Growing, Stretching, Laughing

September 1, 2017 BY Kelly C. Bawden, MS, CCC-SLP

Having kids in your life, whether personally or professionally, means that this time of year is all about renewal and fresh starts. It brings with it a particular kind of manic, high-flying energy that inspires big dreams, which is why The Hello Foundation’s Leadership Team chooses September to identify a theme for the year to come. The theme helps to set the tone for our events, communications, attitude, and pace for the year, and hopefully, inspires our staff and our wider community. This year, we’ve chosen . . . 

Growing Stretching Laughing

To Grow

. . . to develop, mature, progress.

Some growth is inevitable, like that of our kids growing through 3 pairs of shoes in 3 months. But some growth, and maybe the best kind of growth, is intentional. With intention, we can arrive at the borders of what we think we can do, at the edge of our comfort zone, and gain new skills, find new interests, new friends, and new passions.

So we ask ourselves and those in our community, how will you develop this year? In what way will your practice mature? How will you measure your progress over the coming months?

To Stretch

. . . to extend, expand, reach out.

A focus on growth often finds us at the edge of Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development, apprehensive about what comes next. Can we stay there long enough to see if we can reach just a centimeter further? This moment, when we’re unsure whether we can do it but we try anyway, is where the magic happens. Whether we accomplish what we set out to do or not, we didn’t break. We grew if only in our resiliency and gumption to get up and try, try again.

So we ask ourselves and those in our community, how will you extend yourself this year? Where can you expand your skill set, your horizons, your heart? To whom will you reach out for support and how will you support others?

To Laugh

. . . to chuckle, giggle, hoot.

All of this growing and stretching business can seem like quite serious business. And it is. But. We mustn’t ever ever forget to laugh. Even when we find ourselves flat on our faces, having stretched just a bit too far. In fact, that’s maybe the very best time for a good laugh. Laughing has the unique power to unite us around our shared humanity, fallible and imperfect such as it is. Life isn’t all drudgery after all, as evidenced by the invention of the internet for the sole purpose of housing cat videos.

So we ask ourselves and those in our community, can you chuckle at yourself and your follies? What makes you giggle? How can you bring a little hoot (and maybe even some holler?) into someone else’s day?

Our Annual Theme: Growing, Stretching, Laughing

We’ll spend this year at Hello focused on how we can grow, stretch, and laugh in all aspects of our lives. We promise that we’ll do everything we can to support you in yours, too. Here’s to the year and the journey ahead!