A situation at work has been causing me some stress. Since I'm a contact point between teachers in my department and the administration at school, I'm often the recipient of complaints.
Today I wanted to complain myself that people brought their emotion-fed frustrations and concerns to me. I had a moment where I felt weary and powerless and pessimistic about the efficacy of anyone telling me anything about anything, since I have little more than a seat at a decision-making table.
But on my way home, I thought of the people in my life with whom I am comfortable being emotionally honest and vulnerable, and I realized that I have an opportunity to reciprocate and be a good listener and sounding board for other teachers. And really, teachers "teach" content, but are more engaged in full-time human behavior management and encouragement. That's bound to be a tangled road, even in the best of circumstances. And sometimes that road necessitates having an ally and advocate, even if that advocate had limited means to "fix" things.
So today (somewhat reluctantly) I'm thankful to have the trust of many of the people with whom I work. And I'm thankful for the generous hearts and ears in my life to whom I can ask advice, share frustrations, and receive guidance.