I should include a photo of the dining room table in my house, but we don’t really know each other that well yet. Perhaps later, after we’ve shared more about each other and become best friends.
I am about to embark on a life change. I prefer to describe it as a new adventure moving down a different path in life. However one labels it, it is very scary, and yet so exciting I can hardly find my focus.
On my dining room table is the official letter separating me from my employer in less than a month. It lays out the deal I willingly entered into in April to leave a place I’ve worked for 13 years. Being a teacher in an urban district is very challenging and very frustrating. Most of the time its the adults in the lives of my students that cause me to want to rip my hair out. The kids? They just exhaust me with their neediness, their wanting of love and security, their hardness at an early age to life around them. They live in neighborhoods that most of you would NEVER go into, streets that look like something you’d see in bombed out cities somewhere else than America. They know what to do if they hear any sudden, loud noise that sounds like a gunshot. I love them, but I need a break. I’m burned out and decided this might be the time to get out, for a little while anyway.
Now I find myself with a sea of empty days in front of me that stretch beyond August. Catch is, of course, I’m going to have to find some way to make a buck and I will. That will be all part of the adventure. Now I find myself confronting all the things that get left undone in a two income earning family. I might actually make meals for my husband and daughter. I have no excuses for a house that is not at least passably clean – all of you know what I’m talking about. When you are embarrassed to even have your best friends over, you know you better spend a precious Saturday morning cleaning the bathrooms and vacuuming up the dog hair.
It is easier to be creative about meals with extra time during the day to think about what is in the house and what you can do with it. I don’t mind carting my teen around so much when I haven’t been taxed by breaking up two fighting girls or being cussed at during the school day.
I’m interested in how others stay focused and accomplish daily chores while finding the discipline to be creative and be themselves. I haven’t done this in a long time – last time I was jobless I had two young children. I’m at a different place in life but still feel a bit overwhelmed by the free time. So please share any ideas or hints you may have, they would be much appreciated.
Now, I may just be able to go downstairs and clean off the table.