So many of the kids I work with approach life with such a closed off, impoverished view of the world. Understanding that viewpoint intellectually is easy enough, but when you work day in and day out around that sort of consistently negative and depressive viewpoint, it can be draining and it can be such a challenge to keep up that sense of empathy. So it helps to be currently working on changing my own corner of pessimism and negativity. I have been able to share some of that with the kids. Some of them are really enjoying it. I usually eat the school lunches too so they are helping me pick out things that I wouldn't usually try. They are giving recommendations and talking about it with me and sharing what they enjoy or dislike about certain foods. It has been really fun! And it helps give that opening to encourage them to look at areas where they have closed themselves off to possibilities and to give them extra incentive to give things a shot when they would normally just walk away. And it has made it easier for me to work on my food stuff when I work in an environment that is so steeped in encouraging new behaviors and branching out and trying new things.
I love that I work in a place with that sort of attitude. When we don't know something, we go look it up and learn about it. When we are unsure of something, we try it out and see what happens. We encourage curiosity and creativity in our kids and that in turn helps foster that in our own lives. Also, we are all hyper-competitive so when encouragement fails, turning it into a competition can work wonders!! There are so many things about my job that make me feel incredibly lucky. Discovering this aspect has added one more.