Monday, June 21, 2010

Mini Burn Out

I think I've isolated why I feel so ragged around the edges right now. It's probably an affliction common to most teachers and moms of school aged children: it's End of June-itis. Last night I tore the house apart looking for Ava's school agenda, and I couldn't find it anywhere. All year, I've looked at her agenda, initialed it, and put it back in her backpack. Now, at the last gate, I took it out on Friday, wrote in it, and did not return it to her backpack for some reason that mystifies all logic. It's as if it vanished into thin air.

Mistakes like these don't sit very well with me. I believe in order and routine. Any disruption to my well-oiled system causes something akin to panic inside of me. I tell myself, "It's the end of the year. There is one week left of school. I'm sure it's not a big deal if her agenda has disappeared." But to me it is a big deal.

Perhaps I'm just really ready for summer and a change of pace. Everything is winding down, one activity after the next, but I still don't feel myself relaxing. I feel coiled up, tense, and ready to strike at anyone. It's not a good feeling. I need to learn to offer myself permission to unwind and relax. I know how to go-go-go and I can relax when I'm on vacation, but the in-between times of transition and change are hard for me.

The weather is finally beautiful, and this is my first week in ten months where I won't be going out of the house to work. I've got writing time booked for Tuesday and Thursday morning which I'm looking forward to with every fiber in my being. I think adjusting to change is something that happens gradually, no matter how old we are, and the transition is felt in our emotions and our physical bodies. I can control my mind a lot easier than my feelings, and tension comes to our bodies in ways that slow us down and tire us out.

Embracing what comes our way is all that we can do. Whether it's wonderful or terrible, life moves in around us with its ebb and flow, and we have no choice but to adjust. When I resist what is happening around me, I become stressed and frustrated. Resistance doesn't change any outcome, so I'm learning to try to relax and enjoy the ride along the current, without fighting the stream. It's ridiculously difficult. I want to control what happens to me and how I feel about what is going on around me. I can't always do it, and I'm trying to surrender to the experience.

There is one week left of school for Ava. Grade One is now behind her, and we look to the next year and all that it will bring. Do all mothers feel a sense of melancholy at another year gone for their children? I would guess the answer is yes, but if anyone wants to share, I'd love to hear from you. I'm looking forward to summer on one hand, but on the other side I'd like to keep my girl and boy at the ages they are now, and that's not an option open to me. I don't want to fight the tide, as they are going to grow up, but sometimes it isn't easy to watch it happening.


  1. Relatable is an understatement. I could have sat down and written this entry myself.
    Although not an agenda, we have frantically torn apart book shelves, toy boxes and each and every play backpack searching for the MIA library books. They are gone; don't exist as if they were never here. My stress has only been amplified by the stress of my six year old who can not possibly understand how 'I' could have misplaced her books! How is she going to explain this to the librarian, this was so irresponsible mom! Wow, a stern scolding from my daughter about organization and responsibility. During this discussion all I could do was grin from ear to ear. As she was giving me a life lesson I was sifting through a pile of craft paper and I came across a book. This was not just any book; it was a ’D’ book. This particular 'D' book it is the book that sent me into the same downward spiral of frustration and panic when it went missing the last week of kindergarten last year! Finding this book and hearing my daughters very logical and thought out argument flooded me with great nostalgia. Exactly 1 year ago she was still a baby of sorts. My little graduate kindergartener, who I was sure, was not ready for full day school without my constant influence. Today she is an articulate, loving and hilarious Person. Grade one is almost over, her maturity and growth over this year is shocking. She had a phone conversation last night in which I did not need to encourage her to speak up or prompt her with ideas about what to say. The conversation was flawless and interesting. Whole hearty she talked about her weekend and what fun it was all the while ensuring she reciprocated with questions about her Uncles weekend. A baby no more. My little girl is her own person with her own ideas. They say the first five years of children's lives are the most influential and now I can see how the endless hours we as parents have put in are shinning through. It is exciting and selfishly saddening. I love the person she is and can not wait to see her continue to grow yet my heart strings want her to stay little and needy. Needy she is not, in a nut shell she is nothing less then fiercely independent. If nothing else comes from the missing library books (or agenda!), not even the books themselves, I will step back for a moment, to cherish. Cherish each good, bad and irreplaceable moments with her and the invaluable few years I have left with my twins before they too are giving me advice!! Thanks for your post Julianne; you are definitely not alone on this one,

  2. I understand the "go-go-go" feeling... I also have a hard time relaxing if there's something I feel must be done (or found). :) As for wishing the kids could stay at the age they are - right now I'm afraid I want them to grow up a bit more so they require less of my time and I can write more! And then I feel selfish... I'm trying to do as you say and enjoy each moment.

  3. Thanks so much, girls, for your comments (and Tianna, for your in-person conversation this morning!).

    I'm so relieved to know I'm not alone with this emotional storm, and I'm certain it will pass, and I love the idea of walking through it with other fabulous mothers on either side of me.

    If we all commit to encourage each other while we try to cherish these passing moments, it will all seem easier to bear.

  4. I hear you on the meloncholy at the end of the school year! It makes me all teary eyed when I think of the year ending. Ok, maybe not so much for Abi as she's now in grade 3, but definitely for Kai who is finishing grade 1 also! I'm just so sad to think it's over and done! I loved his teacher, she was super! It's the thought of how much he's done and learned in just this one school year! I am looking forward to summer and not having a schedule (we're not really alike in that area at all! lol) but saying goodbye to the teachers and friends and his classroom... I'm not going to lie: I'm going to tear up that day several times! You'll have to check out my blog for a post about this same thing! :)

  5. Thanks for sharing, Lori-Anne, and I'll read your blog post! I agree about the teacher being amazing - Ava had the most wonderful teacher ever this year and it's going to be hard for anyone else to follow in her shoes.

    P.S. Ava's agenda was at school over the weekend. That bit of info would've been helpful for me while I was tearing the house apart looking for it. What I remember doing on Friday (signing it and reading it) must've happened on Thursday. Oops! :)