I found inspiration from a post that came across my Instagram feed last week. It had to do with something called a Pride Board that a second-grade teacher uses to empower her students by posting upon it their everyday successes. No matter how big or not big. The post talked about how effective something as simple-seeming as a Pride Board in childhood is, but posed the question of how those of us in adulthood might benefit from using one as well. Could a Pride Board for grown-ups be a good thing? Better in more ways that you can imagine, perhaps?
I honestly wonder if the act of using such a board among adults would be acceptable in the same way as it is in an elementary school classroom.
The idea of a Pride Board still resonates with me a week later because lately I’ve been contemplating what I’m really all about these days. Could there be a greater purpose for my life besides raising my children and loving my husband? Am I doing enough that would merit a spot on a Pride Board? And, before i move on…here’s two things 1. Raising my children and loving Chris is purpose enough in itself. Anyone who knows me knows that those three mean E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. to my life and if that is all I’m meant for then, OK! And, 2. I’m careful and mindful of throwing out the words “greater purpose.” Honestly. I feel intimidated by them and not sure what else to say about that except for feeling the word “pressure.” There won’t be more on that later. (wink wink)
Basically, I wonder if there is something else that would enhance my time when I’m not with my boys between the hours of 8 and 2:30 Monday through Friday? Something that I’m good at; something that would better myself and/or others (cliche?); something that might help my family financially; something that might help me feel like I’m doing something more productive during the day than running errands, folding laundry, getting groceries, and making nature mobiles?
Also, I recently had a conversation with a friend (who works full time with two kids in school) about this stuff and we laughed together when I pretended to tell my husband, “Look honey! Today I stayed home and made a Nature Mobile! I can probably sell it if you want me to….!” My friend was quick to tell me that she would love to be able to stay home and tell that same thing to her husband.
I keep thinking about the grass being greener on the other side…that sort of thing.
Turns out, I’m not the only mom I know who experiences feelings like I’m having. I wish I had something to show for it. Show for what, though? The contents of my days? My accomplishments around the house or for my family? I love doing things for them, by the way. I’m not entirely sure for what, but somehow, a paycheck might make me feel more useful. It feels weird to say and I don’t like it, but I find myself associating my lack of financial contribution to my household with guilt. To be clear, no one makes me feel that way, except for me. And, I want to be careful that I’m not conveying sounds of ungratefulness. Because, I promise that I am. I’m grateful everyday and I don’t believe that I take it for granted. I get to be the face my kids see before going into school for the day and the face they see upon dismissal. I cherish those moments and being able to have them. Like, a lot! You can’t put a price on something as valuable as that.
Even on those days when my fourth-grader runs out of the school and hurls his back back at me and it hits me in the arm and I have to remind him that I’m his mother, not a flag pole or piece of playground equipment, and that I have feelings there that hurt when something is thrown at it…and also my heart…and he’s lucky to have a mother who is able to greet him after school and a “Hi Mom!” at least, upon seeing her face never hurt anyone…. True story.
Back to the Pride Board.
What would it really be like to have one as adults? Like actually for adults. (Please understand that I’m planning on making a Pride Board for the DeZeeuw household … I’m pretty sure it is a good idea in general to have one because I believe in its purpose and after I make it, I will probably say to my husband, “Look honey, today I stayed home and made a Pride Board. I can probably sell it if you want me to…!” I will list my Pride Board on our Pride Board!
Also, I thought Chris and I didn’t call each other “honey” but it turns out we do, more often than I realized.
What would we put on a Pride Board as grown-ups? Is this a difficult concept for us to connect to? Is it really that easy for us to be willing to tout our accomplishments to others? Do other’s really want to know? I guess it depends on the individual. Sometimes there is a fine line or a gray area, even, between sharing honestly what we are excited to have accomplished and being perceived as overly confident or arrogant. In this morning’s yoga class, the instructor reminded us of some valuable principles within practicing yoga that remind us to wish others the ability to better themselves. (Like, truly. Not wishing that the slow driver in front of us would better learn how to drive, or the Barista would learn to become more efficient in serving our coffee quickly. Not that kind of thing). He asked the (maximum capacity) class if there was anyone in the room who did not wish for success upon anyone else’s life. There were no raised hands. I’d like to believe that as humans, we innately want to succeed personally, as well as with others. So, with that in mind, wouldn’t a Pride Board be outstanding in that capacity?
But is Pride Board material acceptable only among close friends and/or family members? Or Yoga classmates? Let’s be honest. How would one be received within the work place among co-workers? This is for sure a gray area, and certainly not for me to be the judge of.
What stuff would go on a real, actual Pride Board? Let’s see…
I exercised today. Yes!
I payed a stranger a compliment. Yes!
I hugged my kids extra long before school this morning. Yes!
I made that call to take care of that thing I was avoiding. Yes!
I left love notes in the lunches of my family. Yes!
I checked in on an old friend. Yes!
I wrote a little. Yes!
I made a Nature Mobile! Yes!
I practiced Self-Care. I told myself I was valuable. I looked in the mirror and payed myself a compliment…sort of, not really, well, maybe a little one…. Yes! Yes! Even Yes!
Phew! That wasn’t so hard and you know what? It felt kinda good! I think that if we take the time to recognize Pride Board material in our daily lives, it would help. Even if its just mentally jotting down a list at the end of each day (but don’t forget the list though!). Our bodies and minds will thank us, I bet.
What kinds of things are going on your Pride Board right now? You know , the one in your mind at this moment that your making your list on…you’re doing it, aren’t you?
I signed up for a Fall Yoga Challenge this morning after class. A challenge that would have us take a total of 24 classes in an eight-week period. But I almost didn’t. I went to my car thinking that averaging three classes in a week didn’t seem as easy as it sounded, considering I’ve been easily averaging two. I opened my car door, threw my mat in, stood there a minute and ruffled my sweaty brown (not purple) hair and decided I would sign up. Because why wouldn’t I? Yoga is a thing that I’m involved in now and there’s no punishment if I don’t succeed, but I’d like to and there’s my motivation right there. I’m signed up for something now. With other people and to better ourselves.
How about I set a Fall Pride Board Challenge. For myself, my family, and you, if you want. I won’t hold you accountable or anything, but its worth a try, right? At the end of each day write down up to five Pride Board items and tell them to your family, husband, best friend, mom, daughter….That’s the thing though. You aught to tell them to someone. Post ’em on Instagram, even. If you do, I will. (I might actually work on that movement…but first things first). Let’s see how it feels, friends, shall we?