Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Power of a Post

I am beginning to think I am cursed - or I would if I believed in that sort of thing. Every class I have been scheduled to teach has either been canceled due to low enrollment or had at least one session rescheduled due to a weather episode.

Now, don't get me wrong. In the aftermath of Sandy, I am beyond relieved that the only thing that's been impacted by the storm is something as insignificant as a class. But, as a counselor, I've been trained to look for patterns, and this one has me thinking.

I always assumed that when I retired, I'd write and maybe continue my counseling career, working within a community agency. That door slammed shut pretty quickly when it became clear that without a license, I was going to be hard-pressed to provide counseling elsewhere. And when I considered what it would take for me to pursue that license - and more important, what it would take me away from - I was pretty satisfied leaving the closed door behind and moving down the hallway.

After all, I've always believed that if God closes a door, He opens a window. I saw the quick and final answer to my future in counseling as a clear indication that I was on the wrong path.

And, when I considered what I had loved most about working in schools, it wasn't just the counseling. It was that everything I did was within the context of educating, consulting and collaborating - with kids, with parents and with teachers. We were a team, trying to make something good happen. Sometimes the team was two people - me and a student, me and a teacher or parent or administrator or nurse. Sometimes it was comparable to a sports team in size, scope and division of roles. But our end goal was always the same - to improve the situation by our collaboration and the work that would follow.

Some time ago, I posted one of those silly everybody-respond-to-this posts that was going around Facebook. In this instance, the question posed was something along the lines of a personal strength. One of my friends posted that my strength was finding the strengths in others and helping them to realize them. It was a response that meant more than I could express, and one that made me think.

I don't know how successful I am in living up to that amazing compliment, but I know that I love trying to do just what my friend described. If there's a way to find an answer, realize a possibility, or help someone pursue a talent, I love being a part of that. And whether I realize it through counseling, teaching or simple conversation is immaterial. As it always was in counseling, so it is in life - it's all about the relationships.

So, storms or not, I'll keep signing up to teach classes for as long as they'll have me. And through these classes, and my bag business and my writing, I'll keep reaching out, excited by the possibility that I never quite know what I will find, who I will reach, and what relationships are yet to be realized.

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