(Warning: Garden variety whining to follow. Stop now if you are, categorically, anti-whining.)
This past Tuesday, I thought I might lose my mind. I think it was a culmination of the following events:
Thursday evening: Family Read-Aloud Night at school
Friday evening: Gingerbread building night for 4-H (building GB houses for the elderly to enjoy)
Saturday morning: Gingerbread decorating activity for 4-H (at a house packed with kids and candy)
Saturday afternoon: 4-H arts and crafts activity (more kids, more candy)
Saturday evening: Lighted Boat Parade (we were on a boat which was cool but also cold)
Sunday midday: Birthday party
Sunday afternoon: work meeting about curriculum
Monday: (normal day of work and kids)
then there was Tuesday:
6:30 Up, getting ready, making breakfast and lunches (with Hubby's help)
8:15 Walk kids to school
8:30 Home to make stew for crockpot (dinner)
9:15 Back to kids' school to volunteer in each class
11:00 Arrive at work to hurriedly make copies for class
11:30-1:30 Teach composition
1:30-2:30 Office Hour
3:00 Pick up Girl to take her to dance class
3:30-4:30 Stand in a room full of about 35 kids to help them pick out and put on dance costumes
4:30 escape to go get tea
4:50-5:45 Sit in my car outside of dance studio grading paper drafts
5:45-6:30 Try to get clear instructions (over the voices of crazy dancing kids) about dance rehearsals for the next week
7:00 Arrive home and beg Hubby to put stew in bowls because that small action might actually cause me to implode.
7:30-11:30 Grade drafts of research papers
I think the effect was an accumulation of stimuli that I was storing in my body and mind like some kind of electrical charge. All of that high-energy kid stuff, without time to get release or even get my work done*, made me ready to send out some voltage.
But then, late afternoon on Wednesday, after a day of teaching, I had time to tidy my office and take care of loose ends, and I felt MUCH better. Today, I even managed to enjoy a full day of activities (parade, dance rehearsal, festival), and I feel fine.
Still, this time of year, it's very hard for me to understand how everything will get done--the finals, the grading, the activities, the shopping, the trips to the P.O., the packing for out-of-town trips--and sometimes I feel like I am hyperventilating. But tomorrow, I will get to see my daughter dress up like a rat, and we'll put up a small tree**. And next week, I'll have a lot of quiet time as I grade papers and finals***, and I will find a couple hours to shop, and it will all be OKAY.
Now, if I could just think of something to get my husband for Christmas . . .
*Although I am SOOOO glad that I sometimes have flexibility to do these kinds of things--volunteer, take my daughter to dance--this flexibility often means I feel guilty when I don't do these things even though I do have a full time job. So then I stay up late or work weekends or just make myself crazy during a particular given day.
**We're going on a trip, so we won't get a big, real tree this year.
***Is it sad that my work time is what I look forward to as "me time"?