Not Your Tragedy


Life is tragic.

It is tragic in so many different ways, on so many levels. You can flip on the TV and in 30 seconds see sadness stretched from one corner of the globe to another.

Sadness, tragedy, and grief–they get ranked. We sort and file through the mess, deciding who actually has a right to be sad about their experience. We maybe even think, “Ugh, I’ve had it way worse than that, what are they even sad about?”

Maybe you’ve said, “Look, death is a part of life. It’s probably time we just accept it. It’s not good to dwell.”

Maybe you’ve even told someone you loved that they need to “Buck up”. You may not have used those words, but…there are other ways people say this. They may just say something like, “It’s really important to have perspective here. At least you didn’t have [fill in anything here] happen.”

The thing I’d like to say about perspective is that, yes, it matters. Of course it matters. We need to put ourselves in check sometimes and be grateful for the things we have, for example, instead of lamenting about what we don’t. And, of course, we all know the person who moans and groans for 3 weeks because their cable was out for 2 hours and they missed their shows. That’s definitely not what I’m talking about.

But, you guys. You guys. Perspective is typically something we need to realize on our own. And, I know you don’t like to hear it, but sometimes the thing you need your loved one to realize is actually not accurate. You may not know because you’ve never lived through something similar. Or maybe it’s just a concept you can’t TOTALLY understand because of who you are (for example, understanding a woman when you are a man).

Back to tragedy. You don’t get to decide what someone else’s tragedy is (or isn’t). If someone you love is hurting, please support them. Please love them. Please tell them that you wish they weren’t hurting and that you’re here to listen.

Please don’t tell them:

*It could be worse

*You’ll forget about this later

*I had that happen, too, and I’m fine now

*I had a friend who had this happen and she said (even if it’s important-your person needs to come to this by his/herself!

Remember that your point of view doesn’t really matter when someone is hurting. If you roll your eyes and think, “Oh my gosh, it’s just a dog/cat/hamster, at least it’s not a person,” you won’t be any comfort to them. And really, if you want to be a supportive friend, it just doesn’t matter if you think losing a pet is no big deal because it wasn’t for YOU. Or you think it wouldn’t be. Because, in the end, what they need is LOVE, not to be told they shouldn’t be hurting.

Life is tragic.

It’s messy and what we need most is an outstretched hand, a comforting word, and love to lift us up.

An Open Letter to my 4th Graders


Dear you guys,

Being your teacher is one of the great privileges of my life. There is nothing I take for granted about being able to learn alongside you for 9 months of your life. Last night I couldn’t sleep and I was thinking about so many of you-each of you will stick with me for the rest of my life.

I have some secrets that I want to tell you:

  1. I don’t really like homework, either.
  2. I know that for most of you, the standardized tests don’t show what you’re worth.
  3. I love when you accidentally call me “mom” or “grandma.”
  4. I have kept EVERY last picture, drawing, and note any student has ever given me. They are in an envelope, organized by school year, in my closet and on my worst days (like when I really, really mess up), I take them out and look at them.
  5. I think it’s funny when someone farts, too.
  6. I find it incredibly hard to let you have your independence, but also try to protect you from getting hurt.
  7. Sometimes things that you say really, really hurt my feelings. I’m super vulnerable when it comes to caring what you think of me.
  8. Sometimes things I say really, really hurt your feelings. I never mean to do it, and I feel awful when I do. I’ll always apologize and try to make it better.
  9. I love reading, writing, and math, but I love all of you more.
  10. I wish recess lasted longer, too.
  11. I’m guessing I love Christmas break even MORE than you do.  LOL.
  12. I love making you laugh. It gets me through my day-I don’t care who you are, if you’ve never experience 25 9-year-olds belly laughing at something you said, you haven’t really lived.
  13. Sometimes it’s really hard for me to be present. Sometimes I’m exhausted, or sick, or my kids are sick, or I wish I were someplace else taking care of someone else I love, but I never, ever don’t want to be there.
  14. I do listen to what you say. I hear you when you say that you hate sitting on the floor, or you wish we had more time to independently read, or that people are spreading rumors. I listen, and whenever I can, I act on it.
  15. I know I’m your teacher, but on an average day, I usually learn more than you.


No matter what happens, you will always be one of my 4th graders. I won’t forget how lucky I was to know you, even if sometimes your stories about Minecraft got a LITTLE long and, you know, FIDGET SPINNERS.  LOL!

Love always,

Mrs. W

How to Know You’re in the Right Place at the Right Time


Today, I am humbled.

You guys, there are some things about myself that I don’t love. I’m hard on myself, sometimes I talk WAY too much, I overshare and sometimes try too hard to be funny. But, I think my least favorite thing is sometimes how insecure I can be, especially about my looks.

And if I’m honest, I…now, don’t judge me, ok? But, I fish for compliments. I do. I’m that annoying, passive aggressive person that’s like, “OMG, I’m so ugly!” so that people say, “Christy! You’re beautiful!” even though I know I’m not (see what I did there?)

Anyway, I blogged recently about my weight and my struggle and blah blah blah. Today, something happened that not only humbled me but just really helped me get my head on straight!

So, I’m at this writing workshop today. And the author leading the workshop was helping us work on figuring out how to describe our characters, and how to use setting, and also on what details to leave in or take out.

Our first job was to get with a partner that is a total stranger. (Does everyone else groan inside when you have to do this?). So, a nice woman in front of me turned around to work with me. Then, we had to make 3 columns on our sheet, and get ready to write.

The first task was to (WITHOUT talking) write down 40 objective things about the person (WITHOUT TALKING, YOU GUYS).  This stranger can see your list. I don’t know, it just felt so complicated to me…but I started.

  • wearing a black shirt
  • reddish hair
  • wears glasses
  • writes with a fancy art pen
  • etc. etc. etc.

So then in the 2nd column, we had to try to make some subjective observations based on that column (are you with me still?)

  • writes with a fancy art pen = creative, artistic

Then in the 3rd column, we had to use those to make a guess about the person (former art teacher?)

When we were done we told our partner the conclusions we came to and it was CRAZY how right we were. My partner told me this (my in-real-life friends, get ready, yo):

Mom with a tidy house, funny, loves words, creative, and makes her bed every day.


So, at the end she and I were talking about how we were both pretty right, and I said to her, “I was so nervous about this–it’s really hard to just draw conclusions based on tiny things, and if I’m totally honest, I worried you’d write that I’m overweight and your conclusion was that I eat a lot.”

She looked at me STERNLY in the eyes and said, “You are NOT overweight. Trust me on this. I just lost 130 pounds to look like you. You’re not overweight. And your eyes give you away, and your constant smile and your laugh lines. Stop worrying about that.”

How is it that every once in a while, a stranger knows exactly what to say?

Humbled. I’m working at this, everyone. I’m gonna get there.

Have a lovely week!