I care about EVERYTHING. Here are some things I care about and in no particular order:
Did I care too much?
Then I decided to tell the students openly and honestly how I felt, so I recounted the exact same story of how my husband had asked how my first week went and I had cried. Almost immediately, I could feel the air in the room had totally changed: gone were the attitudes, students started sitting up, paying attention, speaking English, and actually doing the activities. The change was palpable.
Had I not cared enough to tell them, would they have cared enough to change?
At a ladies lunch this past week, an expat friend lamented about how she felt judged for showing up at school not dressed to the nines. Her comment was greeted with "WHAAAT?!" all around, and another expat friend chimed in saying that she felt judged for driving the "crappiest" car of all the hagwon ("after-school academic center" in Korean) owners when she used to own a hagwon.
"What kind of car do you drive?" I asked, half expecting her to say a Honda or a Toyota.
"A Chevrolet Spark," she replied. Again, she was met with a chorus of "WHAAAT?!"
More and more stories were revealed about the pressure to look, act, dress a certain way. As the ladies were talking, I started thinking: Why do women put that kind of pressure on other women? I mean, let's face it, if we could, we would all walk around in our pajamas, right? Or was it a matter of caring? Did the women who dressed up care too much about how they looked? And for the women who didn't get dressed up, did they care too much about what people would say if they didn't? After all that's said and done, shouldn't we be worried about what kinds of mothers people are on the inside, rather than how they dress on the outside?
Perhaps all the caring was misdirected. Imagine if all of that energy put into caring about what other people thought was put into caring about themselves?
During this past week at GMUK, I cared a little bit less--about 10% less. Even though there were a few students who seemed spaced out, not paying attention, chatting with their friends, I didn't take it personally. As a student myself in Bootcamp, I was recently "caught" chatting with another friend during an exercise. I loved my Bootcamp class, I loved my instructor, and I loved my fellow class-mates. It was nothing personal. As humans, we get distracted, we want to catch up with friends, and try our darndest to multi-task, knowing it's a dying art.
So I guess my takeaway is care, but care 10% less about what (you may perceive) people are thinking of you. Use that extra 10% to care for yourself.