Welcome back and happy New Year!  Hopefully everyone had an outstanding holiday season and a wonderful new year.  If you had any chaos at all, which sometimes it’s such a part of the holiday season as we travel to different places or host relatives, I am sure this week just seems like an extension of some of that time-frame.

Who would have thought that in the past two weeks our temperatures would range from the 70’s when we first went on break, to single digits and wind chills far below zero? Who would have realized that we had a day of school, no school, and then a two-hour delayed?  It has been quite a ride as we try to get 2014 into a rhythm.

As we begin to look ahead to the rest of the year, there are three concepts I want us all to keep in mind as they very much came into play this past week.  I will revisit them at various times throughout this next semester, but I think it would be important for us to keep them at the forefront of our thoughts, not only in dealing with what we are facing right now with just trying to get back into school, but also in everything we deal with in life.

  1. Flexibility. Flexibility is a trait that is critical for us all as we try to be resilient, positive and outgoing. Whether it is dealing with temperatures that seem to jump all over the place or to suddenly finding out that the school day, the meeting, or the coffee we had planned suddenly is moved, please remember that we all need to remain flexible. As parents we learn that quickly and all the time. The forgotten invitation that we realize we didn’t respond in a timely manner, or the supplies our children remember at 8:00 o’clock at night they needed for the next day, or any other last minute requirement that our children or we may have, we need to have flexibility.

  1. Perspective. This is huge.  Sometimes, we just need to tell ourselves to relax.  As as hard as we may have it or as difficult as the adjustments are, keep things in perspective. Please remember that there are other folks who are dealing with far more important issues than what we are dealing with right now. For example, some members of our beloved school family are facing health issues at this moment, or think about that people in Buffalo, NY, have just finished dealing with 5ft. of lake effect snow, or the temperatures in Minnesota reached unprecedented lows! We have to keep it all in perspective.

  1. Engaged.  We have to make certain that we are active participants in our parenting, in our children’s lives, in our relationships with each other and with our great school. We need to find ways to support the experience that our children are having. We need to read the newsletters, attend the coffees when we can, participate in the gatherings, and realize that while we may delay certain things, we may make decisions to delay specific things, time doesn’t delay, time continues to march on and there will always be challenges ahead. More and more of the literature today talks about the need for us to have “grit.” Grit is a way for us to engage by using our flexibility, by keeping things in perspective, but by making sure we actively participate in a relentless way to make our lives powerful and meaningful and therefore, influencing our great children. It all has to come together. The beauty is that with our great school family, all is coming together with the support and help of so many other like-minded folks.

We have lots of things that are showing up on the calendar as we look ahead. It is going to be a full winter and then an exciting spring.  I have always imagined this picture in my head.  It has to do with climbing up the mountain to get to the holiday season, and even though there is more time from January to June’s Commencement, it seems as if we are on the slide at the playground, that we are coming down that hill at a fast pace. Let’s hold on, keep a smile on our faces, and I look forward to working with each and every one of you in this very new and very exciting second half of our school year.