31 Days · workaholic tendencies

Moments, Day 20: Off the Wagon

Well today I fell a bit off the leave-school-by-5:00-every-night-no-matter-what wagon. I know…I know!!

About this same time every year (and again right when school resumes after Christmas break) I tend to get this feeling. This terrible, awful feeling. I have named it the drowning feeling. It literally feels like my chest is being pressed on with a heavy anvil. I feel like I can’t take a completely deep breath. I literally feel like I am drowning.

Multiple deadlines, kids with learning problems, overinvolved parents, parents who don’t give a rip about their kid, upcoming conferences, keeping organized records, remembering all the changes with buses and medical issues and whose grandmother died last weekend and what birthdays are coming up, creating lessons, making copies, trying to do something halfway creative and fun in between all the ludicrous assessments and such. And the papers. OH, the PAPERS!! If I never saw another piece of paper in my life I would be perfectly fine with that. Teachers have WAY too many papers. UGH.

I wonder sometimes if I’m having an anxiety attack when I have the drowning feeling. I’m not really sure, but I know that when the feeling comes over me, it means I have some catching up to do. And I simply must do it. So the other night when I was supposed to leave right after school, I walked into my room after a meeting and saw it. Stuff. Everywhere. EVERY-WHERE. Then I remembered some upcoming deadlines I needed to meet. And a bunch of papers that need grading. And those report cards that have to be entered and updated and corrected. And not to mention I didn’t yet have a single thing prepared for the following week.

There’s the drowning…..

So instead of coming right home I called Todd and told him that I was having that feeling again so I just had to stay and get a little bit of stuff accomplished or I may very well bring that feeling home with me for the weekend. He  mercifully didn’t even act annoyed. I know when he hears it in my voice, there’s just no way around it. So I stayed and I got several things done. I felt better. A little. Sigh.

You know what?  I realized later that I didn’t do the one thing I should have done…pray. Whenever I get anxious about anything in my life, I take a second and ask God to calm me and refocus me and help me get whatever business done that I need to get done. And He always comes through for me. So why is it that when it comes to my work, I forget to do that very important thing?? Hmmmm.

Even though I fell off the wagon, I plan to climb right back on. I can’t promise I’ll be perfect from here on out, but at least I am giving it a try. And I’m really enjoying the moments I’m not missing now that I’ve started reprioritizing my life. So when things don’t go right, I’m going to remind myself to just stop,  pray, and learn to get back on the wagon.

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