The First Grader + A One Dollar State Of Mind

Earlier this week, I volunteered at my daughters school book-fair. The short time helping out was very typical and similar to the many other volunteer opportunities - lots of chatting, meeting parents and students, helping the little ones out with selecting books, answering questions, etc... the norm.

However, there were two very unique conversations I had, which happened at two different times and with two different students. The first conversation was quite meaningless and just made me smile. When I had the second conversation with another student, my mind zoomed in on PERSPECTIVE, as I compared both conversations with the two students.

You see, there was this little girl who came up to me, she was very excited and had her money tight in her hand. The first grader, without hesitation and ready to make a purchase, asked, "I have one dollar! What can I get?!" As she pointed to a section of cute little toys and knickknacks, I smiled back and showed her the awesome things she can buy. The girl was happy from the moment she entered the book-fair, all the way up to paying for her scented eraser - which she was SO happy to get - and her bookmark. I would label her as, one very happy customer!

Then, there was the moment when a ten year old came up to me.  Initially, the boy was glancing at books, posters and a few other things in the fair.  He asked me, "what can I get with just ten dollars?" "You can get so much with ten dollars, that is an awesome amount of money you have," I replied, with a smile. His straight faced expression read something that said, "are you serious?" "We have an awesome 'buy 1, get 1 FREE' promotion and you can get anything," I shared, with the unimpressed ten year old.  The ten year old asked, "can the free item be anything or ?" I showed him books that he was interested in and replied, "It can be anything and it needs to be less in price, than the item you are purchasing." Eventually, the boy made a purchase of a book and chose to get a poster, as the free item.

Like many moms, I try to spin things into a teaching and sharing moment with Cassy (as she rolled her eyes, thinking "here she goes again"...haha!), so I told her of the conversation with both students, then began to talk about perspective and state-of-mind.

You see, we all have choices in life.

We can be like the first grader - excited and feeling that one whole dollar, is as much as having one hundred dollars.


We can be like the ten year old - asking ourselves (or others), "what can I get with JUST ten dollars?"

In reality, we all know, ten dollar is far more than one dollar. The first grader was not concerned with who had more than her, all she knew was that she had one dollar to spend and that one dollar was more than enough for her. She knew, she could still walk out the fair, with something in her hand, that she had bought. The boy was concerned with only having ten dollars, feeling he was limited and unsure if he was going to walk out the fair with something.

What it comes down to is, perspective and state of mind.

I feel when we have the mindset of that first grader, the world and life seems limitless. Our dreams, visions, goals and aspirations seem that much more attainable.  When we have the limited mindset, as the ten year old did, we immediately short change our selves (no pun intended). This mindset can easily build walls that divide us from our goals and dreams. It can also often create a narrow point of view, not letting us see the immense amount of possibilities all around us. The confusion, drama, negativity and whatever is going in our circumstances and in life, can expand into further negativity with that type of mindset.

Let us be first graders.

Let us have that state of mind.

What others assume vs Reality

I was in the elevator going up to my office when I ran into an old friend.  We immediately hugged, asked how each other was doing and chatted.  What stuck out from that conversation though, was her saying how she loves my Instagram photos, that I'm such a positive and happy person.  My mind quickly paused and I thought, should I open up and tell her thats far from the truth or just let it go, we both were kinda in a rush anyways.

You see, I have this mental struggle with wanting to be transparent, honest and real with people; especially with friends and family.  I also am one who has positivity as a top strength; meaning, I always keep my eyes on the positive, by default.  Being honest is actually myself being positive.  Not speaking of the fears or anxiety that run through my mind - because to me, that would be speaking the negativity into existence.  Never do I want to utter that.  I live my life speaking of the positive because I know how quickly the negative can consume a mind and life.

Like many things, there is a downside to being positive.  In my case, being positive may come-off or translate that my life is completely great and I'm so happy.  At the very moment in the elevator with my friend, I really felt like curling up in a ball.  This positive girl was going through a tough and trying season.

October 15, 2015 | Infant & Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day

October 15, 2015 marks the exact day we, my husband and I, had an unexpected miscarriage.   It was the week we were planning on sharing the wonderful news with our parents but instead, ended up sharing the loss. We stayed home the rest of the week and weekend.  I searched long and hard for the positive.  Looking at baby clothes we had already gotten.  Crying.  Praying.  Stayed in silence.  More crying.  That went on repeat the entire day.  It wasn't until the day after, when we met with our doctor, that I received some clarity which then turned into a glimmer of positivity.  That then grew more each day.

The positive mindset didn't let me get sucked into the sadness and negativity. The thoughts that tried to consume my mind didn't prevail, I kept my mind and heart on all things good.

In our day-to-day life at work, with friends, family and even strangers we pass by - let us be attentive and ask questions.  By that I mean, when you see someone really take the time to see how they are doing.  Do not let their social media posts or how they seem to appear on a day-to-day basis dictate to you how they are really feeling.  In my case, I was trying to stay positive more than ever and filtered my life with as much positivity as I possibly could and in anyway I could.  With going through this season it also cleaned up some of the fog in my own eyes.  I became more aware and attentive to those I was around.  Trying to dig in to see how they were really doing.

October 15 now marks a day that my husband and I will forever relate with others who have suffered the same loss.  It also marks the day that my skin thickened a bit more.  The day I lost a piece of my heart.  The day I gained an experience that I now relate with others to, something I can share and use for the good. It is a chapter in our life and marriage.  A battle wound. Something that pushed my husband and I to cling onto each other more than ever. We grew tremendously.

My goal with this blog post is for us to be real, authentic and honest.  Let us be that community to one another.  I know for certain, if it wasn't for my dearest friend (who also suffered the same loss) that coached and pushed me along, I wouldn't have been able to grieve nor go through the emotions as I did.  This week,really get to know how your neighbor, co-worker, friend or family member is doing.  Treat them to coffee or tea, make that time to invest in others.  

Let our assumptions of what may appear on the outside of others not dictate or translate to think it is their reality.