I’ve been stressed out. I mean, stressed out to the point at which I’m pretty sure that my coworkers have looked into my crazy eyes and blanched at the mere imagining of whatever I was about to tell them about my newest woes and worries.
I’ve spent a day and a half in meetings this week, while attempting to put together a camping trip for teenagers. Or, more accurately, trying to make them put it together for themselves because I don’t have time. I attended a retirement party for a lovely lady, and it was beautiful, but I was tired and had a hard time feeling truly relaxed while I was there (although the fact that pretty much every person who has the power to fire me was in the room may have also had something to do with that).
One of my foreign students had her last day of school today, and I didn’t buy doughnuts like I wanted to because I forgot and came straight to school this morning. But she’s a sweetie, and when her guardian brought doughnuts to school (God is watching out for me and mine!), my student made sure I had a glazed one with coconut. What a girl!
Some of my older students asked me to sign their yearbooks, and I wish I could take it back, but I told them “I’d be happy to, but there’s no way I’ll have time to do it today.” It isn’t like me to put something like that aside (at least not for more than a few minutes), but I did, and now I am sitting here three days later, hoping that their feelings aren’t hurt.
As soon as school was out today I hugged my student goodbye for the last time, searched high and low for a missing item a student left around, traipsed about campus picking up trash and refereeing 6th grade boy contests (I won all of them. Yes. I’m that kind of referee.), met with many parents over issues of varying intensity, and bundled up papers and books for another student who will be gone for a week. Then I asked some straggling 8th graders if anyone had thought to plan for ice on the camping trip, and I was answered with a shame-faced no. Sighing, I added it to my mental list, and got up to go grocery shopping (my most dreadfully dreaded chore) for the ever more closely looming class trip.
But, the people around me, the way–after-school bunch, were laughing and talking and the kids who were giddy on the eve of their 8th grade class trip were just so excited that I had to just stand there and look at them and smile.
There are many reasons that I’ve been anxious and worried, losing sleep and feeling overwhelmed, but it seemed so crazy to me then, just standing there and watching those kids be so excited. Yes, a camping trip with a school group is a lot of work, yes there’s a lot of work I have to do beyond the trip, and no, I don’t know how it’ll all get done in time. But here’s the thing: it’s not the end of the world.
Tomorrow night when I’m sitting around the campfire with my kids I’m sure I’ll be shushing them, but I’ll be laughing with them too. I’m going to enjoy the trip, the time away from the everyday stuff, and the adventures with the meals they’ve planned.
And this weekend I’ll write in their yearbooks, too.