Life is crazy right now. Since the school year started, I have had only one full day to actually sit at my desk and work. The rest of the time I am visiting teachers, meeting with principals, planning PDs (Professional Development) with teammates, presenting PDs to teachers, and somehow trying to fit in all my paperwork stuff in between it all. My work calendar is so full that I only have ONE open day in September! And today I got a request for 5 different dates in September. There. Is. No. Way. One of my supervisors has encouraged us to schedule an hour or two each week for some reflection. I think that’s awesome and needed and wonderful. But I don’t have the TIME! I’ve been offered the opportunity to attend a training in San Antonio over my fall break. I don’t have to, of course; I get a fall break as a teacher. But it’s something I want to go to. But I was going to use fall break to catch up on writing. Sigh. Oh, yeah, writing.
I haven’t written a word since late July. At night, I sit and open a manuscript and stare at it, and then decide I’m too tired to write anything, and close it and lurk around Facebook. Thankfully, I’ve had two publications this month: one on Patheos, and one in the St. Katherine Review. I planned to have Draft 1 of my spiritual memoir done by December. Yeah. Right.
And to top off this uber-self-centered-woe-is-me post, I haven’t seen my husband since July 4. Okay, well, I’ve seen him. But volleyball started in earnest the second week of July, so he’s been in coach mode for a couple of months now. I feel like I’m in single mom mode. Steven and I mostly communicate via email and text. If he makes it home before the kids go to bed, it’s a luxury. Yes! I have someone to help me put the kids down! We make an less-than-impressive effort to have a conversation before we both collapse into sleep.
Yet somehow, in all this chaos, I feel like things are overall less stressful than they were last year at this time. I handle things better, am more calm, and expect a little less of myself (and hopefully, of everyone else). There are bright stars among the busy days: Ephraim received a positive note from his teacher, Madeleine finished reading her first “big” chapter book (no more skimpy Junie B. Jones books!), both kids come home happy. Ephraim seems happier in kindergarten than he was in preschool. Madeleine is excited about starting piano lessons next week. A friend from church sent a lovely card, paper icon of the Theotokos, and donation for the adoption (and prayers!). I love my new team at work, and I receive so much appreciation and encouragement from my supervisors. I spent an evening with girlfriends; I saw a movie with my mom; I had a date night with Steven; I’ve enjoyed some late night (okay, early night) talks with my sister-in-law.
These quiet gems, these anchors in a windstorm of busyness. Things to be thankful for.