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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Adjusting to Change

When you live in the real world, interact with other people and go to a "job" it is hard to retain a state of bliss. I have been cultivating a sea of calm and indifference to the universe outside me for several months. I have done few things I did not want to do. Hours have been spent on yogic asana and meditation, nurturing the peace and acceptance I have grown in my mind, body and spirit but now I have returned to work.

A giant torpedo of responsibilty is threatening my calm. I find myself suddenly with hard choices. Do I put my needs first or do I take care of business? I don't want it to be an either or, rather I wish to strike a balance between multiple loyalties. This is proving very hard for me because I see ESL kids in need and I want to help them all. Kids come to me wanting and needing schedule changes to meet their needs and I am constantly torn between saving my time for myself or taking care of these needs. There is a person being paid to do this work but they are often unavailable, don't know the kids or just don't know where to start. Although I groan at times, these are my kids and it is hard to tell myself that they will be ok without my interventions.

I remember now what may have made me sick in the first place. I always feel so much personal responsibility when it comes to my job and my students. It is really hard to remember all the resolves I have made about drawing boundaries when it comes to the needs of kids. I am also still driven to try to do the job better. I feel guilty about getting to work on time and leaving on time when I know there is more I could be doing. While I resist the idea of working nights and weekends, I feel guilty skipping it when I know how much needs to be done. Even if I tell myself that I need not go above and beyond, there is something inside me that insists that I do need to continue to improve the way I do things.

So how well have I done with addressing my own needs? I think I have done pretty well. Yesterday a naughty kid told me to "Calm down" when I was on their case but instead of letting this rile me, I calmly told him, "I'm calm, I think you need to calm down." He did not even respond but he did quietly go back to his seat, being deprived of the reaction he expected. It seems my inner stillness in the classroom has improved. I know I have improved my diet and caffeine intake and I have also been taking breaks during the day. This does not free me from the compulsion to improve but at least I am not working myself into a state of stress.

Even with my personal improvements I am finding that going back to work is hard. At night I am sore and exhausted. I sink into the couch and I can barely seem to get up. I feel apathetic and even here on a Saturday, the prospect of going out anywhere except to dinner seems like too much.

I think I'm a tad depressed. I am saddened by the prospect of giving so much time to my job. I am more saddened by coming home early and finding my creativity and energy sapped. On Monday I made it to yoga but after that I didn't go again until today. I also haven't refashioned anything in a week and I have not really worked on the memoir for a while either. Last night I could have done both but I found that I couldn't even motivate myself. Once I'm home, I just enter a vegitative state and do very little. It's kind of pathetic but I'm hoping it will pass. I do already realize that many of the things I spent time on during the summer may need to take a rest for a while. Now, if I could just get a little motivated...


Kelly Siobhan said...

Hi! I'm sorry to hear that you are a little depressed. I can totally relate to how you feel responsible for a lot of things and how stressful that can be. Try to take some time for yourself. Thanks so much for all the support you have been offering me lately. I really appreciate it. I am always here to talk if you need to! I hope you don't mind me linking you from my blog. :)
P.S: You write beautifully!

Jen said...

Hi Nadja--

I can't believe I'm up at this hour, but I am. I have a bit of insomnia right now and have been awake since 6. My sleep is completely off, due to no set schedule.

Anyway, please stop beating yourself up over a crazy schedule from which you have every right to be tired. Teachers do one of the most energy-draining, soul-sucking jobs on the planet. And most don't have MS! Anyway...

Peace out--


Denver Refashionista said...

Thanks Kelly. I think I will be ok once things settle down. Thanks for linking me to your blog. BTW, you are also a great writer. I love visiting your blog.

Denver Refashionista said...

Thanks Jen. You're right. Teaching makes everyone tired I just really dream of having a life too. Perhaps I will adjust shortly and find the energy to do more stuff that does not involve teaching.