On Tuesday, I had a rotten, rotten day at work. It was everything all at once, as it always is, but it was mostly about behaviors. Let’s just say I had a hard time keeping myself regulated and keeping children’s behaviors from upsetting me.
Okay, let’s just say I cried during the first 15 minutes of my planning time at the end of the day, while my kids were at art. And I spent the next 20 minutes unsubscribing to junk emails, dinking on Facebook, and playing Angry Birds. Not doing the things the fine taxpayers pay me to do.
And then I cried some more at home on Tuesday night. And I cried while I was blow-drying my hair on Wednesday morning, because I JUST DIDN’T WANNA GO BACK.
And crying is so UNLIKE work-me. Work-me is composed, and professional, and put together. I hope.
(Home-me cries over books and movies and new babies and Dodge truck commercials, but let’s put home-me aside for the moment.)
But let me get to the GOOD part of the story…the COWORKERS. I don’t know why it helps, but it does…
My next-door neighbor who gave me a hug and said, “I’m right next door, and I have a student teacher right now. I can help.” Oh, yeah. I forgot.
The teacher who saw me in the hall on the way to art, and said, “Can I help in any way?” I said, “No…I just need to get rid of them for today.” And she said, “Okay,” and squeezed my arm. Care and concern, in a 3-second interaction.
The SAM (assistant principal) who came into my room a few minutes later and sat and talked with me for awhile, told me “Sometimes you just need to get it out,” and brainstormed ideas to make tomorrow better. Understanding.
The teacher who said she was feeling the same way, and I should come up and vent anytime. Empathy.
The teacher who said, “Sometimes we just have to make whatever influence we can make, and then start again next year.” Perspective.
The teacher who said, “Everyone is definitely feeling it this week. We need to get together and relieve stress. I’m thinking pinatas?” Standing together in the face of stress.
The principal who said, “Teachers have the hardest job in the building.” Making me feel seen and heard.
The teacher who said, “Is it the paperwork or the kids getting to you?” And totally understood both options. And shared what is getting to her. Togetherness.
The teacher who stepped into my doorway at 4:30, looked long and hard into my eyes, and did not say a word for a long moment. I may have imagined it, but it doesn’t matter. It felt like priceless support, the kind that goes beyond words and reaches true understanding.
I’m probably forgetting more wonderful comments, but I’m remembering more detail than usual…because I was raw and vulnerable and I needed every little ounce of support so badly that day. I don’t know why it helps, knowing that someone knows that it’s hard. Knowing that someone knows you’re miserable. Knowing that someone wishes you weren’t. Friends, thank you for your support. It is priceless to me.
This day shall pass. Whether I dance gracefully through it or burn it to the ground, tomorrow is a new day. Even if tomorrow isn’t better, I can burn that one to the ground as well, and get another new day after that.
“What you had and what you lost / They’re all memories in the wind / Those days go by / And we all start again”