[Speaking of chaos, in my last post I dared to fly the bird at the week I’d had. “BIG mistake. BIG. HUGE.” (That was my homage to Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. I love that movie.) Why do I tempt the Fates, challenge the status quo, complain and moan, and in general set myself up to teach myself that things usually can get worse??? Why, oh why, do I do this? Well, I suppose I am a little like Tangy T but not as smart as Wendy, and I’m a BULLHEADED asshat. I sure am. After my last post, I mean RANT, I made a real mess of some very important and delicate things. I will spare you the gory and unnecessary details. (You’re welcome.) I made a couple bad choices. I procrastinated on a project that I really, REALLY needed to nail. I drove five hours one way to watch my daughter’s cheerleading team compete, only to have a fender-bender and get a ticket for said wreck, ONE BLOCK from the convention center, missed her performance, and then drove five hours back home. I lost two students’ book reports – yep, LOST THEM, and then I had to fess up and ask them to forgive me and to do another (albeit modified) book report. I wracked up a late fee at the video store, dang it! Basically, I topped the week that I claimed deserved the BIRD. Wah, wah, wah… okay, crying about it doesn’t help. Maybe a couple bottles of wine will do the trick… Hmmmm…. Might be worth a shot! Who’s in???]
If you aren’t a teacher, you may be rolling your eyes right now, thinking (quite sarcastically, I’m sure) “poor woman… gets holidays and summers off, only works from 8-3 every day… POOR THING.” If you are a teacher, you know just how much I’d like to punch the crap out of anyone who’s thinking that. A for instance: I was at one of the kids’ activities this week and made the comment that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. An oh-so-wise woman (sarcasm intended) looked me right in the eye and basically called me a whiner, “Don’t you teach? You get off everyday at 3. Maybe you need a lesson in time management.” Now, she may have been trying to be positive and remind me how good I have it. (I do know I have a pretty doggone good gig, by the way.) Maybe she was trying to break up my pity party. Maybe she was. I wasn’t thinking in those terms in the instant that came out of her mouth, though, and it took everything in me NOT to set her straight (meaning punch the crap out of her). If you are a teacher, you know that your work day begins WAY before the bell rings in the morning and usually ends sometime after your own kids are in bed. If you are a teacher, you know that grading (especially as a high school English teacher) NEVER ends, and you know that your mind never really shuts off in terms of coming up with ideas, assignments, projects, and strategies to improve your teaching and help your students learn more. (If, however, you know how to shut this off, I’d really like to have that installed as an option! I never want to totally shut it off, though, because I find that some of what works best for me and is best for my students comes at the most inopportune or random times. Every now and then, though, it might be nice to shut it off for just a bit…) We work 50+ hours a week all school year long, and THAT’s why we get our summers and breaks off!
ANYWAY, the end of a semester is one of those times when I (and every other teacher) want an Easy Button, for sure. It’s a time of last-minute scrambling so kids can get their grades up, test writing and grading, essay grading, catching up, planning for next semester, and just wrapping everything up. It’s an exciting time, too, because there is the prospect of starting fresh in just a few weeks, but it’s still a few weeks away and I’m thankful for that. All of that adds up to Teacher-itis, for which there is no cure but time and the pulling up of the big-girl panties, shaking off the funk, and just DEALING with it with a smile and an appreciation of the fact that we’re half-way to SUMMER break!
After writing and re-reading these, the teacher in me just has to come out for a moment. (Humblest apologies.) I would like for you to focus on goals 3 and 4 for just a moment. Your assignment, then, is as follows: In 1-2 detailed paragraphs, and keeping in mind that there are no right or wrong answers this time, explain to me how these goals might apply in your own life. Are they or are they not in line with your year-end goals? How?
I’ll kick this Teacher-itis, I’m sure of it. And I’ll do it in time to enjoy the holidays: my kids, my family, the amazing food, and the time away from work. COFFEE chicks and anyone else reading this, I wish you the same: that you can kick your own “– itis” and that you are able to truly ENJOY yourself, however it is and whatever it is that you celebrate! I wish you laughter – at yourself and others! I wish you peace – in your own heart & mind, with your past & your present, and with those around you! I wish you time – for solitude & reflection and with those you love the most! Basically, I wish you the COFFEE-est Christmas ever!