It’s a great relief to many teachers that April 1st lands on a Saturday this year. No worries about being pranked by your students and no pressure to find just the right little joke to play on your students. The pressure to perform and meet expectations is real and an opportunity to avoid it, makes this Saturday’s April Fools’ Day a little lighter, and more joyful, ironically.
I Lose My Focus.
So often, I find that when I worry about meeting expectations, it adversely affects what I’m doing. It makes the day heavier and more stressful. The process of completing something such as an art project, a blog post or even a baking a dessert for others, gets over-shadowed by my concerns about the end result. Instead of staying with the process, step-by-step and focusing on it, my mind is already in the future concerned about how it turns out and if it will be successful. The joy of the process evaporates.
Fear Of Being Judged
Sadly, it’s often my own judgement of the results (thanks to my inner critic) rather than any judgements from others that create the biggest hurdles. I second-guess my choices and re-hash my decisions after I’ve made them. I am my worst critic. When I recall the comments from others about my dessert or my writing, they are usually positive.
Julia Child, the celebrity TV chef, used to remind cooks to never apologize for the food that you made.* Her joy in the process of cooking no matter what the results, allowed her to master French cookery and inspire many people to enjoy it too.
She was motivated by a deep enjoyment of food and its preparation, and would happily spend hours tinkering in the kitchen by herself or, preferably, with others.*– Alex Prud’Homme, Julia’s great nephew
Trying To Enjoy The Now
I’m thinking of my next project as an April Fool’s Day without school. No expectations to meet. Just the joy of the project and the confidence of a Julia Child, to muddle through it without worrying.
* Click here to read the New York Times article about Julia Child.