Lessons from School Photos

then and nowThere were three possible marks: Excellent, Satisfactory, and Unsatisfactory.  Every mark was an E, always, until 3rd grade when I had one “S” on my report card. Mrs. Muncy gave me an S in reading. Tears and devastation over this grade – from me. My mother nor my teachers ever had say a word. I was my most demanding critic. Still am…

Child development experts explain that our personalities are formed, for life, around the age of three.  We grow taller, hopefully smarter, and wiser, but our personalities don’t change much. In my own unscientific research of simply asking parents with grown children, I have validated this time and time again!

Working in the education world, we have the privilege of annual picture taking, right along with the students. Each year, free of charge, educators receive an enormous packet of our school pictures, in all sizes. The 8 x 10 is the dreaded one for me as every fine line and imperfection is plain to see!  As I contemplated this year’s free offering of yet another year’s photos, it occurred to me that little has changed from the little girl to the grown woman.  Okay, I’m 40 years older, my hair has changed color (thanks to an amazing hair stylist, Stefanie), I’m taller, hopefully more intelligent and wiser.  But, I’m still the same in so many ways. I often berate myself over not earning the E.  These days the E may not be a mark on a report card. It could be the mark I give myself for a situation at work, with a family member, an interaction with a stranger, or in other personal relationships.

The seven year old girl in the photo loved to read as does the forty-seven year old “girl” I am today. The young girl enlightened her stuffed animals by playing teacher, and the older girl now educates real people. The youngster valued education, the grown woman still does.The little one enjoyed playing the piano, and the wiser one still relishes music, both listening and making it. Then…my brother tormented me, I wanted straight hair, loved learning, adored my Whiskers the cat, savored sweets, was curious, and needed independence.   Now, the list still holds 100% true. I would also love to believe the girl was a terrific friend and want to believe I still am today.

Lessons from the photo comparison:

  1. I’ve not changed much over the years.
  2. Gray hair is inevitable-we all need a skilled hair professional.
  3. School photos could use a new look-a new pose, at least.
  4. Stay away from current 8 x 10s. Bigger isn’t always better.
  5. I need work on being kinder and gentler to myself. 
  6. Maybe Mrs. Muncy was teaching me a life long lesson.
  7. Not everything needs to be an E!

How about a “photo comparison” of your own? How much are you like your much younger self? Do you need to be kinder and gentler to you too?

Slainte! Susan


4 thoughts on “Lessons from School Photos

  1. You look amazing! Then and NOW! I don’t like picture day and the 8×10. I have been having a hard time loving me as is, and the fact that 40 is around the corner…. Yikes! Time to stop and be kinder to me!


  2. I dread picture day too. Since I turned 40, I look in the mirror and immediately see wrinkles and age spots and gray hair. Ugh. Women in general are too hard on themselves. I need to be more appreciative of what I am…a healthy, happy woman!

    Liked by 1 person

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