POWER: We Can Do This– Includes a Great Idea You Might Want to Try
By Sally Tippett Rains
You are doing a great job with everything you’re facing, but the one thing that could really help your life right now is if you try to CALM DOWN, my friend. All this worry, anger and drama is not worth it to your health and well-being. You might survive the virus but get sick from all the stress.
School is on a lot of people’s minds and causing a lot of stress. Whether you are a parent, teacher, grandparent, school employee, or concerned citizen, you have the POWER to control how you view the situation– whatever it turns out to be.
Instead of looking at everything in a panic mode it might help to start looking at our life as an adventure and say “we can do this!” We can handle whatever they throw at us.
I know as a parent I used to tell my kids we are on an “adventure” if we didn’t know what was coming next. (Flat tire on the side of the road? It wasn’t a “disaster” it was an “adventure.”)
Think about that movie “The Pursuit of Happyness.” When the Will Smith character and his son were homeless– the dad tried to make it like they were on an adventure, even when they spent the night in a public bathroom.
When we step up and be brave for others, it gives us the power to be brave for ourselves.
Just like that movie title implies—We shouldn’t always be striving for that unattainable “happiness”— like the happiness we think would have had if not for the coronavirus. Instead, let’s look for the little moments of “Happy”ness we can find each day.
Most kids will go with the flow whatever happens with school. As long as we show our support for them, and try to make things fun, they won’t know the difference. Chances are they won’t be getting depressed (like the experts are telling us) if we don’t get depressed first. If we keep on living our lives so will they.
Just as with any situation we may be facing, our moods can carry the mood of our family (or our students). We may be tired or scared ourselves, but we have the power to make the best of this– if we choose happy instead of choosing to be freaked out
One evening when my grandsons were here, I found my mind wandering, thinking about a situation that I was concerned about. The oldest one looked at me and said, “Hey Memaw, where’s your ‘Choose Happy’ face?” Of course I smiled at him. Now I’ll try to remember to keep my “Choose Happy Face” on.
Right now we don’t know what’s coming next— but it might not be all bad, so let’s stop expecting the worst.
In order to get through this you must save yourself. Here’s something to remember: You can’t save the world. You can choose to be riled up about everything or you can realize “I’ve got to figure out where I want my thoughts to be right now– in order to be strong. There is only so much of me to go around. I’ve got to save myself and my family.”
So what if we don’t know what’s coming tomorrow — that’s God’s time. We may not know what will happen in the future, but we know that if we trust God, He will give us the power to survive it.
Get off the stressful drama train and move your focus from things that cause distress– and get on the peaceful adventure train.
Be flexible. Choose Happy.
” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” — Jeremiah 29:11
“Don’t ever let someone tell you you can’t do something. Not even me. All right?”—Chris Gardner, (Will Smith) The Pursuit of Happyness
This week our “Action Plan” is seeing how you can help others and in turn help yourself (See “One Last Thought” below.) I will include something we are doing here in St. Louis and maybe you can get involved with us– or start your own. The more we help each other, the happier we will be.
One Last Thought:
Introducing: The Dream and Wonder Room– A fun idea aimed at spreading joy during these tough times
- Maybe you are a parent or teacher in the Affton area that could benefit from this, or maybe you could consider making your own “Dream and Wonder Room” where you are. A Dream and Wonder Room can be anywhere that you dream about something, wonder if can happen… and then take the action to achieve it. Even if you don’t do it as big as this idea, you can help those around you through this pandemic: we’re on an adventure– let’s help each other.
BACKGROUND: I had been trying and trying to figure out what we could do with our families of children with cancer (for the charity we run, Rainbows for Kids), because we had to call off all our activities due to COVID-19. We were determined to keep doing things so we used our imagination and came up with social distancing activities. But then…
One night I woke up in the middle of the night and got the idea to ask my sister Barb if she would turn an extra bonus room in her house into a great activity room—or studio. I dreamed about if it would work, then I wondered could we do it, and we took action. She completely emptied the room and transformed it into the most wonderful and happy studio area just waiting for children to come in small groups to play and do crafts.
Our first guests were my grandchildren– and they had a blast. There are three tables and a piano in the room. The tables can be removed for dance or exercise classes and put up for craft classes and meetings.
