Afternoon naps can wait.
What was to be a quick recharge became a REM nightmare. I woke up out of a nap…a nap…in an anxiety attack.
It was terrifying. Sweating, pulse racing, fighting nausea, and trying to figure out where I was. After a few frightening seconds I came to my senses and reflected back on the nightmare I got locked into.
I was back home. Living on scraps behind the local Subway. I had lost everything, even a motivation to live. All I cared about was life once upon a time, my undying joy of fried foods, and the reality in the middle of winter that I had nowhere to live.
That’s the dumbest, most trivial thing that I could be scared of. However, heading into the school year…I’m having fun. I’m challenged, I’m laughing, and my wife is happy because of it.
That’s a life I’m terrified to lose.
I will not go back into that darkness.
I will not.
I’ve spent more time laying across a couch today then most of the summer. It’s my acknowledgement that indeed my vacation is over.
Tomorrow is filled with laundry, cleaning, and finally midweek prep work. Friday, by contrast, I officially report back to school. Being a new teacher I’m required to go through a week of orientation, tech sessions, etc…Afterwards I’ll have a few days in the building with my colleagues, and then before you know it.
I can hear my wife sleeping. She’s been asleep for nearly three hours now. Six hours ago she arrived back into the United States from her first international mission trip. As you could imagine, she’s rather tired. I’ve checked on her a few times, but she’s just sprawled out on the bed, soaking up the air conditioning, and peacefully asleep.
Darco is fast asleep next to me, there’s lightning to the north, and rumbles of thunder along the sky.
My body aches from training today, and I’m having a bit of a problem falling asleep at 2:00 AM.
Life is…kind of fun right now.
I dream about teaching nearly every night, my blood pressure is super low, food is getting cooked in the kitchen, and Darco and I have even planned a summer vacation. Sure, it’s not perfect, we argue, and occasionally there’s stress, but it all keeps working out.
Tonight I found myself apologizing to her for years past. It took time and experience to apologize for being so wrapped up in work over the past three years.
One of the wonderful things about teaching is knowing when your day ends. Yes, it’s plenty stressful, but there’s beautiful life outside of work. I’m blessed to still be young enough to understand that joy is found outside the office. Joy is found with family and friends. It’s found by not stressing about so much that isn’t known, and just embracing the blessing of what is.
It felt nice to confess to my wife that I made the mistake of missing time with her. That’s why lying in bed, typing this out, can be so enjoyable because I can feel her snuggled up close to me, soundly asleep.
No promotions in the world can replicate that sensation.
In one hour I can go from creating a lesson plan for Vacation Bible School, to inserting C++ code for a new beer released by a brewery on their website, to diving into a new novel for my social studies class next year, to heading out for training series on the track.
There’s something to be said about joy of variety.
After Tuesday had fully passed, a day of doing quite literally nothing, the reality began to set in.
I have to find something to do.
The ‘dark one’ is ensuring that I get work done.
It turns out that summer vacation is no longer like the summer of my yesteryears. I wake up around 7:00 AM without even trying to force myself awake. I brew coffee, I access my email, and I start my day. I gladly grab books to read, conversations to finish, posts to edit, and by noon I’m thinking about what my salad is going to look like.
Sweet mother, I truly am acting like an adult.
The reality that I’m learning is that while the summer does mean that teachers don’t report to class, they are still hard at work. Whether that’s increasing their education, decreasing their weight (hehe), or even preparing lessons and reading for the next school year, there’s something that is always needing to be done. I’ve just learned that I thought I could manage one week ‘away’ from all of it, but the fun truth is, it’s too enjoyable to step completely away from. So, for today it’s myself, the dark one, a cup of coffee, reading books, and streamline thoughts.