The Antidote to Groundhog Day: Small Sweet Daily Moments

“Every day is Groundhog Day,” Cal shared. “Wake up tired and behind. Go to my job where my boss always wants more. Come home to wife and kids complaining I’m not there. I never have enough money or time. I feel like I’m just a failure.” When people picture my job, they imagine I hear this type of story day in and day out. “How do you do it?” I’m often asked. “How can you listen to all of us and not get depressed yourself?”

My drive to work is around the same time as the school buses and I’m often reminded of conversations I’ve had over the years: drivers brainstorming with me about how to create a calm, supportive environment on the bus; parents coordinating their work schedules to be the “warm car” at their local stop over the winter; and kids sharing with their best “neighborhood” friends about their school days. But my favorite part is the Gilpin County Sheriff that drives along, every single day, until the bus gets to the Gilpin County Line. I remember when people all over the country were discussing the need for more law enforcement presence and support in our schools. Many communities were getting mired in red tape and logistics, philosophical and territorial debates, but Gilpin Country simply figured out how to make this powerful step happen.

Now I know this might seem like a small thing, but it is one of countless daily moments that remind me of all the good in our corner of the world. Choir concerts where kids, formerly terrified of their own shadows, now bravely sing solos. Volunteers who take Seniors meals twice a week, or drive them down to medical appointments. Coaches who work countless nights away from their families to mentor and teach our kids work ethic, teamwork, and pride. People who have paid for their neighbors energy bills, or taken in a friend’s pet so it didn’t have to go to a shelter.

So how do I do this kind of work day in and day out? What do I do when I get completely overwhelmed by the amount of pain and suffering in our world? I focus on these small, powerful moments and simply wave back at the sweet, smiling face at the back of the bus.