As an educator, you deserve a well-earned break, especially with all the personal and professional obligations you face. Your hard work and dedication to your students, colleagues, and community are admirable. It can be so easy to get caught up in the minutia of your role and live in the now as there are so many important responsibilities resting on your shoulders. You care deeply about every celebration and challenge that comes your way, striving to provide unwavering support and guidance to those around you as you instill a sense of purpose for all. At times, it can be harder to find the magic in the now when it feels like you are taking on the world. That said, you are deserving of taking the time to recharge your batteries as a necessary step to maintain your physical and emotional well-being.
About a month before Spring Break, I was sitting at my work desk preparing for a big presentation while thinking about other vital commitments. I had been staring at the computer screen for quite some time with my mind completely consumed with my big “to do” list. Sound familiar? I was feeling a little overwhelmed at that moment in time when my thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a phone call from my older son, Drew. “Mom, please can we go back to Disney?” Pleeeeeaaaaasssssse!” There it was. The usual question that I probably get asked almost daily. Lately, I had been giving my kids the typical Mom responses that could possibly bide me more time. I was saying things like, “Maybe…we’ll see… and let me talk it over with Dad…” Let me be clear, Disney is not my favorite vacation. Before any assumptions are made: Disney can be truly magical, especially when you plan ahead and see it through the eyes of your children. However, the enchantment of some experiences can be overshadowed by factors such as heat, crowds, and exhaustion, making it a challenge to fully embrace and appreciate the magic they hold.
As Drew asked me the question this time, I paused and realized that my kids won’t always be so eager to ask me these things. It made me reflect on finding the magic in the now and appreciating the excitement in Drew’s voice. I wondered how much longer his enthusiasm would last. Although I cherished the time spent with my family at Disney, I had allowed the memories of exhaustion to overshadow the joy. I am guilty of doing this professionally too. I am not perfect, but I am learning that instead of dwelling in moments of the past, it can be more empowering to reflect on the present and consider where I want to be. After a long pause, the magical words finally escaped my lips, “Yes, we can go to Disney.”
With just my two sons and me, we went on a journey to Disney where we immersed ourselves in every moment, cherishing the magic we found in the memories that will forever be etched in our hearts. I’ll always remember the sound of their laughter as the rollercoaster soared. I’ll always remember the sight of their smiles beaming through their young teenage faces as they eagerly encountered their little kid heroes Woody and Buzz in Toy Story Land. I’ll always remember the sensation of their arms wrapped tightly around mine during a ride, bracing for the unexpected twists and turns. I’ll always remember their response to the Walt Disney documentary we watched together in Hollywood Studios, “Mom,” they said, “Walt Disney failed many times before he achieved success. He persevered through all those setbacks to bring joy to countless people. He didn’t let the past determine his future.” I’ll always remember what it meant to finally say, yes. Yes, led me to finding the magic in the now.
I invite you to experience the same joy I felt through the clips I’ve shared:
So, when you come back from your well-deserved break and embark on the end of another school year, find the magic of now and use it as an opportunity to learn, grow, and be the best version of yourself. You’ve earned it. Don’t let the past hold you back. Perhaps, say yes to something you have been saying no to for some time. Finding the magic in the now, can be used as a source of strength to unlock the goodness that lives inside yourself and others. Recently, Laura Williams tweeted, “The truth is we don’t always have to know. Life isn’t always about knowing. Immerse yourself in the now. If you look for magic you will find it. It’s a miracle we even exist so own it & jump into the greatest time of your life. It’s always been right now.”
Find the magic in moments that live inside each day. Your greatest gifts can be found in the now. Live inside them with your whole heart and carry them with you to the future. Let these moments guide you towards new and unexpected paths.