Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Have a First Division Day!

My week did not start out so well.  I was in a funk on Monday morning; I have no idea why.  Everything I, or anyone around me, did seemed impossibly irritating.  Perhaps it was the return from a three day weekend, or the stress surrounding approaching deadlines, or PMS (pouty man syndrome), but a smile was the furthest thing from my face.  When I got home, I expected to be able to whine and gripe about my day, dragging Samantha down with me.

I wasn't allowed to.

Not only was I not allowed to disparage my day, I was forced to list off every good thing I could think of that had happened to me during the day.  While I found it difficult, I was able to find some things.  Least of all, Samantha reminded me that I was alive, I had food to eat, I had a place to live, and I had people who loved me.

Thanks a lot for ruining my perfectly bad day!

The next morning began roughly the same way, as if someone had peed in my Cheerios.  I caught myself though, and snuck away for a quick text.  I thought of ten things I was thankful for and texted them to Sam.  Some were small, some were grand, but I was thankful for them all equally.  After that, the rest of the day went well.  I went about my business with positive energy, attempting to smile as much as I could, bringing happiness to every frowny face I encountered.

During my band class, instead of pointing out everything they did wrong, I talked about what they did right.  I highlighted the qualities of their performance that was First Division quality and challenged them to bring that same quality to every part of their performance.  I didn't let them cheat themselves out of a First Division rehearsal.  I handed out rewards in the form of compliments and candy.

This morning I showed up to work with a smile on my face.  I was prepared for a First Division day.  No more poopy faced Frank for my students and colleagues - he is no longer invited.  I did more of the same, introducing First Division tone quality, First Division balance, First Division practice habits, First Division rehearsal techniques.  Where I would have handed out sarcastic negativity in a harsh tone on Monday I handed out lollypops and Airheads, where I would have lambasted teenagers for what they weren't doing, I praised them for what they did do, what they had the potential to do, and what they were going to accomplish.

What happened to make Wednesday and Monday completely different extremes?  I remembered to be thankful.  I remembered that it takes more muscles to frown than smile.  I chose to make it easier on myself and my kids by being positive.  I remembered the kind of person I want to be instead of the person I was choosing to be.  I decided to be a First Division person.

Thanks Samantha for not letting me pout and throw a tantrum Monday afternoon, instead gently nudging me in the direction I wanted to be moving - forwards, not backwards.  Had that not happened, I would have had a much different Tuesday and a much different week.

Here's to your first Division Day today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your lives!

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