Saturday, February 18, 2017

Catch-Up



Hours after a student called me sophisticated and I denied being so--I walk into my home still filled with Christmas decorations. I should have responded to the student: I'm not sophisticated, my Christmas tree is still in the living room window, my fireplace mantel still has a wreath, and other Christmas et cetera still adorns my home.

The worst of it is, I'm too worn out to care.

Life's chores have been parceled into emergency only, ICU, general care, and negligence. Tony is somewhere between general care and who are you? Thank goodness he does laundry, replaces the fire-flickering microwave and takes out the garbage on Tuesday nights.

Even my exercise-always lifestyle has become a twice a week indulgence.

The crazy-busy, unexpected lifestyle came, because my teaching partner had to switch months. I dove into the current event/history unit without adequate preparation. The development and history of terrorism was a new subject. Entirely.

I only have four more days of teaching and then I will play catch up; I will go to yoga class; I will do the laundry; I'll visit my daughter; I will grocery shop and cook dinner; I'll make granola.

I am fully aware of the blessing of playing catch-up and for many people catch-ups are rare. Work weeks are long and weekends can mean more hours at a second job. Catch-up may mean resting one's eyes on a bus ride. During my father's illness, Mom rarely had time to catch-up. Yesterday, while my students watched a film, I sat in the teacher's lounge with a over-burdened teacher whose toddler was scheduled for a second heart surgery in a week.

I remember well the times of unrelenting responsibility: the newborn who didn't sleep the first year, the demands of toddlers before they were old enough for school, a mentally ill acquaintance who called daily. Jobs that were everyday.

The memories magnify my appreciation for the pauses I can take in between the continual, seemingly unending demands. The memories also spur me to give up those first few days of my much needed break to help the teacher, the mother, whose child will have surgery.