It’s the last day of school and I am filled with such a sense of relief I can hardly describe it. Perhaps it is not only the reduced workload, or the promise of sunshine and warmth, or the break from repetition and routine, but something more personal, something innocent and long-past.
This is one thing I enjoy about working for a school district. Being near children and getting to see through their eyes and feel their wonder at what has become ordinary and every day in adulthood keeps you young. It keeps you optimistic, excited, and hopeful.
For them, there are only good things on the way. There is nothing of obligation or expectation, the stress of future choices,4 or the regret of choices past—or not so constantly, anyway. Hard things are easily let go of and pain is soothed so simply.
Why do we have to grow up so completely? Why did we let things get so complicated and grim?
When I was a kid I had a lot of doom and gloom surrounding me, but all it took to find my wonder again was to get outside, hop on a bike, find a park, and sit in a pool of sun or shade in the grass. The smell of dirt and plant matter, the light and the warmth, the sound of bees and laughter made the world a place of marvels. In those moments, I felt pure and part of it all.
For the second day in a row I have managed to drag myself out of bed and out to the garage for an early morning workout before heading to work. Day two isn’t much but it’s better than giving up after you barely did anything on day one and made yourself nauseous and had to stop. I think I haven’t been warming up as well as I should but I found a five minute full body warm-up that does the job and can be done two or three times on the cold or particularly groggy days.
The work day was easy. I had more energy than yesterday and made more progress than I have all week. I’m still working half days for now but starting next week I might move up to six. We’re doing our best to stay safe but it’s hard to get anything done when you only have four hours and much it feels like you spend half of them washing your hands and wiping down surfaces.
There are a lot of rumors flying about the next school year. Some are saying that depending on whether there is a spike or surge in Covid-19 cases it’s possible we may not start on time. I’ve heard there are even districts that are thinking of starting early in case we have to shut down again in the winter. There is talk of unpaid furlough days and severe cuts to hours. It’s all very scary but I’m trying to remember that for one, I am one of the lucky few who will be paid no matter whether we shut down again or not, and two, none of this is knowable or within my control so worrying is useless.
Spent the afternoon after work cleaning the house and avoiding social media. I cleaned the kitchen. Made coffee for the rest of the week. Washed our masks. Cleaned out a bag each of waste and trash from the basement and the garage. I’m doing anything I can to to keep myself offline. I’ve seen the videos and read reactions of anger from both sides. I know where I stand but in yet another situation where I feel so powerless and vulnerable I have to step back to keep myself from being overwhelmed by grief, anger, and fear.