I am a Lord of the Rings geek, and in Fellowship of the Rings Frodo and Gandalf have the following exchange:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

This about sums up 2020.  I know this has been a tremendously difficult year, and I know we have many feelings about virtual learning, and the pandemic, and the election, and so on and so forth.  This week, in particular, has been devastating for many in the Cleveland community, and like Frodo, we wish these things had not happened in our time.  That’s why Gandalf’s response is so important: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”  

As we prepare for a week-long Thanksgiving break, let us remember that whatever we are feeling, WE ARE NOT ALONE! Let us remember that this too shall pass, and even when it feels like there is no end in sight, lean in to the knowledge that all who have seen hard times, felt the same way.  Let us use the next week to rest our minds and spirits.  Let us seek positivity, embracing relationships that give us wings and make us feel whole and uplifted.  Let us reject negativity and those people and posts that weigh us down.  Let us be grateful for all we have, whatever small or large.  Let us get outside and breathe deeply, taking in the sunshine or the cool air, the vibrant colors or the songs of nature. Find joy and dwell in it as long as you can. 

Try this: Everyday, write down at least three things you are grateful for.  They can be the same things or different things each day.  Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and say thank you out loud.  See if after a week, you feel better.   If so, continue. If not, then back to the drawing board.

I am going to start now.  I am grateful for my family and friends who make my life rich beyond measure. I am grateful to those I come across everyday (even virtually) who teach me a little something new about life and my perception of it.  And I am grateful for my CORE family– teachers, counselors, students, parents, volunteers, administrators, clerical staff, and custodians– who teach me that education is a life’s journey, one we cannot do alone.  You all inspire me!  Thank you! 

Happy Thanksgiving!