Today marks the second day of my long-awaited and desperately needed spring break. Life hasn’t been easy at school lately with the intense, insane focus on FCAT (our Florida Chronic Asinine Torture device (AKA Florida Comprehension Assessment Test), all of us hitting panic mode because we know it’s just not going to be enough no matter what we do, and my final yearbook deadline on top of all of it. Of course the cherry on top for me was when a colleague approached me after school on my yearbook deadline day with “a little project for you!”, designing her wedding invitation! Yep. It was definitely time for a break or I might have ended up on the news and in jail! I can see the headline now: “Teacher Clobbers Colleague Due to ‘a little project’ Request.”
However, Spring Break hasn’t been much of a restful break, just yet. So far, with the help of my very loving and tolerant husband and three kids, we’ve cleaned the house, caught up on the laundry, replanted two of the four flower beds, laid-out the design for another flower bed, created a concrete area for the garbage cans (hubby and the boys did this one) and even re-potted some of my sad, neglected plants. Of course the to-do list doesn’t even have a dent in it but man do we feel accomplished!
So why is it I woke up this morning feeling melancholy and a bit out of sorts? It can’t be a lack of accomplishments. Heck, just look at the list above! It can’t be the weather. This is Florida and it’s gorgeous right now! The plants are blooming, the birds are singing, I’m dancing around the yard as cute little bunnies and squirrels bring me flowers… Ok, ok. Not quite all that!
I think the problem is this: I feel like I have a million things that need to be done and I’m forgetting the most important thing I should be doing: Taking time to Enjoy. My. Life. and the people I’m blessed to have around me.
This brings me to my illustration above. When I took that photo, it made me chuckle to see that a little spider had been as random as I usually am. It didn’t make an actual web, it just traveled all over that plant leaving its web trail behind. From my viewpoint, I can’t see a purpose, but I’m sure that little spider had one. I think it’s the same for us at times.
If we spend our time spreading out our love and compassion like this little spider did its web, imagine the number of people we can affect, hopefully improving their lives a little bit, and at the same time, giving our lives a grander purpose in the scheme of things.
Some people may look at your path and not understand your reasoning, your motives, and may even pass judgement on you. But if you have the goal to make others’ lives better and happier then you will always know you are doing a good thing, no matter how tangled your web may seem to others.
So instead of sitting around wasting my spring break, I’m going to use my time to spread out my web of love in all directions and those lucky enough to be caught in it can share in my happiness in being alive and well on this beautiful spring day.
And by the way, I didn’t scream “NO!” at my colleague or even cuss at her under my breath, even though I really wanted to do just that. Instead I took a couple of seconds to calm my thoughts and then suggested she use Publisher to work on her own design. She is computer savvy with Word, after all. I even offered to tweak her design once she had the basic layout done (after yearbook deadline was over!)
After all, life is really about making this world a better place, not hitting people over the head because they are “unconsciously unaware” of your burdens.
Happy Spring Break!