happy family

入学式のイラスト「男の子と家族」

It isn’t a secret that the world is in a current state of “absolutely bonkers”. A lot of people are walking around with blank looks on their faces, trying to avoid all human contact. Most of them have on masks and try to walk as far away from everyone else that they can.

I have allergies and it’s spring. That means a runny nose. When I so much as sniffle while walking down the street, I get dirty looks from most of the people around me. It’s kind of crazy.

Every morning, I meet up with a friend of mine and we walk to work together from the station. We have recently been in a funk as it is the end of the school year and we kept talking about things like how we will miss our current teams when we get assigned our new ones, how worried we were about who our next team members would be, who may be in our classes, how we will all mesh together… It gets pretty intense when we talk about it all and it usually ends up with a frown.

On Thursday, we were walking down the street and talking about such things. We were mostly talking about how stressful our current situation was: we were sharing our principal with another school so he was rarely there when we needed him and his plate was too full to actually help us with things in time anyway! This topic always causes me to scowl. I have an intense dislike for people who can’t do their jobs correctly… or in this case, people who can’t manage their work load and won’t ask for help from other people even though they can help… This guy has a tendency to straight up reject any ideas that aren’t his and refuse to look back.

Anyway, we had gotten onto this topic and we were both pushing ourselves into nasty mindsets before we even got to work. Suddenly, a family comes into view. A mother in a business dress, a father in a suit, and a little boy of maybe five years old wearing a private daycare uniform. They were holding hands and running, as though they were racing. I’m used to seeing one parent play along, but seeing this whole family running caught my attention. I looked at their faces and actually felt their joy. It was eight in the morning and they were smiling and laughing, running down this street to the station.

It stuck with me.

Among all the chaos that is COVID-19, this family found joy in something so simple. Racing to work and school. If this family could be this joyful, why couldn’t I?

I still have a job and a steady income even though others are being cut and told to stay home. I am lucky enough that I can wake up every day with a purpose, with a set goal somewhere that I am needed. I get to go to a building every day where children flock to me and tell me they love me, that they missed me even though they literally saw me just the day before. I feel needed and important; these children consider me so.

So management isn’t great… at least they get me my paycheck in time.

So, to that random joyful family… thank you for reminding me to find joy and happiness in the simple things.

Stay safe.

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