It’s a time when people can share exciting accomplishments or events in their life with the rest of their class: a fun weekend activity, a special event, a victory for their sports team. Everyone claps for all the good things their classmates mention, and then class begins.
I really love seeing the students’ faces light up when the counselors and teachers show interest, or when everyone applauds their good thing. Students will ask questions and praise the person speaking. When I think about a fun way to start class, “Good Things” is on the top of my list. It invites positive thinking and puts everyone in a good mood.
I was thinking about this as I sat on the phone, chatting with one of my friends. I was tired. I was stressed out about class. I was worried about one of my students, who expressed concern about a relative joining a gang. My friend let me rant for a while before simply asking, “That sucks. So what happened that was good?”
I was taken aback for a minute. I had seen my day as being so full of drama and chaos that I had forgotten to think about the good things. I considered this for a moment. Then, I told her about the fact that one of my students had put on her request sheet that she wanted to speak to me (and only me). I told her about the student who had given me a high-five in the hallway. I talked about the gorgeous sunrise I had seen in my rearview mirror as I drove to my internship site that morning.
None of these things were enormous events. They were just tiny things that had happened throughout the day that made me smile. But, for some reason, those happy moments had gotten buried under the stress and worry of the day’s events.
As grad students, we go through life at 90 miles an hour. We go to work, to internship, to class, to our homes to study. We stay up late and wake up early. And once we become full-fledged counselors, I’m sure it will be even more chaotic. We will have parents to talk to, clients to meet with, meetings to attend, and reports to write.
But does that mean we should stop enjoying the little things in life that make us smile? Of course not! I think they become even more important as we grow older and take on more responsibility. It is so easy to get caught up in life’s messy moments that we sometimes forget to look at the beauty and simplicity of those tiny, minute details.
On Pinterest, someone recently pinned the idea of a “grateful” journal. Every day of the year, the person is supposed to write down one thing that they are thankful for. I’ve been thinking about making my own. That way, at the end of those crazy days when I feel like nothing has gone right, I will be able to grab a glass of wine, kick off my high heels, and reflect on the aspects of my day that brought a smile to my face.