Thursday, March 09, 2017

examination of conscience

Last Wednesday (not yesterday, last week) was Ash Wednesday.  We're already one-sixth of the way through Lent.

I don't think I can adequately express how much I've been struggling lately with managing everything, even though I've certainly complained here about it quite a bit.  But complaining always, always feels wrong, because no one imposed this on me, I took it on myself.

In the last week, reflecting in the way that Lent leads me to, I've been trying to figure out how exactly I got into this mess.  This mess being: teaching 6 different classes, all with new-to-me curriculum (one class, indeed, which I am literally making up as we go along), plus being junior high lead in a new school, all while finishing my non-thesis project so I can finally graduate with my masters degree.  [I have declared my intention and set my defense date, and I've booked the hotel rooms for graduation weekend.  I will graduate this spring.]  Plus, of course, being a wife and a mother and, in  much diminished role, a sister, because I'm no living person's daughter anymore.

I have been crazy-overworked before.  This is not like that.  I love my job, but there is literally too much of it for me to handle on a day-to-day basis.  It is amazing I haven't collapsed yet.  I keep wondering, like the Talking Heads, "How did I get here?"   I realized that math lessons in the beginning of the year are simple, but over the course of the year, they are cumulative.  So back in September, each lesson (I teach 3 different lessons each day) was only one or two pages of notes, but now they are more like three to four.  Back in the first semester, when I volunteered for class #6, I thought, "I got this.  I can do it,"  because I was handling five classes at that point and it was ... manageable.

It never occurred to me to think about how that might change over the course of the school year.   I was in a groove.  "I got this."  A little more?  No problem.  Only, not really.  Really a big problem, a sin I carry around with me all the time in my heart and never admit, and now it's my Cross:


Yes, I'm smart, and quick, and more than competent.  But there are only so many hours in a day, and even though I can function on just a few hours' sleep, that's not an optimal situation for anyone in my life, especially me.

There's nothing for it, now.  Spring break is coming up, and I'm hoping to plan and work ahead to make fourth quarter easier.  I just have to work through this, and I can, and I will -- but the lesson here is to stop and think about over-committing myself in the future.  No matter how good I think I am, at whatever it is, I don't have the kind of control over the space-time fabric of the universe that doing my job, managing my own personal life, and getting enough sleep would require.

I'm feeling weird and knocked down a bit, but the only person that feeling is coming from is me.  I get nothing but support and love from everyone around me, which explains the "weird" part.  How can I feel like I'm in so much trouble when I've never been in such a good place, surrounded by such good people?  It's all on me.

Never to old to learn.

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