I think many of us, at some point, wonder why we do what we do on a daily basis. Life gets difficult, and we have challenging days. We begin to doubt our career choice. Whether you work in your home as a mom, work from home, or work outside of the home, I think it’s normal to question your choice at some point.
I work outside of the home as a teacher in the Verona Area School District. For eight hours of the day, I’m surrounded by teenagers. For those of you who know teenagers, it’s fun, but it’s also very exhausting. Additionally, for those of you who follow education, the DPI, and different changes that are going on in the field, it’s also been exhausting. I’m not trying to complain about my job, because I do love it, but after difficult days (and there are lots) I begin to contemplate why I do what I do.
A few years ago, a friend of mine encouraged me to start a folder that is labeled “Why I teach…”. It’s taken a few years to have any substantial content, but it’s where I go after those hard days. I pull out that letter from a student, email from a parent or encouragement from a colleague and I remember that despite many difficult days, my job has purpose and I am making a difference, even if it is something small.
I want to encourage you to start a “Why I ….” folder. If you stay home with your kids, jot down sweet things they say to you, or pictures they draw for you, or memories you are able to make with them while you are home. That way, when you have those difficult days (which happen more often than we’d like), you have an opportunity to truly remember why you do what you do. If you are like me and work outside of the home, it is just as important to keep this folder. Maybe you have even make two folders to see how you are making a difference at work and at home.
As a society, we’ve gone away from telling people what they mean to us and how they are making a difference in our lives. As individuals, lets start these folders and as friends and peers, let’s work to build up the people in our lives as we see them making a difference for their family and community. I’d encourage you to send a note to someone this week. Maybe it’s a coworker or a friend. Let’s be content in what we do and always work to improve the community that we are a part of!