My most satisfying days are spent with my head in the clouds, lost in the thought of what am I going to write next? It is one way to use my awake even when sleeping internal thoughts for something productive. A day in the clouds is a good day indeed.
In the last two months I have had very little of this sensation. I have been right on the ground, deeply invested in reality. I have been in the trenches doing hard work that I only hope is shaping hearts and minds of our youth, although I have my doubts. However, it has been hard for me to spend so much time on the ground. My moments in the clouds are few and I long for them to increase.
I see more than ever now what a luxury it is to have the time and more importantly the energy for such moments. The majority of my energy is directed towards the roughly 150 students I interact with on a daily basis. 150 hopes and dreams. 150 sensitive learners. 150 futures. 150 names called out for attendance every day. 150 eyes and ears (times 2) that will hopefully absorb a thing or two I say and see that it has value. 150 opinions. 150 teenagers with a strong sense of justice. 150 versus 1.
I am so thankful to have this work so please don’t misinterpret me to be a cynical teacher. It is just that from time to time I’m shocked at how much of myself goes into this job. It comes at a cost, as all meaningful work does. That cost is my creative drive and little bits of my sanity. Who needs those little extra bits of sanity anyway? They were just there to give me the impression that I am in control. A laughable conclusion.
This is what I would call my first real working adult lull. My desire to be wide eyed with wonder has been usurped by the real demands of my every day life. Instead of having ample space in my life for the things that bring me peace and joy, I am required to seek them out. I must make time for beauty, for silence, for music, for prayer, for recreation or I will sink into submission under my work and duties and time wasted vegging out. My work and duties must still be accomplished, but I don’t intend to do them as a vapid servant, obeying their will.
This is more of a challenge then I care to admit. It means taking an initiative that I don’t naturally come by as the youngest of 4 children. It means listening to my husband when he tells me I need to get out more. It means leaving work and committing to running or walking before or after dinner. It means listening to music instead of watching television. It means investing myself in the people in front of me instead of ‘investing’ my time on Facebook. It means praying more than ever.
This is who I want to be. I feel I am far from it right now. You see, the deceptively dark side of my internal thoughts are the parts that say ‘Stay put, you deserve another break,’ or ‘There is nothing you can do about this feeling of restlessness’ and worse of all ‘This is as good as it is going to get. Don’t even try to make it any better.’ These are lies. I give into these lies far too often.
I am resolving to welcome an early springtime. I have just enough courage to do so.