“I forget that happiness is something I can set as a goal, not just an outcome of meeting other goals.” This statement was from a college senior in the middle of a really stressful time, looking for jobs in a pandemic. The driven, goal oriented, I-can-make-anything-happen, gifted young adults in the world are wrestling with so many realities which are out of their control. So are all of us. So this column is your reminder – Have you set your happiness goals for this fall? Maybe not even happiness goals, but opportunities, possibilities, or openness to happiness experiences. We are 7 months into what has been the most unusual time I have lived through and I am finding that happiness has been an important part of my walking through every day right now. So I am working on happiness – finding moments of joy, practicing gratitude, and saying aloud to others what I appreciate about them.
My MCGT gratitude list has to start with our board and our staff of one, Jennifer Farner. The way this group of people have pivoted MCGT in the last 7 months, successfully moving to a virtual community guided by our principals of connections, support, education and advocacy has been inspiring. We had our first virtual mini conference and 85 people signed up! It was fabulous and Drs. Diane Heacox and Richard Cash shared an entertaining and relevant morning with us. If you missed this but still want to see it, contact [email protected] and for $10 you can have access to the 3 hours of information. Our annual conference and meeting will be October 24, so please consider joining us! Dr. Matt Zakreski is full of great information and strategies to help the social emotional learning of our gifted kids (and ourselves).
We are working on a variety of other virtual options for our members and thinking of ways to support the gifted community in Minnesota at large. The newest MCGT outreach, and very much in the baby stage of development, is the Inclusion Project. We are looking for individuals who have a passion for supporting equity and inclusion as a core of gifted education to help guide this project. If you want more information about the Inclusion Project, contact the MCGT office and we will connect you to one the board leaders.
And if you are still looking for ways to increase your happiness, try listening to this Ted Talk by Ingrid Fetell Lee on finding joy. This was one of my happiness moments recently and I have a greater understanding of why I am drawn to the art I love and the shapes that make me happy. So, for all you grown up gifted learners, remember to set a goal for happiness this fall! Thank you for being a member of MCGT and helping us in our mission. We appreciate you.
Teresa Boatman, MCGT President