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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dear 2012 Me:

I almost started with "you don't know me, but. . .," but you DO know me!  I am you but the year is now 2013.  What should I tell you now that I have survived the year you are about to begin?

First I would tell you to stop fretting.  Stop thinking about what is going to happen next year, next month, next week, tomorrow, this afternoon.  Savor the moment you are in.  You are a school teacher.  Yes, you have been teaching school for a long time.  Thirty years!  But stop thinking about how you can't wait until the last day of school before you retire, and focus on those kids who are looking to you.

They are looking to you for many things.  You may be the only adult they can count on to be there for them day after day.  You may be the only adult in their lives who smiles at them or listens to them, or speaks to them.  In today's world it is critical that you provide a safe haven for the students in your classroom, and that you make them feel important and welcome.  Sooner than you think, they will leave your classroom forever, opportunities to make a difference in their lives gone.

Dear 2012 Self, not only should you savor your last moments at work, you should savor the moments at home.  Stop fretting about the repairs that need to be done and the chores that will always be there.  Enjoy the home you have been blessed with.  Enjoy the family that surrounds you.  Enjoy it all.  Sooner than you think, it can change.  Just ask someone who is grieving the loss of a family member or their home.  

2012 Me, congratulate yourself as well.  You have accomplished many things.  You will accomplish even more this coming year.  Go forward with gratitude and confidence.  Stop worrying about your appearance and start minding your manners.  Stop trying to impress others and start blessing others.  Stop taking and start giving.  Then, when you make it here, to 2013, you can look back with satisfaction on a year well-lived.  Blessings to you, dear 2012 Self!