Bacon. I love bacon. I’m not the only one. 268 million Americans eat bacon and the average American eats about 18 pounds of bacon every year. In total, Americans consume about 5.6 BILLION pounds of bacon every year. That’s a lot of bacon! Perhaps the obvious question with an equally obvious answer is “Why?” Well as most of us know, bacon tastes really, really good!! Prepared right, it is salty, sweet, smoky, and melts in your mouth. Did you know that National Bacon Day is December 30th? Kind of fitting that it is one of the 12 days of Christmas, isn’t it? “On the sixth day of Christmas, my truly love gave to me – six pounds of smoked bacon….” Yes, the deliciousness of bacon is almost amusing. Come to think of it, my favorite comedy act of all time is all about bacon. Jim Gaffigan’s classic “Bacon skit” is definitely worth a look or another look if you haven’t seen it in a while: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqFi0cZ4p1E
At one point early in the skit, Jim says “….to improve other food, they wrap it in bacon.” While great on its own, bacon’s true appeal is adding it to other foods. It is the perfect addition to just about any meal or dish….Bacon on your cheeseburger, bacon in your salad, bacon in your mac and cheese, bacon on your sandwich. Bacon makes everything taste better and any meal more exciting, doesn’t it? So, what’s the point Rick? Isn’t this supposed to be a blog about education and counseling? Well, as tempting as it is to just mic drop right here with this simple testimonial on bacon, maybe there is something more here for us to consider.
What are your days at school or work like? Are they exciting? Are they flavorful, metaphorically speaking? Or have you been at it so long that the hours and days all kind of blend together into a bland mush? Maybe it’s not that you’ve been at it that long, but perhaps you are just so exhausted from everything else on your plate that it’s hard to enjoy much of anything. What’s my suggestion then? Just add BACON. No, I’m not suggesting bringing in actual pork slices to work (although I’m also not saying you shouldn’t do that either).
But what can you wrap around your work, that you love? Can you play your favorite music as the kids come into class and as they leave the room? Can you adapt a math lesson to integrate your love for your show favorite TV show? How many square feet comprise the John Dutton farm anyway? Maybe your bacon is knitting. I’ll bet there are a few special kids who would love to stay after school and learn from you. Maybe your bacon is your love for God. The fourth Wednesday of September is always “See you at the Pole” or perhaps you can volunteer with your schools’ Fellowship of Christian Athletes group, or maybe start one if your school doesn’t have one yet. Study after study affirms for us that one of the most important qualities of effective teaching is “Passion.” Are you feeling passionate? If your lessons or sessions aren’t quite as exciting as they used to be or that you hoped that they would be, that’s understandable. But we aren’t robots or A.I.. We are humans with the unique ability to synthsize the things we love with aspects of our work that aren’t quite as thrilling as they used to be or as we might want them to be. For those of you who feel like you are at the top of your game, maybe personalizing your already strong content/delivery helps you take that next step to go from good to great. Wherever you are at right now, I’d encourage you to make a quick list of the five things that are most exciting for you in your life right now – those things are your “bacon.” How can you confidently integrate one or two of them into your daily grind this week or moving forward? Hey, maybe it’s as simple as bringing a picture of your grandkids or your fur babies and setting it on your desk. Maybe it means sharing some of your experiences or passions with your students. Maybe it means re-designing your guidance lesson on emotional regulation with expressive music therapy techniques. Whatever it looks like, I believe that adding bacon has the strong potential to improve your mood at and about your work, and help make you significantly more effective as well. In case you missed it, the point is this – Just add BACON.
- Dr. Rick Albright