Comfortable in Your Own Skin

I recently read a blog post from my former boss, Jim Power (no relation to me….however, he is a much more handsome and “seasoned” Head of School). It is a great read and I would encourage everyone to read it. I will be sending this out to our middle school students to read it as well.

It got me thinking about the recent commercials from Dove Men Care. The “my name is…and I am comfortable in my own skin” ads are great. It features adult celebrity athletes who share stories of “goofy” and “awkward” times in their life and why they are “comfortable” in their own skin. This one from John Elway is my favorite. I can see my own kids blushing if/ when I try to dance (I have only been defeated once by Maddie at Just Dance on Wii).

As adults, this is what we grow into. Being comfortable with who we are. But, this takes many years of trying on “costumes” to see who we are and what fits. This may be the biggest challenge of growing up. As Jim shares in his blog post, he was an “uncool” kid who had to figure it out along the way as well. To quote a former President, “I feel your pain.” Whether it be navigating through country music vs. heavy metal, or khaki pants pegged at the bottom vs. Z. Cavaricci’s (wait..that was my dilemma), being comfortable in our own skin as we get through our “phases” is the goal. A little bit of empathy goes a long way here.

To all my middle school friends out there, be kind to your classmates. Not only will that look good on you, but those that are trying on something new will never forget how you made them feel comfortable in their own skin.

Energy

I often write a blog post after I read something. A piece will resonate with me and there will be a point I want to share. Today, I write about how I have felt energized lately at school. The first day of school is always one that brings joy, anxiety and new clothes to school. One of my favorite parts of the day for me is greeting the kids at the back door of the school. A firm handshake, a square look in the eye and hopefully a smile set a great tone for the day.

The opening of school is a busy time and I felt my energy level rise this year as the teachers came back for two weeks of professional development and meetings before we “launched” school with the kids. It was a tremendous two weeks of learning, sharing and building for the year ahead. I felt my energy level rise as we, the faculty and staff, heard from amazing presenters like Dr. Robert Brooks, Glenn Whitman and Cpt. Rick Rubel. They focused on resiliency, brain based research for teaching and character.

Then came the first day of school. Kids=energy. We all know that as parents. They seem to have this boundless amount of energy that most often tires us adults out. I am famous for falling asleep only minutes after our kids go to bed. So, during the first week of school this year I found myself feeling more and more energized (even with lots of night functions). I was trying to put my finger on it. “I should be feeling pretty tired,” I thought to myself. As I stopped to think about why I was feeling this way, one word came to mind. Kids!

The same group that often zaps my energy was giving me energy. Dr. Robert Brooks spoke to us about empathy and how important it is for us as adults to put ourselves in the shoes of our kids. It makes us better parents and adults. The energy and enthusiasm our kids exuded as they started the year was giving me great energy and drive to get the year going too. Keep up the good work kids!