It's been a hard week. At the end of each day I have felt equal parts exhausted, exasperated, and discouraged. I don't know where the discouragement is coming from (well that's not quite true; the discouragement is coming from feeling exasperated), but I do know the exasperation has to do with my efforts to clean the house amidst the child-sized tornadoes that keep the house in a constant state of chaos. All week I have been working to clean the house. It's Friday. The house still isn't clean.
The exhaustion is from working so hard to come up with answers for Sydney. "Why can't I eat chocolate for lunch?" Because, I say. I explain it to her, once, in patient tones. She says, "But I want to." No, you can't. But I want to.
I could ignore her, except she'll keep repeating the same thing over and over until I satisfactorily remedy the situation.
I try to change the topic, divert her attention, send her to her room, walk out of the room myself. Sometimes the tricks work. Sometimes they don't. However it turns out, even five minutes later I'm exhausted just trying to keep up with the answers. (And while I usually welcome advice--because goodness knows so many of you have 'been there, done that'--I just want to vent right now. You're very thoughtful to try to help, though.)
Also this week I have discovered a great number of my students--who are all nice and polite and mild mannered--are a somber, serious group. Usually around this time in the semester they start to warm up, giving me that much needed spark of joy that I get from teaching. It's different this semester. They don't laugh at my jokes. They don't ask questions. They just do their assignments, don't complain, say thank you at the end of class, and go on their merry way. It's all very easy, of course, except that for some reason all this distant politeness wears me down.
Add to this a good dose of personal drama that has to go unexplained due to all sorts of reasons, and I'm just worn out. Really, it's the drama that has magnified the other problems. I'd hardly care about the house except that I try to clean as a measure of working through some frustrations, and when I can't keep the house clean--this small area of which I am desperately seeking some control--my head starts spinning. Almost literally, in fact. Last night, though I was weary and exhausted, I couldn't close my eyes because every time I did the world started spinning. After a few seconds I'd be so dizzy I'd have to open my eyes.
While I usually feel better after a good rant, it's hard for me these days because all I keep thinking about it how I should be counting my blessings. I place a high value on perspective, but sometimes all that perspective gets in the way of me having a good cry. I want to cry, but then that little voice says, "Do you know what other people are going through? What on earth do you have to cry about?" If I'm to be honest with myself, I have nothing significant to cry about. I know the sorrows that other people endure, sorrows so much heavier than my own, so the sob gets stuck in my throat and I put on a brave face and try to focus on joy and peace. I feel like I did so many years ago when I broke a favorite plate the day after 9/11. Part of me wanted to cry and cry over this small loss, but I couldn't let myself cry knowing that a far larger loss had just shaken our nation.
Sometimes I hate perspective. Especially when I'm feeling discouraged, exasperated, and exhausted, and all I really want to do is cry.
(c) 2008 by Creature Bug. All rights reserved.