Friday, January 2, 2009

Neato Day.

I actually will post about today's truly neato day tomorrow. Hah. Foreshadowing. Love it.

Today's post title, in reality, comes from me misreading the title of a professional union magazine I receive. Until recently, the teachers' unions in NY (New York State United Teachers, or NYSUT) were affiliated solely with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and not with the National Education Association (NEA). You can tell I'm in education by the collection of acronyms-I could do a dissertation about the quantity and scope of them.

Ahem., by some miracle of modern...something...we are affiliated with both. So I get journals from NYSUT (very labor-issue oriented), AFT (one specifically labor-related, and one professional research-related called American Educator, which is quite good), and now I also get one from the NEA (which is a little of each) entitled neatoday. The first time I ever received this little 'zine I 1) had no idea we would be getting it, and 2) as the title is printed in all lower-case letters, immediately misinterpreted it. It is, of course, NEA Today. But it will be forever Neato Day to me.

In the latest issue of Neato Day, as in all their issues, they pose a question to teachers and print a selection of responses. This one was, predictably, about New Year's resolutions. OK, fine, could there possibly be a publication that doesn't broach this hottest of topics? But once something is in front of me, I must read it, even if just to mock it gently (or not so gently, as need be) later on. One response actually struck me.

One woman said that she had decided that instead of making long, detailed resolutions that were nearly impossible to keep, she would focus on a single word: a quality she wished to nurture within herself. For her first go at this, she chose "patience," and applied to it as many situations as she could recognize needed it. (Which, especially if she's like me, would be numerous.)

Resolutions have never quite worked out for me, either. Perhaps that means I have no willpower, or perhaps I resolved to do things that were simply out of my reach with the skills I had at that point in my life. Either way, I don't like to leave things dangling, so incomplete resolutions don't feel good. This different approach, however, feels like it could work. It's specific enough to have discreet behaviors that could be attached (as in, counting to ten before blowing up at someone, that sort of thing), yet broad enough to be applied in a variety of situations. Flexible, yet purposeful.

So, to that end (and because I am a chronic over-achiever), I have selected four qualities (is that the word I want? you know what I mean, don't you?) I wish to be mindful of this year:


I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

Marcy said...

I like those 4. I try always for patience myself, but maybe a person needs to try for all to succeed at one.