Whew. When Paul talks about running the race, I think he had a vision of what the 2020-2021 school year was going to look like.
This was my 15th year in the classroom (I think), and it was the hardest year in many ways. I remember crying quite a bit back in August and September, because of frustration and exhaustion. But then like everything else, the public education world and I found a new normal. One with masks. One with virtual classes and Google Slide documents. A year of continually living out the "old dog, new tricks" scenario.
Admittedly, I have one of the very best jobs on my campus, and I absolutely had it easier than some. My mixed job as both an AVID teacher & school librarian is a very unique position, even in the district. I feel incredibly privileged to have my job. But because it is so unique, it can also feel lonely.
(-Side note-I've had this thought again and again the last few days- to every seeming advantage, there is a flip side. And in order for me to maintain deep empathy, I have to remember that. Whether it is wealth, beauty, power, popularity....there are is always a flip side of heavy responsibility, insecurity, loneliness, etc. that accompanies it.)
Now, as I begin to process our crazy year in the rearview mirror, my job was the least of my worries and hardships. Let's make a quick, simplified list of 20-21, shall we:
Dawson getting covid
Then me getting covid
Then the kids getting covid
Dawson losing his job
Leaving our church
Worst kidney stone of my life
Water pipe busting and seeping through floor
Oh- and all the while, raising 3 teenagers!
I think that about sums it up. At least those are things that are still weighing on my mind and heart. I think that is what coming back to the blog is all about....trying to unload some of these things. Finally.
And it must be noted, that God has reminded me again and again- these are not the worst things. I know that. I totally and completely understand that. We have dear friends and family whose burdens and struggles far exceed and outweigh our own. Honestly, I am in awe of how several of them deal with the hardest things of life; they seem to keep putting one foot in front of the other. And may God continue to strengthen them.
It is my understanding that part of emotional maturity, or maybe just being a grown-up, is finding that fine line between taking the time to really feel and process your emotions and mental junk, while also maintaining perspective and avoiding the Chicken Little thing. Right? Well, if you know me, you know I am a big processer. I like to verbalize or put words to things. Expressing my thoughts and emotions is how I manage them. Transversely, I am married to a "stuffer." Even after 20 years of living with someone like this, I don't understand this approach. Truly. But I know this is another management system. But it is not mine. To maintain some kind of day-to-day functionality, I have to process my thoughts and emotions. If I tried to stuff my big emotions, I'm pretty sure I would explode.
So I think I'll chunk these happenings and mishaps, and blog about them separately. It's too much too tackle in one session.
But I already feel better.