My life has undergone a change in the last two months as I have gone back to work part time. Two mornings a week, I teach college writing. Here are a few things I’ve discovered:
1. I’m busier now, but happier. The same problems still exist at home and likely always will, but now I sometimes get to close the door on developmental disabilities (temporarily) and open a different door with another view. It’s lovely.
2. My blog is suffering. I have less time to write, less of an absolute urgent need to write, and most of my creativity is being channeled into lesson plans. I’m fairly certain that I’ll get back to my old writing ways after this semester, when I have a reservoir of lesson plans to draw from. Bear with me. Life sometimes gallops faster than my ability to blog about it.
3. A lot of teaching (and writing, and playing sports, and doing any number of things) is feeling that you ought to be there, that you have something to offer—that you’re not just an imposter, pulling one over on everyone everywhere. It’s psychologically understanding that you can do this thing. It’s been an instructive experience for me to see that a purposeful life involves honoring your gifts, recognizing them, and sharing them, instead of downplaying or ignoring them.
4. It seems counterintuitive, but I feel like a better mom now that I leave for a few hours a week and also have grading and prep work to do at home. I feel less heartbroken by every aggressive behavior or anxiety-riddled behavior. It seems I’m calmer because I do something now in addition to the poop cleanup and the meds and the behavior management. I have an outlet and it leaves me more centered to handle the same old predictable issues that will always be part of life with disabilities.
5. I get to interact with my students, who are wonderful. I feel enriched for knowing them.
6. Teaching is a privilege.
7. When there aren’t enough hours in the day anymore, nonessential things slough away. I am okay with this. Currently, I don’t have the time or the desire to decorate my house for fall and Halloween. This is something I used to love, and now I give exactly zero flips about it. Charlie still cares, though. I may need to turn him loose with the Halloween decor and let him do it.