I’m an excavator of my past.
Sifting through boxes and bins, I re-discovered the truth about myself, a truth that got buried and left to grow dusty in the garage.
I uncovered six or seven plastic bins shoved against the garage wall last week. As part of the ongoing purge to downsize, I immediately started lifting the layers of files, books and other detritus moldering in the boxes.
I had to pack with little or no thought as two jobs changed quickly. The first set of bins from teaching Exceptional Student Education five years ago. I immediately recalled the acronyms that confused me in the early days on the job. My learning curve was steep as I inherited 100 students with mild disabilities that first year. I had to read extensively and re-learn how to write an Individual Education Plan (IEP) using computer software, and teaching middle school for the fist time. As I sorted through my stuff, I realized how fast I grasped the job and its responsibilities. I did not get discouraged with 100 students. I took it as a challenge to get all those IEP’s up to date with the school district.
Four more bins revealed an earlier life- my first two church jobs. I was amazed at all of my files containing training materials I created and details for each special service- Christmas, Holy Days and Easter. Underneath the books were reflections and papers written in graduate school. Three kids under the age of ten, a spouse who was on the road every week, yet somehow I completed school in four years going to class once a week and writing papers at the Y, in the parking lot waiting for the kids, or late at night when everyone was in bed.
This past week I heard a talk on resilience. The ability to bounce back, to recover from big changes. Basically resilience is tied to your outlook on life. If you have hope that things will be better, you can weather change.
I have started over again many times, especially in the past ten years. Some changes were easy and some were real challenges. But looking through those boxes reminded me that I CAN change and I am resilient.