It is that time of year. The suspension between the freedom of summer and the planning to go back to school. The house in disarray as the transition from son home to son back-to-college takes up space in preparation for packing. The mourning of long days to accomplish whatever I desire and the tremor of nervousness and excitement that is part of still being on the school calendar as an adult. New kids, new challenges. Colleagues I respect and whose company I enjoy. That time of year when the teacher part of me starts to creep back up into dominant mode and the writer in me starts to panic.
Will I find time to write while I am working full-time teaching twelve-year-olds who are walking, talking time bombs of hormones and energy? (The answer is yes. I always find time, though it may not be as plentiful as in the summer.) Will I still find my classroom teaching rewarding, find new ways to help kids love words? (Yes again. Although I get frustrated from time to time, I really do love my job.) So if I am answering yes to all of these doubts, why are they still there?
Because. That’s why. A part of every writer’s life is doubt; a part of every teacher’s life is uncertainty. Those two things together can create a powerful drag on a person’s engine, especially if The Little Engine That Could has never been my role model.
Reading Molly Spencer’s blog this week (she is having her own at-home residency while trying to wrangle three children), I am inspired. If she can do it, so can I. Something might have to give. I might take a little longer to clean the kitchen or take the easy way out for dinner a couple of nights a week. If I cut myself a little slack in all departments, I can extend my summer, which has been good to me in many ways – I can work out, write poems, read, plan for school, grade papers, and still be a good wife/mother/friend.
I think I can, anyway. I think I can. I think I can.