Thursday, September 10, 2009

You know there is a problem with the education system when you realize that about the three Rs, only one begins with an R.
Dennis Miller

I will never forget my first day of school. My mom woke me up, got me dressed, made my bed and fed me. Man, did the guys in the dorm tease me.
Michael Aronin

Nothing I learned in school prepared me for life on any level. My first book should have read, ”See Dick balance his checkbook. See Jane leave an unhealthy relationship. Run, Jane, run!”
Kate Mason

September 2009 is host to a lot of bizarre and unique holidays. International Square Dancing Month, National Blueberry Popsicle Month and last but not least….Chicken Month (I really have no idea what this is about).September 6th is “Fight Procrastination Day.” The 14th is “National Cream Filled Donut Day and the 28th of September is “Ask A Stupid Question Day.” September 2nd may be the most bizarre. It’s “National Beheading Day.” People have special days for all this stuff?

A long time ago, school actually started in September, right around Labor Day. To this day, I have the urge to get a new pair of shoes, buy a new notebook and get a pencil box.
I can stop myself from buying new school supplies (well, maybe not the shoes) but I cannot stop that feeling of butterflies in my stomach. That fluttering around always meant, ”I’m on to a new adventure.” I was scared, nervous, happy and excited all at once. School was great!

Of course the teachers that had me didn’t always think so. I confess I was the class clown. I discovered the power of being funny and warding off the bullies in 6th grade. If I could keep them laughing, they wouldn’t pick on me. My report cards often stated, “Dear Mrs. Epstein (my maiden name), Debbie could be a really serious student if she would just settle down and quit giggling.” Yes I would get kicked out of class often, but everyone waved to me while I was in the hall!

Perhaps you remember the class clowns. They were the ones who ran to the rescue of all students when a substitute came. You could laugh most of the day away and not do much work. Maybe you were the serious student that didn’t like when people goofed off. I know when there was tension in the room between students or teacher and students… I could flip the tension around and make people giggle or laugh.

According to Martin Seligman (Authentic Happiness ) class clowns have 4 strengths:
INVESTING: Class clowns are willing to jump in and take a risk.
ASSERTING: Class clowns are constantly involved in the process of affirmation to claim their own integrity.
RELATING: Class clowns have a talent for identifying with others and sensing their feelings.
COPING: Class clowns find ways to successfully cope with life’s challenges.

Being playful and joyous, taking on challenges, risking a smile to make another smile are all strengths. Look at children playing in a park. They take a risk to play on some unknown playground equipment. They skip and run after butterflies or pigeons. They smile back at you, just to get a nod of approval. If you seem sad, the child may make a silly face or imitate you, just to get a response.

I’ve put my ‘class clowning’ to good use over the years. Occasionally I make some serious person upset. I apologize to them and go on my merry way. I can be ‘professionally serious’ but only when I have to.

Today, I hope you get a chance to remember the “class clowns” in your life. Silently thank them for encouraging you to take the risk to laugh. It could lead you to 2 more September holidays: “Positive Thinking Day ( 9/13) and “ World Gratitude Day”
( 9/21).

Blessings of Laughter, Humor, Mirth and Joy,
Debra Joy Hart RN, BFA, CLL (your long time class clown)
Age Wise Care Management

Well, I got quite the write up last month. I admit I was extremely nervous " coming out' about my bouts of depression and aura readings. The nite before , I woke up feeling like I had "an elephant sitting on my chest ( butt side to my face).' I figured I was either having a heart attack ( classic sign) or anxiety attack( also classic sign). I decided if I woke up in the morning, it was only an anxiety attack. My self dx was correct. Enjoy the article!