This is a conversation I had with my eleven-year-old son as I drove him to school this week:
Joe: When I have a good teacher, it seems like school is so long, but when I have a bad teacher it seems like it goes by so fast.
Me: Are you sure it isn't the opposite of that?
Joe: Yes. I said it right.
Me: Explain to me why it's like that.
Joe: Because when I have a really good teacher, like Mr. Williams, every day we're making lots of good memories, but when I have a bad teacher, like Mrs. _______, I try to just put all those bad memories out of my head. So when I have a good teacher it takes so long to think about all the good things, but with the bad teacher, there isn't much to think about.
Maybe it's because he's my son and I think he's clever and adorable, but I think there's something really smart and profound about his outlook. I know when I'm going through something unpleasant, it can seem endlessly long and an enjoyable vacation positively flies by. I also know that Joe has every right to complain about Mrs.______, a sour woman who picked on him and made his life (and mine) pretty unpleasant for a year.
But instead he's chosen to put the miserable year out of his head. He's refusing to rehash and dwell on the hurt feelings and injustices and instead savor the memories of this good year he's having with Mr. Williams.
How much more pleasant is his life because he's choosing to remember the good things and not the bad?
If only I can learn to be more like him.