Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April




It’s been a bit of a crazy time at school.  It was nice having an early Spring Break back in March, but this April brought us a solid wall of classes.  

The days have been passing pretty slowly, papers are piling up, and a kind of stress-filled monotony has taken over.  I think all of us, students and teachers alike, will breathe a sigh of relief when that that calendar flips over to May which will bring finals week, graduation, and summer break.

I had been feeling that churning malaise when I walked into my Wednesday night class last week. 

When my kids were little, I took on a night class so I could be with them during the day more. Over the years, I have enjoyed the older students that tend to take the night classes.  However, I am trying a different schedule next semester, one that will allow me to leave in the afternoons. 

The students are in the middle of writing their research papers, so we had an active class that night.  They were helpful with each other, engaged in their work, and the time went by quickly.  A few students lingered after class to ask me questions.  I stayed, chatted with them about their lives, and we shared a laugh before we said goodbye at around 8:00.  Night students are so different from day students and I will miss them next year.  I watched them to their cars, moving as a group, then spreading out, separating, each back to his or her own individual life.  

It was slightly cool as I walked out into the California evening. The campus was quiet, and there was a marine layer just settling over all the buildings, bathing everything in a misty hue. I walked down the sidewalk listening to the click of my heels on the sidewalk, past the lit classrooms full of students.

Turning the corner, I walked by the faculty office wing. Through the windows I could the see the hall lights shining on the heavy wooden doors.  I smiled to see those familiar names on the doors, but also felt a twinge as I thought about some of the names that have disappeared over the years.

I hugged my folders tightly to my chest, and suddenly knew that all of those thoughts I had been having were wrong. All that desire to see time go by quickly was wrong.  

Every single minute of life is precious. 

My mind flashed back quickly to a Sunday night dinner with friends years ago.  As we gathered our things to go home, a few of us started moaning and groaning at the thought of Monday morning coming and start of the work week.  I then looked over at our friend Raul who had stopped working due to issues surrounding his brain cancer.  I knew he would have given anything to get up the next morning, get in his car and drive to work.  

What seems like monotony to one is heaven to another. 

I am grateful for that insight I had on that foggy night.  Sometimes it is in the semi-darkness that the truths in life shine out more brightly. 

The next morning, I got up and got to campus even earlier than usual, feeling incredibly lucky to go back to my job, back to my students, back to that wonderful, stressful, life-affirming monotony. 



25 comments:

Leah J. Utas said...

Excellent post, Betty. You are right. What one complains about another may be wishing for.
Good on you for knowing it and appreciating it.

Cranberry Morning said...

I have thought about that a lot lately, especially when wishing for winter to hurry up and get over. We never know what the next day will bring. 'Each day has enough trouble of its own.' Better to cherish each moment. Great post!

Green Monkey said...

All we have is now.... great, inspiring post Betty! ((((Thank you))))

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Every moment we have is a blessing.

Hilary said...

You are so right. And I so needed this, this morning. I'm in the middle of renovations (I know you've been there) and my house is just a mess around me. Oh well. It's temporary and I'm very grateful to have the opportunity that changing this home will provide. That's for the reality jolt. :)

Old Kitty said...

Lovely BB!! I love my monotony - seriously! It keeps me grounded and keeps me going and every day I am ever so grateful I have a daily monotony that allows me to indulge in little treats in life!

Take care
x

Alison said...

This reminds me of the stressful times in my past when one job was ending and I hadn't found another--or when my dad was in the hospital pre-transplant and I spent more hours than I thought capable driving I-10 across Florida. Normalcy is such a blessing at those times--it's remarkable to have that insight when all is well.

Lois Lentz said...

Very good and may I say that I used to complain on Monday mornings and then after becoming disabled...and not able to go to work..thinking changed!

Empty Nester said...

Thank you, Betty. I truly needed that.

BECKY said...

Beautiful, Betty! If only we could remember those things every time we begin to complain. The human brain is a very thought-provoking, isn't it?!

Madi and Mom said...

Hey BB
Mom and I have so missed dropping by but we are slowly getting back in to the swing of things. Mom says my Blog is her stress reliever thank goodness!!

Hugs and purrs
Madi and Mom

Tabor said...

Betty, you are so naturally wise. I wish I had your skill at that. It reminds me of a lovely elderly woman I worked with when I was a college student. She supervised the cash register staff and when I complained about wishing my shift was over she said she never wished any part of her life away anymore.

Ms. A said...

I think my son is having these exact same feelings, longing for the monotony of having to get up and go to work, etc. and the daily routine to which he had grown accustomed to.

Daisy said...

It's all about perspective and gratitude, isn't it. Wonderful post, Betty!

Gigi said...

As always, Betty, you put things into perspective so eloquently.

I'd like to put you in my pocket so you could inspire me daily.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm retiring from teaching this year and every morning when I get to school earlier than I have to and dozens of early arriving students say good morning, Mrs. Gourley, and mean it, I feel a little sad. I'll miss them, but I can't wait to sleep in. I'm taking your advice and going to savor these last days of a wonderful, fulfilling career.

Nicole said...

Oh how i miss the monotony of school. I often envy teachers that get to relive the excitement and the boredom of a school year!

thesweetsimplethings said...

I've seen so much sadness around me in the past several months that it really made me realize how very precious every simple moment of life is. And then sometimes I fall into a slump and your post woke me up again. Thanks, Betty!
~Laura

jenny_o said...

So well said.

I am grateful for ordinary days. Too often, the out-of-the-ordinary comes at a cost.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Betty .. enjoy what we have - it's there .. and we don't have to fight for it .. or save for it - life can lived to the full with a gentle joie de vivre ...

So true - but enjoy May now that that is here .. Hilary

Pat Tillett said...

Great and thought provoking post BB.

dkzody said...

>>All that desire to see time go by quickly was wrong. << So very true. My mother always said, "don't wish your life away," and now I can fully understand that.

Retired English Teacher said...

Great message. So true.

Peggy K said...

BB, I so very much enjoy your blog posts. No matter what you are going thru, you write about it so well. Thank you!

Baby Sister said...

I think I needed to read this. With work being so busy and not getting a day off, it's hard to want to go back after Sunday. And I find it hard to think of how grateful I should be, but hopefully this post will help. Thanks, Betty.