So, let’s get the big questions over with quickly:
Still on strike? Yes. (23 days on the picket line now . . . )
Still sane? Debatable.
Still celebrating? Indeed. When I can’t do this, it is really bad.
This week I celebrate the small and big acts of kindness that have helped me get through, helped me smile and helped me feel gratitude to the wonderful people in my life – some friends and some strangers.
In no particular order (and I am sure I have missed a few), here are the kind gestures that I treasured this week.
- A very dear friend took me for lunch at her son’s restaurant. Delicious food, impeccable service and a lovely few hours of conversation and connecting.
- My husband gets up every morning and makes me strong coffee, even on the days when my morning starts much earlier than his.
- Another teacher that I actually first met on twitter has been sharing some wonderful insight and optimism with me this week. I even have permission to call her at 4 a.m. if I can’t sleep with worry over all of this and she will “talk me through” it. Wow.
- I get almost daily Luna kisses from this beautiful dog (pictured above) as she is out for her daily walk past our school/picket line. Isn’t she gorgeous? I appreciate that her owners always say goodbye with some variation of this, “Well, nice to see you but hope we don’t see you again.” While it is wonderful to connect with new people (and animals), these circumstances are far from ideal.
- I have another favourite visitor that walks by and stops for a visit everyday. This one is of the little person variety and is usually accompanied by Mom or Dad and adorable baby brother. We talk books, brothers and various other things. She arrived one day in a gorgeous outfit (from India I think) that her Dad had bought for her. I commented that she looked much more amazing than me and that I would love a similar outfit in my size. The next day she looked me up and down and said, “I think today that you look much better than I do.” I have carried this wonderfully genuine compliment with me all week!
- I am especially grateful to one man who walked by with his dog and at our request “stayed near” for an extra 5 minutes. It was yesterday on the picket line early in the morning. Nobody was around and our line consisted of three women. We asked for this “support” because behind him we spotted a gentleman walking down the sidewalk who had made some nasty comments to us back in June. While he stayed with his dog and talked, the man walked right by. Unfortunately, after he left, the “unpleasant” man returned. We had to endure an ugly three minutes or so of verbal aggression and physical intimidation. It was bad. But, our “people” rallied around us and now we will have a male teacher on the early morning shift next week (if we are still out . . . ) In all of this, the kindness of strangers shone above the cruelty of one.
Thank you to Ruth Ayres, for the inspiration and her Celebration Link up that she hosts each week. I treasure this #celebratelu community. Despite our busy days, time is always found to share what we celebrate. It’s like passing a virtual gratitude stone!
Random acts of kindness gives us hope, doesn’t it? I look forward to your return to your classroom where you and your fellow colleagues belong.
Faige, your continued support means a lot. We all so desperately want to be back.
I am honoured to be in your blog post – truly!
For those reading the comments section, I am not Luna the dog or the meanie who who yelled at you…hope that narrows it down.
Are you willing to give your height? That would help readers rule out whether or not you are the little fashionista. 🙂 Thank you for everything, Sharon.
I’m 5’7″ – so I’m not the little fashionista nor did I take you for lunch.
(We are making this really easy for people!)
Well you know, some people haven’t had coffee yet and need a little extra help!
Ugh…..I am so glad the kindness of a man gave you a small reprieve. It’s just awful what people will say. Stay strong, this will end. It seems hard to believe right now.
Keep looking for the bright spots. The small ones add up to one big one.
Thank you Michele. We do try and hang on. Sometimes, it is a larger challenge than other times. This was a really unpleasant experience yesterday. We were all shaking for about an hour afterwards.
Gosh – I’m so sorry this is still happening! What a test of perseverance! I’m so happy you’ve had little gifts of encouragement. Hang in there! Here’s a little something for you…
Thank you Holly! This is lovely and very necessary.
I so wish to hug you. I admire your spirit.
I’m going to accept the cyber hug. Thanks Terje.
If we were all there as we are in spirit, we would gladly walk with you Carrie, also yell at that unpleasant man! I know it’s probably not okay to yell, but your story makes me want to yell! So glad to hear of the sweet support you are receiving. There’s nothing better than kindness to make one’s day!
