I had a professor in college who started every class with "Two people tell me something good." And we would raise our hands and people would share everything from, "The sun is shining" and "I got a 15 minute power nap right before lunch" to "I got a new job" and "I'm engaged!" There was no stipulation about how significant the 'good thing' had to be, he just asked us to share something good. He always started class this way, and used it during transition times as well.
As an education major, I easily recognized this as a very effective form or classroom management. And the first thing I did during my student teaching each class was ask my students to share 'something good'. The first couple times, they looked at me like I was an idiot. So did my cooperating teacher. But after a few times, they got used to hearing it, and started to respond. Particularly my Jr.High students loved the 30 seconds they got to share about themselves. They started looking forward to those times when I would say, "While you are getting out your book two more people share something good with the class..." I was always surprised at how intently they would listen to each other and how excited they were to share.
I also always loved that it gave me an opportunity to adjust my brain before starting class. I mean, college and student teaching was not necessarily a pretty time in my life. I was stressed, I was sick, I was dealing with some intense emotional drama... but starting a class by adjusting my thoughts to something good-- no matter how insignificant-- was an intentional and effective exercise that got me through the bad days, and allowed me to change the focus of my energy.
I haven't actually thought about this in a long time. I don't exactly know what brought it up today, other than I feel simultaneously anxious and exhausted, and I don't want to feel like this all the time. I suddenly remembered my professor's trademark, and I want that reminder to be a part of my life again.
Here are two good things I started my day with:
Yesterday they cut the grass outside my office window for the first time this spring. After it's manicure the grass looks exceptionally green and lush, and I enjoy the color when I look up from my work.
When people affirm my husband, I feel as though I have been affirmed as well. (is that weird?) While waiting for this job situation to work out he has been talking with his managers a lot, who have given him very kind compliments and thanked him for his work ethic. I am so proud of him.