Going back to school following summer break has been an exercise in positivity. Imagine seven glorious weeks where your entire life is in your control. Write whenever you want, do yoga whenever you want, visit friends and family whenever you want… Okay, maybe that is my vision of freedom, not yours, but you get the idea.
Then, suddenly, your life belongs to thirty (deserving) children once again. It’s like the ultimate post-vacation hangover, because you aren’t just lamenting a week or two passing, you’re letting go of what has become a habit-forming, newly-adapted lifestyle. You get a really good taste of freedom and then it’s gone, and when I say gone, I mean welcome to one of the most draining, time-consuming-yet-equal-parts-rewarding jobs on the planet.
But, this is the real life of a writer and human being, bills need to be paid, and other passions need to be fed, which in my case, means teaching children, at least for the time being. Eight weeks into my return to the classroom, I find it hard to believe an entire “summer” has passed since my cherished seven weeks ended. Overall, I have adjusted and am finally getting back into my groove, but I still miss the freedom.
Accordingly, when I saw another blogger generously share her idea (and image!) for Thankfulness Thursdays leading up to Thanksgiving, I had to jump in. I know gratitude is one of the healthiest fixes for the soul, or at least for mine. Accordingly, a quick list of this week’s gratitude highlights:
1. Monday, Career Day for spirit week, a little girl comes in dressed in jeans and a cardigan. “So, what career are you modeling?” I ask, skeptical she might be taking advantage of the day to wear whatever she wants, instead of her regular uniform. “I’M YOU! You always wear these sweaters!” she exclaims, tugging the sleeve of her sweet, little teal cardigan, very proud of herself. Talk about heart melted! (And, yes, I may have a cardigan obsession.)
2. Unwired Wednesday. After a state of near tech burnout Tuesday night, I decided Wednesday would be computer-free afterwork. 5PM, I shutdown my laptop and did not look back– a glorious return to hot yoga after two weeks of finding excuses, delicious dinner with the husband, and the second episode of Downton Abbey’s newest season. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G how the simplest evening can feel so good. Thinking Unwired Wednesdays might become a tradition.
3. Today marks four working days until my week-and-a-half fall break. Looking forward to sending out my query letters, celebrating my three-year wedding anniversary in wine country, attending Hardly Strictly Bluegrass with my much-missed Bay Area friends, and spending time with my mom in Mt. Shasta. As much as teaching can wear me down, I am also incredibly grateful it fluctuates between busy and freedom. Going back to a life with only 3 weeks off a year seems unthinkable, (unless, of course, I’m writing novels…).
So, what are you most grateful for today? Feel free to jump on the Thankfulness Thursday bandwagon and borrow Ashley’s lovely graphics.
Above all, here’s to being healthy and alive!