Thank you Linda. Knowing that you are there in spirit means a lot. I think yelling would have been counterproductive. This guy is potentially dangerous.
Yes, I’m there with you – and I admire your ability to look for the positive in all of this. I’m not feeling very celebratory this week so did not post today! I love your stories and your examples of kindness especially the dog kisses! What an adorable dog! Hoping that this weekend results in some positive news! Have you read the amazing post by the Coquitlam teacher in response to Fassbender (“Fact-Bender”) calling us “silly”? It’s AMAZING! https://www.facebook.com/kelsey.keller?fref=nf Stay strong, my friend!
Isn’t Luna gorgeous? She is shy but we have a connection. I did read that this a.m. – great post. Hope you are well. I force myself to find celebration just to ensure I make it.
Oh my goodness, I never even thought about all of you having to deal with crazy mean people at the picket line. Don’t people have better things to do?! Wish we could all be there with you–Linda and I are ready to yell back. It’s so disturbing to hear about female teachers being harassed in this way. I am so glad you found some moments to celebrate. That’s a gorgeous dog! Oops–apparently the bicycle is now put together and my son is off riding. Need to run out with the camera!
If I thought it would have been safe to talk to him, I would have recommended he save his outrage and teacher bashing and write it in the comment section of some online article. But he would need to edit out all of the bleep words he used. It was a gross example of sexism on top of everything else.
I love this post, Luna, the dog, and your positivity. So sorry you had to endure the aggression and intimidation of even one person. Keeping you in my thoughts. IS there anything we can do from afar?
Thanks Allison. I’m not feeling all that positive but maybe if that came through I have more of a reserve than I know. Send positive vibes as strong as lightening bolts! We’ll catch them. 🙂
You are stronger than you know. If you could write a celebration post in the midst of all this- that’s positive! Hang in there! Sending the positive vibes!
Ooph, I feel a little sick reading this. I am so sad for you and for all those baby children who aren’t getting to spend time learning each day. Some adults clearly do not understand why we are all here on this earth. You’re one of the good ones, making a difference. I think I shall dedicate my Dot next week to you. Stay tuned. xo
I think I might possibly have the best PLN in existence. Thank you.
Luna is so beautiful. I’d love kisses from her too.
What a scary moment for you when that man used verbal aggression and physical intimidation toward you and the other teachers. Americans have this stereotype in our minds that all Canadians are nice and kind and just all around better people than us. It’s strange when I hear stories of anyone being anything other than pleasant. I’m glad to hear there’s been a solution to the dilemma of possible threatening behavior in the future — though certainly a resolution to the entire strike would be better!
Glad to see you can still find things to celebrate even amidst all the absurdity!
Thanks Beth. Usually Canadians are quite lovely. This guy, not so much. And yes, Luna is a welcome visit each day. The two parties are locked away with a mediator right now with a media blackout. We’ve been here before so no hope yet.
Oh my gosh Carrie. This is unbelievable.I had no idea what you have had to deal with. As Allison said, you are stronger than you know. You are doing what is painfully necessary. I am so sorry. I continue to hope and pray for you.
Thank you Julieanne. It really does mean a lot to have such wonderful support from all of you.
I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes. I so wish that we could wave a wand and just fix everything. I appreciate you sharing what is going on and even more showing us your strong and positive spirit. You continue to look for the celebrations and you find them. You and your students are definitely in my thoughts.
Oh I too wish for that wand daily. Thanks Crystal for your thoughts and support. We really need to be back in class right now. Taking my kids to a rally in a few minutes. Life is strange. I walk around for much of every day with signs. Then I sit quietly and just shake my head.
Coffee is a cause of celebration indeed! I’m glad you seem to be surrounded by positive people to counter the negative.
Love the pic of Luna (and I’m not even a dog person). Her eyes are full of understanding. So glad you took the time to look for the good in a difficult week. I love that you put your words the virtual gratitude stone in your weekly words. Praying for a resolution soon, so you can be back where you belong!