I’ve gotten into smoothies recently. I have a sweet tooth, and I’m finding that smoothies are a very efficient and tasty way to consume fruits and vegetables.

I recently enjoyed a smoothie (recipe below) that was a beautiful pink color, and I found myself digging in the kitchen cabinets in search of a pink metal straw to use while enjoying my pink smoothie.

Ironically, while spending an obnoxious amount of time, searching for a pink metal straw to match my pink berry smoothie, I also found myself thinking, “There is not enough time in the day. Where does the time go?”

Certainly, there is a Marie Kondo lesson in this story about tidying up. There is also a big time lesson in privilege.

And finally, a lesson on prioritizing our energy.

It really did not matter if my straw matched my smoothie. Sure, I’m embarrassed to admit that it felt like it mattered at the time. I thought that it would “spark joy” and help me enjoy my smoothie more, but it certainly didn’t need to be the focus of my energy. What was most important was that my smoothie was enjoyable, and it was nourishing and just what I needed on a hot July day.

There’s a lot about school and the world that we can’t control right now. It can be tempting to try to control the small stuff. But we are better served by focusing on how we spend our energy. For some of us, depending on our life circumstances, this will be easier than for others.

When it comes to our thought-lives about school, we can focus on kids and relationships with kids. Whether it’s online or in-person, kids won’t remember colorful bulletin boards or web designs. They won’t remember perfectly executed activities nor will they care whether we covered every state standard.

Kids will remember how adults responded to them and to the world around us. They will remember how we made them feel. Kids will remember whether they felt safe, seen, capable, supported, and celebrated. They will remember if they were allowed to be human, and if we were human too. They will remember whether they felt like they could trust us. They will remember whether they felt like they belonged. They will remember whether they felt like they mattered and whether it felt like what they were learning mattered. In times such as these, they will remember whether we were reasonable and flexible with our expectations.

Kids will remember whether we enjoyed our time together.

Kids will remember whether we grew together.

Online or in-person, I hope to be so deeply focused on listening to others and on my relationship with myself, that I hardly notice the small stuff like if my straw matches my smoothie or whether someone likes me or my work. I hope to be so focused on contributing that everything else is just noise.

But it can’t hurt to get a bit more organized too.

Harley Pasternak’s Energy Booster Smoothie

1/2 cup of water

3/4 cup of frozen raspberries

2 dates, pitted

1 cup of frozen chopped mango

3/4 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Juice of lime (optional)

4 ice cubes, blend until desired consistency. Add more water if you need to thin the smoothie out further. Enjoy with or without a pink metal straw.

For more of Harley Pasternak’s recipes, click here to check out his cookbook.