I’m ready to admit that this summer has been an emotional roller coaster for me. Now, I can look back on it and say that I am proud of myself and grateful to all those who helped me along the way. A few months ago I was feeling that I had no control of my own life or even my own identity.
My job was scheduled to drastically change, my volunteer leadership term was ending, my youngest child was getting married. If not the Pinewood Librarian, The Congregational President and a Mom, who was I?
One of the things that helped me through was hearing author Janice Kaplan, speak about her book, The Gratitude Diaries (2015). Ms. Kaplan spoke about the Jewish influence in her quest to be more grateful. In the book, Kaplan shares her own experiences during a year that she challenged herself to look at the positive in order to change her own attitude. She cites research and experts as well as her own experiences.
In time, I realized that I had the skills to get another job. Starting in September, I’ll be the librarian at Okte Elementary School in the Shenendehowa district. I volunteered to be the Librarian, Philanthropy Chair, and Gala organizer at Congregation Gates of Heaven. I am reprising my role as ENYSLMA (School Librarian Professional Association) President and I started this blog. I even discovered that instead of being mommy to two boys I am now a mom and mother-in -law of four amazing adults.
I feel much more in control of my life both because of the changes I made and by understanding how gratitude can help all of us see life’s big and small challenges in a positive way. As Janice Kaplan says in her book, “Looking for the positive in every event had changed my attitude– and it was also fun. I feel liberated to understand that it wasn’t events that made me happy but how I chose to frame them.”
I am truly grateful for the communities I am involved in. Again quoting Janice Kaplan, “We don’t feel more gratitude just because we’re rich. In fact, gratitude is sometimes helped by scarcity. You wouldn’t say a crust of bread makes you happy, but if you’re starving, getting a few crumbs makes you very very grateful.” I realize Kaplan was talking about a scarcity of money. But for me, I was nervous about an upcoming scarcity of meaningful experiences; and now I’m very grateful for my new job, new role as blogger and continued volunteer engagement.
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