“It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood. A beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?” Anytime I hear these song lyrics, a smile comes across my face, and I immediately picture Fred Rogers putting on a red sweater and changing into his sneakers. And for some reason, I always feel a sense of peace and comfort.
I grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. At the time, I didn’t realize how much of an impact this show would have on me...or the rest of the world. For 31 seasons, Fred Rogers invited us into his neighborhood.
I feel like I’m running in circles
There’s no end in sight
I feel like I need some closure
To get this off of my mind
The past is now behind me
But I still feel like it defines me
How can I move on
It’s been so long
In the midst of my weakness
You are strong
In the midst of my trials
You help me hold on
In the midst of confusion
You bring clarity
In the midst of the darkness
You help me to see
My mom retired after 35 years of being an elementary teacher. As she was ending her teaching career, I was beginning mine. I loved sharing teaching stories with my mom. She could relate to what I was going through, and on those really tough days and weeks, I always felt better after talking with my mom.
Unfortunately, a few years after my mom retired, she passed away. I expected holidays and birthdays to be hard without her. What caught me by surprise, though, is how much I missed her as I drove to school. And at the beginning of each new school year, waves of grief would roll in and out.
Now, I anticipate the waves, and instead of them overtaking me, I ride them out. As I drive to school each day, I welcome the childhood memories that come to mind....
One of the inventions I’m most thankful for is GPS. Being directionally challenged, driving to new or unfamiliar places can cause me to feel a little anxious....even with a GPS.
I still remember how excited I was years ago when I got my first navigation system for my car – a TomTom. Even though I heard the word “recalculating” a lot (when I missed a turn), I felt a sense of security knowing that this little device decreased the likelihood of me getting completely lost.
Now, instead of a TomTom, I typically use the navigation system built into my car, Google Maps, or Waze. Recently, I was in an unfamiliar area and was about to leave to go home. It was dark out, and I was in the middle of the country. I clicked “Go Home” on my GPS and started to follow the soothing voice that was giving me directions.
Years ago, when I was going through a leadership training, part of the training required us to take the Myers-Briggs personality test. Through this test, I discovered that I am an ISFJ: The Nurturer.
I wasn’t sure what that meant, but when I read the description I was surprised at how well it described me. And for the first time, I realized that as an introvert, I have just as much to offer the world as an extrovert. I no longer saw being an introvert as a weakness, but a strength. As a quiet observer, I often pick up on subtle non-verbal cues, and I can usually sense how others are feeling.
I’ve known for years that I am an ISFJ, but several months ago I heard about something called the Enneagram. According to the Enneagram, an ancient personality tool, there are 9 different personality types. Knowing your personality type will help you understand why you think, feel, and behave in certain ways.
Here’s a fun infographic about the Enneagram:
I'm an ordinary introvert who loves an extraordinary God.