Checking in…

I’d rather be reading “The Yellow Wallpaper,” but I need Mia to GET OFF MY BACK, so I’m posting. Honestly, she’s right. Not only do we have an agreement, I need to write and sort through all of what’s been happening lately. Well, I’ll attempt to sort through some of this. And even more honestly, this may not be much a sort-through kind of entry. It may be more of a let’s just report in and see where this goes. I don’t know that I have the mental or physical energy. So much happening, and I seem to be flaring. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s due to all the stress. I think I handled it better while in Austin, because it wasn’t right in my face. There wasn’t anything to do there, like there’s all kinds of stuff to be done here: hospital visits, and lesson plans, and 5 am wake-ups, and 6 am drop offs, and on…and on…and on. All I could do in Austin was attend panels and talk scholarship and inundate myself in moments with lovely friends. Here, I’ve returned to reality and juggling ALL THE ADULT THINGS, and I’m already pooped. Of course, some of this might be an earlier wake-up than I planned and a 3-hour drive – which isn’t even a bad drive, but it’s still being alert while on the road.

So, it’s back in the saddle again come tomorrow, and I hope I’m ready. I do feel a little calmer now that I’ve planned out the rest of the poetry unit and have started writing the Holocaust unit. Once I get that done, I know I’ll feel a million times better.

My anxiety reared its ugly head this weekend. Well, it reared its ugly head multiple times in multiple ways, but I think almost crying while walking around the book exhibit was probably the worst. I mean, I’m in my heaven on earth – book land – and I couldn’t decide which booth to visit or what books to peruse. Last year was delicious. I walked, slowwwwwwly, up and down each aisle, checking out the selections and spending way too much money as I’m wont to do when it comes to books. Not so this go round. I walked back and forth several times just trying to figure out what book I was remotely interested in finding: I was thinking of topics and authors and novels I want to work with, and my mind went into one of its tailspins. One of my amazing friends was there, and he was so calm and alright with me bouncing around like an indecisive jackrabbit. Man, aren’t friends awesome? I kept apologizing, and he kept telling me, “no problem” as in “really, my friend, you don’t need to say ‘I’m sorry’ for any reason.” Anyway, I breathed, and pulled what little of my shit together I could, bought two books: one I came across and one I’d been trying to find. To be fair, I’d purchased four books from the MLA Publications booth out front that had the majority of the books I’d already planned to get, but I was really anticipating walking around, acquiring swag, and discovering new things to read. You know what a big part of it was? I couldn’t even conceptualize when I’d have the TIME (or energy) to read these fabulous resources. When do I have time to do anything? My schedule is ridiculous, and each time I think I’ve found a new allotment of free time, I simply discover I put down one thing only to pick up another. It wasn’t until the therapist laid it out that I realized I put down graduate school after finishing my MA program only to pick up an adjunct position. That, coupled with teaching new books/a new grade/curriculum plus the adjuncting (I made a word!) is fairly equivalent, even in manpower hours only, to the time I spend not at home doing stuff for my family or myself. How did I not connect those dots myself? Granted, I’ve always been more micro- than macrocosmic, but I kept asking myself “where is my time going? Why do I have so little of it? Why am I still working so much all the time?” So, I’d been asking myself the question, but couldn’t reason through the answer. Yea, as my therapist said, “You must be stressed and overwhelmed if you couldn’t connect those dots.”

This post has been quite self-involved, but I’m really not ready to write about my stepdad-in-law possibly staring eye-to-eye at the end of his life, so I’ll be okay with only discussing myself for this post. His…sigh…outcome, is tucked away, and I’m just really not ready to pull it out and examine it. Instead, I will end this post with the moment where Caleb, after pottying, couldn’t wait to love on me, and before washing his hands asked for a kiss, Eskimo, and hug. God, I love that kid. He gives me such joy.

Next time, I’ve got to share what love looks like. One of my other wonderful, kind, and loving friends and I were discussing how well our men love us – and how the day-to-day wasn’t what we knew beforehand to even want (I mean so much of the true expressions of love are a far cry from the candyland romance is presented to be in the movies) and are now so thankful to have.

 

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