Burning that candle.

These last few weeks have– and the next month promises to really push me to my limit.
Too little sleep. So much windshield time. So much on my plate.

Being beyond busy leads to poorer nutrition. I’ve done pretty well preparing food ahead to take with us, but dinner is in the car nearly every day. And I’m feeling the effects, both physical and mental.

The father in my favorite book I used to teach, A Day No Pigs Would Die** by Robert Newton Peck, told his son (the protagonist) something like, “The sweat of hurry is much worse than the sweat of work.” And I have really been feeling that this week. Rush, rush, rush. Go, go, go. And then STOP and sit behind the steering wheel, which then feels exhausting instead of passive/restful.

Today I have the day “off”. My to do list is still too long, but no one is expecting me to show up somewhere ready to do things. But EVERYTHING today has felt hard.
Clancy wouldn’t come back in the house when I wanted to go to the store because he’s tired of being left alone. (NOTE: We always have someone come by and give him a break and play with him when we’re gone for long hours.) It took 45 minutes to get him back in the house, which included a few minutes of me just sitting on the front step in tears because I understand his perspective, but I just wanted to run to the store.

I really want to exercise for my body’s sake and my mind’s, but I tweaked my back a bit yesterday in my hurry to get my workout in before rushing off. I think it’s going to be okay, but I have to go slow here. I turned my ankle earlier this week, which has now healed, but these kind of minor problems can become much bigger problems AND are caused by the rushing around in the first place.

I got eight hours of sleep last night, but that means my morning was gone before I got started.

Then it rained.
It wasn’t forecast to rain.
It felt appropriate.

Nothing major is wrong here.
I’m just stretched thin and everything feels harder than it should be.
If you have time to spare, I’d take some. I don’t have anything I can delegate really right now, but you know, I’d take a few spare minutes if you have them lying about.
How is it 5pm already? I’m pretty sure it should only be 1:30.

To combat this struggle, I’m pausing to write this (with an icepack on my back and my Clancy at my feet).
I’m vaguely listening to a football game, mostly wishing a baseball game were on instead, and noticing the sun is coming out from behind the day’s clouds.
I’ll probably have some more coffee here in a little bit.

I am grateful that all that windshield time is hours with Matt next to me.
I am grateful for our friends and family who help provide Clancy care so we can be actors for a season.
I am grateful for good coffee.
I am grateful that my ankle is healed and that my back will.
I am grateful that I’d improved my overall fitness before entering this season, and that I have a program I can work even if I’m not doing it very well at the moment.
I am grateful that I have flexibility in my work so I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn every day (Matt does, and he is keeping up well. Takes a nap on the first leg of the road trip, but I know his candle is wearing down too).

I am grateful.
And oh so tired.

**Don’t let the title of this book discourage you from reading it. I have read it 13 times. The first on my own, preparing to teach it the first time. I remember calling Matt into my little office in our old house, bawling and telling him I wasn’t sure I’d be able to teach it because I’d cry so hard. I read it twice every year for six years of teaching (two sections of 7th grade Lit each year). And I cried EVERY TIME. And at least some students would cry EVERY TIME. I would warn the office when we were getting toward the end of the book, so if they saw students leaving my classroom in tears it was due to the power of great storytelling and not because I yelled at them or something.

It is a phenomenal coming of age story based on the author’s childhood (though somewhat fictionalized, I believe). It’s about the challenges of farming and being poor and the importance of love and the value of the things we DO have. It is an INCREDIBLE book. I know of students who hated school and all things related to school who went on to tell students that A Day No Pigs Would Die is “a really good book.” It is a book that turned non-readers into readers. I cannot recommend it highly enough.**

2 thoughts on “Burning that candle.

  1. Those of us who are around you during these stressful times, marvel at the kindness and Grace you maintain. You are doing great. I am grateful for your example, though I tend to get cranky. Working on that. Not doing the dishes is ok,if the laundry is not done, treat yourself to new panties from the store.


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