There’s even a special “Peaceful Mermaid Room” for the parents to relax in a massage chair surrounded by a peaceful fountain and beach, mermaid décor.
So now we have a place for our Rainbows for Kids activities to be held since we had to cancel every single one of our originally scheduled events and re-imagine “socially-distanced” fun.
HELPING OTHER BEYOND OUR RAINBOWS FOR KIDS
We got to thinking– here we have this cool room– there are a lot of hours in the day and why not open it up to other parents and children who could benefit from it?
Maybe A Dream And Wonder Room Can Help YOU!
(Or maybe just reading this could give you the idea to help someone — a parent of a child who may be learning from home, a stressed out young mom who could use a few minutes to herself, an older person who could use some stimulation.)
If something like this could help you either as a parent or teacher, we are opening this up during COVID-19 to help as many people as we can. The room can be rented out on a “referral” basis, meaning for safety purposes we want to know the people using it and we will be having classes both for kids and adults.
If your children ends up having to do learning from home maybe you could get a few friends and take turns watching the group as they do their work at the Dream and Wonder Room. Have an adventure and make it fun for them.
For the time we are hoping for small groups of 6 (2 at each of the three tables) plus the instructor. Are you looking for physical fitness activities for your kids to participate in? Or maybe you are not ready to be around others– you can have the room to yourself!
We will also be offering classes—both children’s classes AND adult enrichment classes. Maybe it will help all– you teach a class, you take a class– you bring your children to a class.
It’s not just for kids; it’s can be an enrichment time for adults too. Why not make this time count for something and learn a new hobby or do something you already enjoy doing in a new and uniquely happy setting. We will be offering adult classes, usually just a one-day one-hour class. And some of them might include things like jewelry making, water color painting, cooking, skin care and color, CPR, American Sign Language and more.
Are you looking for a great place to hold a small gathering or meeting? We have coffee and snacks available- plus cleaning supplies, masks, gloves, thermometer, and antibacterial wipe.
We also offer children’s classes including: beginning piano lessons, art, sewing, music & movement and more.
All classes are free for families in Rainbows for Kids. To find out how to enroll—please contact Sally Rains at: ChooseHappySTL@gmail.com. The Rainbows for Kids classes are a separate thing from opening it up to our friends but it is all being run through the ChooseHappySTL@gmail.com website where we will be taking questions and reservations as we move forward.
If you are not a Rainbows for Kids family but would like to find out if the Dream and Wonder Room can be of benefit to you please contact: ChooseHappySTL@gmail.com.
“I teach a class… I take a class… I help ease your burden… you help keep me learn something fun. This way, we all keep our spirits up.”
Also, if you live out of town but like the idea, I would be happy to help you start one of your own in your area. There’s no “franchise fee”– we are just spreading joy.
There will be small fees for the classes and room rental for non-Rainbows activities to help insure that we get teachers and supplies– and to have the rooms completely cleaned and wiped down before each group arrives.
Masks are required (at least at first) and you will sign a “hold harmless” sheet and get temperatures taken upon entering the facility.
- All the crafts are in plastic bags—craft kits. To your level of concern you can select a bag or even use our gloves and or tongs to grab the bag.
- After each group leaves, the room will be sprayed with antibacterial spray and wiped down.
- The coffee will be in a pot and disposable cups will be provided. Any snacks will be individually wrapped. Handle of the coffee pot will be wiped down before new sessions.
- Lastly, nobody can guarantee you a completely safe oasis from COVID-19, that’s not what this is about. It’s about trying to live our lives during this time and trying to do fun things in the safest way we can.
Do you have an idea on how you can help someone get through this time? You have the POWER to do it. Share it with us, I’d love to hear.
And if you are interested in the Dream and Wonder Room– either to teach a class or find out about taking a class– Contact us at ChooseHappySTL: ChooseHappySTL@gmail.com
Sally Tippett Rains is the author of 13 books including Choose Happy; Find Contentment In Any Situation. She is an inspirational speaker and the Volunteer Executive Director of Rainbows For Kids as well as the content manager for STLSportsPage.com.
Note from Sally: If you are particularly stressed about the upcoming school year and would like me to pray for you or if there is any way I can help you, please feel free to email me.