Week 25: If I could just surrender…

This week I surrendered to teaching. With my big observation next week, report cards almost due, and the talent show around the corner, this week was packed. Then there was that two hour non-profit interview about my residency experience, a few more parent phone calls, and all my regular responsibilities, like actually planning, teaching, organizing, making copies.

Thursday morning I awoke from a dream where I was presenting my lesson for my observation to an auditorium full of 500 squirmy children, including a rowdy bunch of high-schoolers who entered and exited in the middle of everything. Oddly, I made it through the entire lesson, step by step, and opened my eyes with the feeling that if I could teach under those conditions, then I’d be fine in real life with the dreaded rubric.

As if it weren’t enough that I couldn’t escape my job while sleeping, Thursday turned out to be all around intense. Good old Maniac Magee had one of his most challenging days yet, (which always means ten other children also have urgent needs arise simultaneously). To make everything more fun, at the very peek of all the excitement, a herd of observers, possible donors as I later found out, headed straight for my door. Fortunately I was able to mouth the words, “We’re kind of in the middle of an emergency,” to my principal before they descended on my classroom.

Needless to say, I have been thinking a lot about what makes my job stressful and why sometimes I am able to manage it better than others. In the last seven days I have been told by three separate people that I am a saint. I assure all interested parties that I am not. But, I would really like to be. I’d like to always be calm, collected, loving no matter what is happening around me. Sometimes I am closer to this than others.

This week I accepted teaching as my entire life. I surrendered. I admit, I put up a fight on Tuesday, and felt miserable for it, but by Wednesday afternoon I accepted that things like afterwork yoga in an actual studio just weren’t going to happen. And, once I stopped fighting it, everything felt a lot better, minus a few minutes yesterday when I thought my head might explode because everyone needed my attention and I just wanted to curse.

See, definitely not a saint.

Which brings me to now, Friday night. I left work later than usual, went to a meeting, still have work to do this weekend, but I feel at peace. I’ve surrendered. If only I could always surrender. I almost wish I did not have such a deep-rooted desire to write books. If I could just teach, or at least just teach during the year and ignore book writing until my breaks, I think I could be a more relaxed human being… Half the reason I fight 11 hour days at school is because I am so anxious to get home and work on my writing. My nagging need to produce words won’t go away.

This all leads me to you, kind reader. I must know. Do you surrender to one passion at a time or chase everything at once?

Today, a student gave me the most sincere letter of my teaching career, which will now live proudly on my home desk with the school bus, a humorous gift from a friend with me at the wheel. My heart is in it. So, why do I still need to do five things at once.

Today, a student gave me the most sincere letter of my teaching career, which will now live proudly on my home desk with the school bus, a humorous gift with me at the wheel. My heart is in it. So, why do I also need to be a published writer?

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6 thoughts on “Week 25: If I could just surrender…

  1. kingmidget says:

    Once again, you’ve struck the nail on the head. This is the greatest challenge of my life. The difference between you and I is that you enjoy (for the most part) what your profession is these days. I don’t. I want to run screaming from what it is I do for a living, but have no choice as it pays the bills and I’m essentially the sole breadwinner for my ungrateful family. But, for far too long, I’ve tried to chase everything and for much of the past year, it has resulted in somewhat of a paralysis on a lot of different fronts. It’s all part of the attitude change I’ve tried to put in place this year. More accepting. Not surrendering. Trying to find the glimmers where I can, the opportunities where they are, and accept that I can’t work full-time, learn the saxophone, enhance my vegetable garden, write a great novel and short stories, bake bread every day, open a pizza place, and breathe all at the same time. And that really pisses me off. 🙂

    • oliviaobryon says:

      It pisses me off too. I want to be a yogi, teacher, novelist, traveler… The list goes on, I assure you. There’s not enough time to be everything, which I think I need to stop fighting and accept.

      • kingmidget says:

        Accept … The worst word in the English language. But one that can mean not driving oneself crazy.

  2. Just as all children would benefit from your inspired teaching, your gifted writing demands the widest possible audience, so never surrender that goal to publish.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Thanks Pat, kind words to receive from an amazing writer. I won’t surrender completely. I just need to figure out how to be alright with the fact that sometimes I can’t work on books. 🙂

  3. Covetotop says:

    I always try to surrender to the state of flow … 😉

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