I Wanna Get Better

No, I haven’t forgotten all about my blog here in English just because I spend every waking hour thinking about my trip to Spain (which is still 237 days, 6 hours and 45 minutes from now).  It’s just, I always seem to want to write either in Spanish or about Spanish and that leaves me with little to put here.  I decided, however, that it’s not terribly wrong of me to spend a little time spouting off in English, just so I know I’m still here, even if my Spaniard persona is slowly taking over.

As part of my efforts to save a little extra money for my trip, I have been working alongside my boss, Pattie with the Ronald McDonald shows put on through a joint effort with the Ronald McDonald House and the owner/operators of McDonald’s.  Today I spent time with Pattie and Ronald as he greeted young handicapped children visiting the local fair.  I have worked with Pattie and Ronald (no, that’s not his real name, but I feel I should keep his true identity under wraps) six times this summer, but today was the first time dealing with handicapped children.  One of Ronald’s other duties involves visiting the sick children and their families who are staying at The Ronald McDonald House while the children receive medical treatment.  Working with someone who can keep a smile on his face while seeing ill children everyday has started to show me the true value of what’s important in this world and what is not.  All too often we are able to turn our heads and look the other way when it comes to the sick or disadvantaged.  While I surely have sympathy for the children and their families, I have never put myself in a situation where I had to directly interact with them.  Today, seeing so many physically and mentally challenged children reminded me that we all have a lot to be thankful for, even in our worst moments.  While I have no children of my own I have a young nephew and an even younger niece whom I love dearly, and today I was reminded how thankful I should be that they are both healthy and don’t suffer from any of the debilitating problems these young children are suffering from.  Sadly, many of them are not even aware of their disabilities, but seeing a smile brought to their faces by a silly red haired clown made me appreciate how important someone like Ronald McDonald can be.

In the coming weeks, I am going to be training to offer tutoring to adults looking to improve the English language skills in order to read, write, and simply communicate in English better than they currently are able to.  I have been looking for opportunities to be more involved in the local community, but for slightly selfish reasons, as I was always hoping to use my efforts as a way to improve my Spanish language skills.  Certainly, I will have the opportunity to speak a little Spanish with the members of my group, but more and more I realize the value to them to learn English is much greater than the value to me to speak Spanish.  I speak Spanish as a hobby, something to keep me busy in the hours after work.  These adults presumably are looking to better their lives by being able to be more active in the community.  I know I have said I think it is terribly important for our local communities to be more supportive of the Spanish speaking community, however, I see the value in learning English as well and I hope my efforts will be beneficial both to the students and to me as an instructor.

I hate to say I was a worse person in the past than I am today but as I open my eyes to the world around me and try to see the world from a more optimistic point of view I also have begun to see ways in which I can be happier by being more involved with those around me.  I have found joy, and even a little pride in my little successes training new employees at work, and I feel like I am really starting to become a role model more than just a grumpy guy who bosses people around at work.  Although I never finished my schooling to become a teacher, I often feel like I am becoming more and more of a teacher everyday, and I am proud of that.  Doing this work outside of the restaurant has made me feel good about myself and I think that translates to being happier in general.  Watching my niece and nephew grow up has brought tremendous joy to my life and again, while I have no children of my own, being a part of their lives is extremely rewarding.

I could probably go on for hours more, but I do have to get to work this afternoon, but as I look around, I see that I am still early in my 30’s, and while the counting goes on, I have a lot I can accomplish before the 40’s set in.  Hopefully I can make it back here a little more frequently to discuss my life.  There actually is quite a bit I could talk about before I ship off to Spain.  We’ll talk more soon, I promise.

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~ by James on September 5, 2014.

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