Three Grand Essentials to Happiness

Linda Morse, ASHA President

By now, I hope you have put away your snow shovel, filed your income taxes, and started to weed your garden.  Spring brings hope with increased daylight—the warmer weather and sounds of singing birds help us adjust to the dog days of summer ahead. For some of us, the golf course beckons.  We may even prepare for a summer vacation at the beach. May flowers and June weddings may be in your future.  I know many of you look forward to time spent with your children or grandchildren.  What makes you happy?

Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.  Joseph Addison

Serving as ASHA president has certainly given me something to do.  The ASHA Board recently approved a new strategic plan that will guide sustainability and improved services for members.  Jeanie Alter and the Professional Development Committee are planning a great ASHA conference and have already held two webinars.   Beth McNeill and the Leadership and Recognition Committee are soliciting candidates for the Howe Award, the Distinguished Service Award, and ASHA Fellowship.  Her committee has also updated the ASHA scholarship program which will be announced soon and the FLA (Future Leaders Academy) will solicit new members later this year.  Larry Olsen leads our Research and Publications Committee with the assistance of Skip Valois.  A special edition of the Journal of School Health (JOSH) on the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model will be out in the fall. Sandy Klarenbeek leads ASHA’s Advocacy Committee and it has been extremely busy working with the Student Health Advocacy Coalition (SHAC) to support changes to legislation and provide feedback on numerous proposed changes to the ESEA.  I am happy that ASHA is moving forward with such a great team in place!

I am blessed to have something to love.  While I certainly love my work with ASHA (otherwise why would I write this since I could be playing golf right now) I have a wonderful husband, Dan, who supports everything I do.  Dan was a teacher in the same high school for 42 years—so he and I have had a few conversations about the state of education.  I am blessed to have two wonderful sons, one terrific daughter in-law, and an 86-year old father who still manages a round of golf once in a while.  Without those supports, I would not be the person I am today.

I have hope.  I don’t think any of us choose to become school health professionals without it.  I am hopeful that every educator will not only recognize but fully embrace the concept that a student’s health is directly connected to his/her academic performance.  I have hope that every child will feel safe at school and live in a home he/she is loved and appreciated for being special and unique.

As a child, I heard Frank Sinatra sing “High Hopes” and it has stuck with me throughout life. I challenge you to think about the three grand essentials to happiness.  What does this mean to you in your life, your job, your family, your profession?  Write it down and put it away for a month and then revisit it.

Oh, and the next time you see a daffodil or hear a child laugh or see a kite fly across the sky, savor the moment.  Have high hopes for every child. Together we CAN move that rubber tree plant!