The Best Part of a Bad Day…

        So I had a few difficult issues to deal with this past week which made me stop and reflect on how important life’s small and beautiful moments are to our day to day happiness. We all have bad days now and then, and we all have tough weeks at one time or another, and if we’re not careful then this collection of difficult experiences can creep into how we view our lives, our jobs, how we treat and respond to other people, and how we see the world. This difficult week just happened to coincide with the anniversary of the passing of a very good friend of mine, but interestingly enough that didn’t add to the week in a negative way, it was what actually inspired me to get through it in the right frame of mind.
        This very good friend of mine, Jason Lopez, was amazing at framing and re-framing any experience in a way that teased out the good, and he was a master at turning any negative experience into a positive or an opportunity. He used to say that there is always a best part to a bad day, and it’s just a matter of focusing on that piece when things get tough. It’s funny how easy it is to get caught up in the day to day stresses of our lives, and how easy it is to go days and days without slowing down and embracing life’s small and beautiful moments that are invisibly bombarding us at every turn. It’s hard to find the time and the strength to reframe negative experiences into positive ones, and it’s hard to train your mind to be present and open enough to allow these special moments to change your day for the better….here’s a good example of how one small moment absolutely reframed an emotionally trying day, and how the best part of a bad day won out for me in the end.
        One day last week I was hit with three issues that kind of threw me for a loop…one was a very heavy issue with a student’s health and safety, one was a difficult conversation with a teacher friend of mine, and the final one was some residual feelings that resurfaced regarding a personal incident that had caught me off guard. Anyway, I came home that day feeling down and in a pretty negative space. I decided that the best thing to do was to head up to play some basketball at the school with friends to try and run it all off. It was when I left home to walk to up to the school when this small and magical moment reframed my outlook on life and snapped me back into focusing on what’s truly important. As I was walking out the door my beautiful son, Max, decided unexpectedly to come with me to watch, which is unusual for him, and the second we stepped out on to the street he grabbed my hand and held it the entire way there and back. Now, that may not seem like much, but for a boy who is at the age where Daddy embarrasses him with any sign of public affection, this was huge! All my negative thoughts and foolish distractions melted away during that walk, and with Max’s help, I found my smile again.
        Small and beautiful moments are all around us every second of every day, and if we can purposely focus on these and search them out then a bad day won’t seem nearly as bad. Look around you as you begin the week and notice the things that can help reframe a negative experience and put it into perspective. We’re all going to feel stresses in our jobs, and we’re all going to have those days, but by focusing on the best part of a bad day you’ll find that there is beauty all around us in our lives if we only embrace the opportunity to let it in. With that in mind, I can honestly look back at my difficult week and see that it really wasn’t that bad after all…there were difficult moments for sure, but way more incredible ones that I just hadn’t given the attention that they deserved. Thank you Jason and Max for the reminder, it’s the second time in the last 3 years that you’ve done this for me…Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other.
Quote of the Week….

Enjoy the little things in life because one day you`ll look back and realize they were the big things – Kurt Vonnegut

 
Articles About Life’s Simple Pleasures –
The First Time Jason and Max Helped me Find My Smile –
Inspiring Videos About Celebrating Life’s Best Moments –

About Daniel Kerr

Dan Kerr is now Lower School Director at the American School of Paris. He previously served as Intermediate Division Principal at Academia Cotopaxi American International School in Quito, Ecuador, and prior to that was the Middle School Principal at SCIS in Shanghai, China. Dan has also worked at JIS in Jakarta, Indonesia and he began his International career in Abu Dhabi. Dan is thrilled to be joining the ASP family and will be accompanied by his wife, Jocelyn, who will be working as a counselor, and his two children, Max and Gabby. 
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3 Responses to The Best Part of a Bad Day…

  1. Tim McDermott says:

    Dan

    It is great to see you invoke images of Jay, yes he did always see the positive in any situation and I am a better person because I knew him.

    Thanks
    Tim

  2. Hi Dan,

    Nice post. I also think we tend to dwell on those negative experiences and feelings and the positive things that happened on that day fade out of our minds somehow. The negatives can magnify themselves without justification – I guess that’s good in some ways because it propels us to reflect and grow from that.

    Anyway, thanks, this post also resonated with me.

    Cheers,

    Liz

  3. Hi Dan,

    Nice post. I also think we tend to dwell on those negative experiences and feelings and the positive things that happened on that day fade out of our minds somehow. The negatives can magnify themselves without justification – I guess that’s good in some ways because it propels us to reflect and grow from that.

    Anyway, thanks, this post resonated with me too.

    Cheers,

    Liz

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