worked so hard to be the best teacher I can be and to be a colleague that can always be trusted and relied upon, and I am proud of what I’ve achieved.
So, teacher friends, as we start to think about returning to work for another academic year, let’s start as we mean to go on and add #grateful to the list for #teacher5aday. Let’s not let first world problems and issues bog us down.
Let’s rise above it when Nicky Morgan decides that Darth Vader would make a fantastic Headteacher and he starts in your school on Monday, or when someone without any knowledge or understanding of education boldly declares that suckling piglets could do a better job than any of us do, or that anything below killing ourselves is just not good enough. Let’s say ‘I am grateful’ anyway!
P.S We donated money to that man to help him to get better. One of our family rules is to help each other and another is to think of others and so that’s exactly what we did.