Welcome again to Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. Based off of my book Thirty Days to Thirty, a fiction novel that is a fun light hearted or vacation/beach read about a girl accomplishing her bucket list before her 30th birthday.
Although it’s a chick lit, it’s also about self discovery and personal development that is meant to inspire people like me who are almost 30 and want to accomplish those bucket list items that they have been meaning to get to, but tend to let fall to the wayside.
This blog is about my bucket list items that I am accomplishing before I turn 30. I hope they inspire you to do the same!
When I was in high school, I remember a friend’s mom working as a CCD teacher. For those who don’t know what CCD means, it’s basically like a Sunday school teacher. Every week, children whose families are members of the church go to religion classes to learn about God.
For Catholics, you go to a series of classes that will prepare you for Reconciliation, Communion and finally Confirmation, which is where you are considered an adult and a full member of the church.
I remember my friend’s mom saying there were some concerns with the church because there wasn’t a CCD class for children with disabilities.
Parents of these children were upset their child couldn’t participate and rightfully so. The problem was, there wasn’t anyone willing to step up and volunteer to teach it.
I’m not what you would call a truly religious person, but my friends and I felt that they shouldn’t be prevented from becoming a member of the church if they wanted to.
Five of us, who were all juniors in high school, signed up to teach the class once a week. We would team up individually with the students and we would help them with the requirements they needed.
That experience really changed my outlook on life. These students needed religion more than anyone I ever went to CCD with. Half the time my friends and I didn’t pay attention and we would goof off for the hour. But these children were going through a very tough time. They wanted to know why they weren’t blessed to be like everyone else? They wanted to know why they were getting made fun of. They needed guidance and someone to reassure them.
There were times I would come home crying because I felt so helpless. They didn’t deserve the cards they were dealt and they were looking to us to help them learn to live with their situation.
I started to do a lot of research with how I could best help these children in not only the teaching of the religion, but more about the concept of life in general.
I tried to relate to one girl who was upset with being made fun of. I told her that it was a part of growing up and that everyone including myself has been made fun of at some point. I told her an embarrassing story of mine and I said the only thing you can do is let it roll off of your back.
She asks why God allowed us to get made fun of in the first place and I decided to use a metaphor with her new bike she had told me she had just gotten. I ask her how when her dad was helping her to ride the bike without training wheels if he had let go of the bike at any point. She told me yes and I asked her if she fell. She told me she had. I told her to think about that for a second. Did her dad want her to get hurt? Of course not, but the only way we grow in life is if we get hurt sometimes.
It wasn’t much and I’m no expert, but it seemed to make her feel better. My friends and I continued to teach the class until we had left for college. I will still never forget how much an an impact that experience was for me. I have so much respect for the children, parents and teachers of those working with disabilities. My sister-in-law currently teaches several special needs children and it’s amazing to me what she does on a daily basis.
For my next bucket list, when I’m settled back in the suburbs, I am going to return to doing this. Connecting with these children is an experience that you really can’t compare to anything else. I’d advise anyone to volunteer like this if they can.
Thank you for reading this entry of Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. I hope this inspires you with your own bucket list to accomplish as much as you can before your 30th or even before your next birthday!
Remember be sure to check out Thirty Days to Thirty if you are looking for a fiction chick lit novel that is a fun, light, vacation or beach read.
Buy Thirty Days to Thirty Here