Wake Me Up When January Ends


Look, I’m just going to say it.

January was AWFUL. It was awful. It was only highs and lows. There were no middle-of-the-road, chill days. There was literally as high as possible and literally as low as possible.

I would have killed for an average day in January.

One of my first mentioned that January 2018 felt 6 months long to him and I have to agree. I’d almost ask for a do-over, but I’m afraid January would figure out how to fix it so the highs didn’t happen. And I definitely needed the highs to counteract it all.

So, today in my classroom, I instituted a new tradition. On the first of every month, I’m going to ask my students what the best thing that happened to them was during the previous month. I explained to them that it’s important we reflect on the positives when it seems we’re surrounded by negatives. And that even if everything seems awful, there is a bright speck in the month that we can focus on.

It was a fun exercise today, making preteens and teenagers think about something positive. One student mentioned that her grandmother got new kittens to play one. One student said she bakes brownies and then ate them. One student said he got to watch Netflix and play video games.

It brought a smile on my face to hear their simple pleasures. Kids still have simple delights. They’re still mostly innocent in the things they love and enjoy. It doesn’t take much to content them. And something in hearing their simple pleasures helped me reflect on my own.

So here are my own simple pleasures for January:

I read five books.
I played a fair amount of PlayStation with my friends.
I spent time with my wife and my puppies.
I saw my family.
I played at Carnegie Hall.
I submitted my book to KindleScout.

I will focus on the positive. I will choose joy.

Will you choose joy? Tell me the good things that happened to you this month! I want to celebrate with you! (And I need to read more good news.)

The Plucky Reader

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