This is a season when more and more I’m noticing the lasts. At least for a long time. Today we had our annual fundraiser kick off at school for 6,7,8th grade choir. Next year…I won’t be the one dealing with it. Next weekend we have Solo and Ensemble contest and so begins the trickle of spring events that are coming my way and the downhill slide towards my sabbatical.
56 more days. That’s really not that many.
I’m already changing gears somewhat. Today I even bought the storage bins to start packing my music stuff up from school. There is a good chance that if and when I do go back to teaching after my sabbatical I may not have the same position as I do now…so I have to bring everything home. After 14 years of teaching…it’s just about as bad as packing up a house. Well not quite…but still a lot. I figured I better start pacing myself and start the process now so it doesn’t feel overwhelming come May.
I’m noticing more and more the decisions that need to be made for next year and the future are not nearly so much on my shoulders and I’m just fine with that.
A coworker asked me just this week if I thought I would be back. I told her honestly, I’m not sure. Realistically…most likely, yes. But…I’m really incredibly open to a wide variety of scenarios that could occur. I’ll have to cross that bridge when I come to it.
The beauty of the decision is that I’m not forced to make it today. I have time.
It won’t be long til spring is here. My last season in school. Already teachers are looking forward to May. I asked a teacher just today how she was doing and she said…”I’ll be better when May gets here.” It’s a common feeling. It doesn’t mean that a teacher is bad if they feel that way…I think it just means that this job is exhausting.
Just today I corralled three classes of students…the last one being about 110 kids to be quiet to listen to the pitch of the fundraiser lady. That sounds easy…unless you’ve actually been the one having to do it.
Next week I’ll start bringing stuff home. This weekend I want to put some finishing touches on my music room at home. And as soon as I can make the front yard/driveway look presentable I want to put a sign out front for lessons. I’m hopeful.
My writing has also taken off in some ways. Oh…I’m not going to say it’s popular or going to bring in any finances. But…I feel like I’ve got several directions to write in right now. And I’m enjoying it. For some people they only want to read one book at a time, or do one task all the way through or write about one thing. For me…I kind of enjoy the variety. So in one moment I’m thinking about my two girls, writing down memories, wisdom and thoughts from my heart on my letters to lead you home blog. In another I’m writing about music and my trade, what I know and can pass on on my going solo blog. On another blog I’m writing about what makes a great story, a well lived life…and I’m enjoying the process because in the writing I’m working through my own story on my blog one life well lived. And on this blog…I’m just tracking stuff that is different and unusual, preparation for a year off.
I mentioned to the fundraiser lady at school today on a break what I’m doing next year and she said…”that whole idea just gives me shivers because it’s so exciting!” Who knew taking a year off could seem that exciting. I didn’t tell her any grand plans that we have or any exotic places we’re going to travel. I just told her that my girls and I were going to be home and take in this last year before Lauren starts college. She has a daughter…she understood the feeling and desire.
So that’s what I’m writing about here…because I know my situation is very unique. I don’t know one other person, one other woman who has done what I’m doing when her children were teenagers. I’m not walking in anybody else’s footsteps, at least as far as I know. I think that’s kind of what I like about it. Blazing my own trail.
In this season of lasts, I want to finish well. I might be back, good chance I’ll be back and I want it to be a good thing for people to see me come back. I want to feel like I have something to contribute that will be missed when I’m gone. I think we all want to feel that way. I also want to finish well just because i know that’s how integrity works. These 8th grade kids are in their last year at middle school and this is a really significant time for them. I want to do it justice. So I will be giving my best right up to the end.
But on the rough days and the moments when I’m overwhelmed, it’s a comfort to know that soon I will be done.