Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Wall

I've hit it.

I've hit the January wall. 

Thinking thoughts again about whether to continue this job or not.

I don't think I should be having these thoughts so often.

I am tired. Really tired. Of working all. the. time. on school stuff.

You know, when I homeschooled four children over the course of twenty years, facilitating all subjects every year and not outsourcing anything but piano lessons, I *loved* the winter months. So much good time for long days to read lessons with tea by the woodstove. I never really had those hit-the-wall days or the doldrums of winter then. Not consistently at least.

But, wow, this year is just killing me. Not a week goes by when I'm thinking about retiring. But not every day is difficult; yet those days are just so-so with the "I've survived" attitude.

I have, though, informed the powers-that-be* that "I cannot do this again; I do not have to do this again; I will not do this again." If offered a contract, I have said I can teach next year full time with major adjustments to my schedule (and I told the *PTB what those adjustments would have to be), or I will have to go part time with only four classes. Or not continue at all. The response: Nothing. Not a nod. Not an okay. Not a we'll see what we can do. Nada. Except, "Is there anything else?" 

I don't know if this is a typical response or not in the business world to employees who have been made to believe they are important and essential to the company, yet find themselves unable to continue as is, yet give options to continue. (Excuse this too-long sentence.) I don't know how to respond to this blow-off, as I can only call it. 

In times like these, I really miss begin home. I miss taking care of my home. I miss reading my books. I really miss my books.

I have shelves and shelves of unread books I've accumulated over the years just waiting for me to read. Yet, many of those books that I accumulate, I do so because of the interest I have in whatever subject in school we are studying. For instance, I found this really neat little middle school series of biographies I want to read. I've restrained myself from buying more than one (I did that to check them out) because I simply cannot keep adding stuff I can't get to!

And when I do have a bit more time to read (only if I go to bed by 8pm), I only want to read simple stuff like a juvenile historical fiction or a political thriller. Something that doesn't require a lot of attention. Fluff, almost. 

As difficult as it is for me to find time to write on SS anymore, it seems all I do is complain when I do take the time. That's not what I want. But I do want a solution that maybe you few remaining readers can offer

One more thing. I've faced the fact (I think) this week of why I teach. I think I teach mainly (or only?) because it is the best way for me to learn. I could stay home and learn this stuff myself. And I would do some of it. But I wouldn't do it at this frantic pace. I also continue in the position I am now to help this school develop a solid academic program, and I think I do a good job at this (please don't think this is a thoroughly conceited admission, but I know I have learned some things over my life, my classical homesechooling career, and my graduate work). But, is it what I should be doing now? Would I be able to enjoy my life-without-this-job as much as I think? 

Questions. Questions. And the resultant lack of decision. 

To end this interminable post, I think I probably will be there next year, but maybe not full time. Maybe I will begin to wean myself from all this. 

I do know one thing. Homeschooling was the best time of my life. I am so glad for our decision and ability to do it. I believe it is the BEST choice for any family who makes that decision, invests in it wholeheartedly, and treats it like a job. Children are better for it in the long run. This thing called school-in-an-institutional-building is a necessary part of the fabric of our society. But with the choice to stay home, stay home. You and your children will be the better for it. 



Sherry said...

Oh, Janie, I feel for you. It sounds as if you would be better off teaching part time, maybe a couple of classes that you could pour yourself into.

Carol in Oregon said...

I agree with Sherry. The multiple hit the wall events are a signal. This kind of stress is not healthy.

I have dreams of reading books, the meaty books that nourish us, and skyping with you about them.

I know you are one of the teachers that students reference decades later, the kind that makes a difference in lives. But it seems the burden is too great, too heavy.

anne said...

Let me be a third to say that it sounds like you need a break, or at least a lighter load.

I think of land that's fertile and fruitful yet needs to "rest" in order to remain that way.

Thanks for sharing your struggles.

Love you,