It snowed this week. As my friends all know, I’m not a fan of snow. It’s cold. And inconvenient. And disrupts plans. And causes directors of early learning programs and schools to have to make difficult decisions. And means that I have to shovel, which is quite possibly my least favorite part of it.
I put on my boots and found my shovel when it finally finished snowing. As I trudged out to my porch, I experienced a sensation that is uncommon for me during times of snow: Gratitude! My neighbor had shoveled my sidewalk! My whole attitude immediately changed. The simple fact that he took time to shovel an additional 20 feet made such a difference in my outlook on the day.
Later that day I was checking out social media when I saw this post from a friend: “When you’re in bed not feeling well and your son says, ‘Look out the window at what I made for you, Mom.’” The photo at the top of this post was the gift he gave to her. I felt love because of the heart of this child.
Another friend posted gorgeous photos of light interacting with the snow. As I gazed in awe at her post, I was struck by the beauty of it.
This weekend I was having a text chat with a dear friend who loves the snow; she has several children who have inherited that passion. I was able to honestly tell her that I thought of her family while it was snowing and realized how happy they all must have been. In sharing that with her, I realized that my happiness for them brought me joy even while I was annoyed by the snow.
On a day that I would usually have been displaying my best Oscar the Grouch demeanor, I was almost overwhelmed with several other emotions:
Gratitude. Love. Beauty. Joy.
Going outside with children in an early learning program can be difficult. A lot of teachers don’t want to go outside in the snow because it’s cold! It also seems to take forever to put on the snow pants and boots and jackets and mittens and hats… and then somebody needs to use the bathroom. But I’ve found that it is always worth braving the cold and taking the time so the children can experience the snow. Watch their faces, hear their laughter, and celebrate with them as they learn new skills like making snow angels or building a snowman. As I learned this week, noticing the simple things can change our attitudes.
Sometimes if we take a little time to breathe and to observe what is around us, even when the circumstances aren’t what we love, it can make a difference in how we interact with the day and with other people. I encourage you to take a moment to observe your world today.
Do you have a situation where your attitude has been changed because of taking time to observe the world around you? Feel free to share in the comments.