Well, ok, it’s 12:31, but close enough.
I came home yesterday afternoon, and just felt like every last ounce of life had been sucked from me. Stuff on my mind includes:
- One daughter trying to purchase a car, not because she wants to, but because the insurance company of the guy who slid into her car is forcing her into. They say her car is “too damaged” and won’t accept a different estimate she’s gotten. They want the car totaled out, so my daughter is looking at cars, not knowing many of the things that go into it. We’ve been talking, texting, and emailing, but it’s not the same as being there.
- My other daughter texts this morning saying that the roommates she thought she had bailed on her, wanting to live with “someone they knew.” Our daughter had been in communication with this group since November and had planned on signing a lease in a couple of weeks. She’s grown up a lot since high school (and fairly awful experiences, friendship-wise) but this hurts all the same.
- I’m feeling as ineffective as I ever have in my ability to build relationships. I don’t feel confident in myself as a person or teacher right now. A teacher I follow talks about a “vibe” she gets with her students. I’m not feeling that. Not. At. All. This is a concern for a guy who values the relationship part of teaching above all else.
- My wife has been working a second job because she’s feeling like her teaching job isn’t making enough money. She’s not getting paid for 12 years of Head Start experience because they weren’t in a “school”. She quit that job today because it was just causing her undue stress. 13 hour days can do that.
So I came home from another long day at school, another in what seems like an endless stream of long days, and slept for an hour and a half. I know I should have gotten on the treadmill, I should have walked somewhere, but I just couldn’t. And now, I can’t sleep. So I write.
I write to clear my head. But I worry. I’m wrapped in my fuzzy robe I got for Christmas, with my hood up. My family says I look like a Sith Lord, and right now, I feel like drawing from the Dark Side. I know I need to look at the positives out there, but drawing from that dark energy seems easier, more powerful, and scarier.
But I also know so many of my students come from dark places. Places where there’s constant fear, anger, arguing, abuse, jealousy, and hunger. All of those things will lead a person down a path that’s hard to come back from and I see it in my students. We’ve had physical altercations, racist statements, vaping, bullying, and harassment. They are SIXTH graders. This is why I’m so bone tired. But that’s why I can’t give in to those “Damnit, I’ll be the ugly, angry teacher in class and that will quiet them down,” because, first, it won’t, and that’s what a lot of them go home to and expect from adults. Angry and ugly. They need us at our best, to show them a glimpse of what “normal” looks like!
This is why I have to keep drawing my energy from bright places. Many of your blogs keep me focusing on those things I can control. For all my worries about my family, those stressors are fleeting. My daughters and wife will find their way. I will find my way as well. As I think about the blessings around me, from the basics of a roof over my head to the fact I faced down two major health scares with very little damage to the fact I can sit here at 1:15 in the freekin’ morning and write down my thoughts: There are many things to be grateful for.
It’s easy to be drawn into the negative, especially when the positives seem so few and far between. That’s why I carry my little notebook, to keep track of those little things, the things that do make a difference. And that’s why I look for positives in my reading, in the experiences I look for, and the relationships I build. If I can draw from those, I will be ok.
And just like that, I’m tired and am yawning constantly now.
Thank you for listening. I appreciate your eyes reading my feelings, allowing me that chance to come to my own “it will be ok” moment.
Now, get some sleep. The world needs you at your best! 🙂