Riding the rapids…

by eliwinfield in Musings

Dear Reader,

Is your life full of rapids these days?  Are you enjoying the roller coaster effect of the boulders and the lurking alligators?  I’m not.

I’m writing through it, but it is a hard thing to keep trying to make good art.

My family is mostly ok.  My youngest sister and my parents are going through changing their lives around to make room for each other in the middle of a difficult family situation.  My five year old nephew is the glue that is holding them to the fire to make it work.  Youngest is working her way through this year and I see the change in her, how she is growing and changing and becoming. I am so proud of her but I need a bumper sticker that says my child and my money goes to Laurentian.  Eldest is in that phase of life between graduating and getting her first career position, the time of life when you have two jobs and no time to think and are struggling to know what it is you are fighting for when all you can do is put one foot in front of the other some mornings.  I know she can do this and that she will find her way but it is hard to know what to do or say to support her. Hubbie is working on all the stuff that goes with being part of the team arranging a Hand bell conference in two months while working a full time job that takes him out of the house 12+ hours a day.   I spent much of  January and February stressed out, balancing teaching, report cards, and helping my family.  I kept thinking my exhaustion was just a symptom of my stress, only to discover after I had to take more than a week off of work I was suffering from walking pneumonia.

The road back has been a bit rocky. Life at school went from calm flowing stream to rapidly eddying rapids with giant boulders leaping out of the river in the blink of an eye for me and nearly everyone around me.  On top of the normal every day child and parent related stuff that is our job, the board changed the French track effective September and it means change for all of us who teach French in any capacity.  I may be back doing the job I am now or I may be somewhere else at a new school doing a totally different job.

Teaching is a balancing act.  You work to keep your feet under you while you and your students are riding a floating carpet in the middle of a swiftly flowing river.  You try to find the eddying pools of calm along the river because your students are worth it, but the hidden rocks like parent complaints and board directives sometimes turn the river into rapids.  July is coming but there is a lot of the river to go between now and then.  I’m also not sure what river I will be traveling in September.   About the only good thing is that I know I will have a job and I love teaching and I love writing.

Honestly? The rest is details.

In the midst of this roller coaster rapids of my life, I yield my pen and cling to the words of Neil Gaiman:

‘Leg crushed and then eaten by a mutated boa constrictor?  Make Good Art.’

If you haven’t read his book or listened to his speech, I highly recommend it.


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