I have often marvelled at the lives of those men and women who are classified as the “creatures of habit” or “the regulars”. Day in and day out, they find the same table at the cafe, order the same coffee with one cream and sugar, or engage in the same conversation each morning. It would appear, that these individuals value an unchanging routine. Perhaps the thought of change is a frightening concept for these folks. Maybe, they just figure they have found something that works, so why change. Either way, they know what to expect, and they like it that way.
These creatures of habit, regulars, and predictable Pete’s are somewhat enticing to a person like me. Each new day brings the same kind of events, circumstances and expectations. One can wake up with a 95% chance that things will go according to plan, and the day will flow smoothly. If you ask me, it sounds like a pretty good set up.
Journey of Surprises
Now, another category of people could be called, the ” free spirits” the “spontaneous” or the “adventerous”. Generally, these kinds of people thrive with the unexpected. They are always ready to try something new and ready to make exciting plans. These passionate people do not get caught up in expectations, for they live in the moment.
If I had to choose between the two, I would definitely go with predictable Pete (or in my case, predictable Patricia). I feel comfortable in the known, the certain and the reliable. However, in the past few weeks, whether or not I wanted it, I was thrust into the second category of the free spirit and adventurous type. Jenny the Spontaneous is my new alter ego… I have recently started working as a substitute teacher with elementary students. With each new day, comes a new grade, school and set of students. Sometimes the day is wonderful, other times, the day makes me question my career choice! No matter the day, there is no way I can predict what will happen, or who I will encounter.
At first, I thought this kind of schedule would make me crazy! How could I possible feel content when my life was like the tasmanian devil-twirling around the city, jumping to schools each day and feeling like I was going out of control. Needless to say, it is getting easier with each and every day. I am still a baby sub, and I have so much to learn, but I think I am finding ways to cope with this change!
Tips for the Travelling Soul
I will list a couple things that are helping me in this journey as a substitute teacher:
1. Today is a gift to unwrap : I may not know what I’m getting into, but there is always something special to be found in the day! It might be a great conversation, a compliment from a student or a welcoming school community
2. Appreciate the small stuff: Do not overlook the smiles in the hallway, the student who held the door for me, or the teacher who helped me find the staffroom
3. Make love the priority: To share the love of God with each student, class and school I encounter. To never loose the opportunity to share this great love!
4. Laugh it off: To keep things light, and not overthink everything! I will make mistakes, and say the wrong things, but it’s O.K. Life is beautiful, and I better laugh, or it will be a long ol’ journey.
Although I would rather find myself comfortable in the shoes of predictable Patricia, I see the beauty of embracing Jenny the Spontaneous. I’m learning that it’s all about trusting in the Lord and having a positive outlook. I am beginning to see the beauty that is found in the unknown. With each new day comes a new adventure. Just like the disciples who would travel from town to town, I am called to live like that. To be ready to share the love of the Lord with those I meet each day. I might not always know what to expect, but it’s how I live, love and serve others that really matters!