A SchoolHouse for Everyone

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Groundhog's Day

Laura Grill
February 2, 2021

It’s Groundhog’s Day, I am sure that isn’t new news, or even “fake news” (ha! Couldn’t help myself). Today we find out if Punxsutawney Phil predicts a longer or shorter winter. Given that the northeast just got hit by a pretty big snowstorm, it’s difficult to imagine that warm weather is coming soon. As is the case with any challenge (because I do not like to be cold), when one is in the midst of it (my fingers are cold as I type) it is hard to imagine the future. It’s even more difficult, because even though today is Groundhog’s day, many can agree that it feels like we have all been living in the movie “Groundhog’s Day” for a while.


Weather is one of those things that we don’t have any control over (well, there is the global warming piece- but no short term control). So when the temperature dips below freezing, and snow shoveling needs completion, it’s hard to see the light (literally and figuratively!), and imagine wearing shorts to go outside! 


I love the look of snow, I love the excitement of snow for my children, I love drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows probably more than they do. I love that when it snows they get to go sledding with friends at a nearby golf course. Or, in this snowstorm’s case, my children are skiing. So many pieces of the winter snow are wonderful - except that feeling of cold, and laziness that can creep over me on days like this. 


Snow days are opportunities to celebrate a change in the routine, and to delight in it. We don’t have control over the weather, but we have control over how we wish to react to the cancellation of everything. (Even though, this year, much of our grownup work commitments still need to be honored since they are all remote anyway!)


So what is the message- I tell my children all of the time when they do something wrong (usually meaning they hit a sibling, or turn breakfast into a battle, are lazy when it comes to cleaning their room etc.) and they explain that their action was the result of someone or something else being unfair to them, I tell them, “You can only control your reaction.” 


It is a good message for us grownups too- to think about our reactions. I think we can all be honest enough to agree that we show more control, and sometimes demonstrate more patience with our colleagues versus our children ;) (or maybe that is only in my house). So my challenge, how can we demonstrate better control over our reactions (since we cannot control everything around us)? And how can our reactions serve as a proper example to our children?