I am usually a positive, happy person. I’ve been told that I’m always smiling and pleasant. I’ve been called Little Miss Sunshine and been accused of having the sun shining out of my ass. But lately I’ve not been myself. I knew that I was struggling, but I didn’t realize how much it was affecting me and Candied Jansen.
It started about a month ago. I blogged about starting my masters in library science and then dropping out a couple of weeks later. I think that was the beginning. Seeing the workload for school-school and combining that with the workload at work-school was overwhelming. I realized when I looked at all of it that I wasn’t even interested in teaching kids anymore, but I had no idea how I could do anything else. I’m still not sure how it looks.
Right now I teach in a low income school where kids are hard. I’ve always loved the staff and when days and weeks and kids are hard, the staff is great at being supportive and helpful. But even that isn’t enough anymore. I talked to a retired elementary principal the other day about it, and one of the things she said was that when you teach in a low income school like mine, you can only do it for so long before you burn out. She said her experience was about 5 years. This is my 5th year there. I feel completely depleted…like I have very little more to give. I was talking to one of the new teachers at the school on Thursday. She said that she was working with the lowest group of kids she had ever seen. She was used to about 4 or 5 kids in a classroom of 20 being low, but at our school it is the opposite. We might have 4 or 5 kids that are on or above level. Every other child is below grade level. Part of me wonders if I would be fine teaching in another school or district. Would that solve my problem? Or do I need to just do something else altogether? I still don’t know.
Because of the stress of school, I kind of checked out of life somewhat. I didn’t even realize I was doing it. I started reading a series of books by Hugh Howey called Wool, Shift, and Dust. Then I read The Selection, The Elite, and The One by Kiera Cass. So 6 books in a week or so. All great dystopian fiction by the way. All taking my mind off of school and stress.
During this time, I also got sick. It started as a little cold that I thought I had fought off. A couple of days later, I had a sinus infection. I tried to go to the doctor and was told my doctor no longer accepting my insurance plan. I could pay $180 out of pocket and have a checkup and a sick visit in one. Ugh! No thanks! So tired, sick, and frustrated.
And this brings me to Candied Jansen. I complained and whined and was generally not very nice. I wasn’t my best self at all. I didn’t focus on our relationship or her and that makes me sad. We even went out to have a nice 1 year anniversary meal together and while I totally appreciated the effort, I couldn’t really taste the food and that made me even more frustrated!
I spent this past Wednesday night at Candied Jansen’s place. When I woke up Thursday morning, I realized what I had been doing. I had missed out on moments with her despite the fact that we were together. I hated that! I couldn’t wait to see her and make up those moments. I went to her son’s birthday party on Saturday and just enjoyed being with her. Saturday night, we had dinner together and went out for drinks. I cried over every little thing, but it was so needed. I hadn’t cried much over the stresses, and it all came flooding out. Poor Candied Jansen! She was perfect and sweet and realized that it didn’t matter what we were talking about, I was probably going to cry about it.
And then today, we went grocery shopping and cooked some meals for this week. It was a busy day, but we got to spend it together. I loved it.
I can’t wait until we are living under the same roof. Stressful days will still come and I will still get cranky, but I will have a chance to fix my attitude immediately. I am so thankful for Candied Jansen. She is amazing and wonderful. I can’t say enough good things about her. She is so perfect for me.