The Juggling Act

superwoman4This is how many of us feel on a regular basis (or maybe it’s just me, but I’m going to phrase it like that because it makes me feel better to pull you all into my circus, LOL).

173093__new-year-new-year-holiday-girl-smile-mood-gifts-juggling_pThrow in some of this (because the holiday preparations are in full swing, with decorating, shopping, baking, cooking, and most important of all, spending time with each other, which is the foundation of good memories):

????????And this (because my five weeks grades are due Tuesday)…

 

Final Front Moose Tracks on the Road to HeavenAnd this (because final issues for the book always crop up and require attention, from setting up accounts to creating TOC lists, to creating cover letters and mailing out review copies and trying to build some promotional efforts)…

And I have brewing a perfect storm of craziness that quickly escalates stress to red-line levels. Like on a daily basis.Ā Tempers can flare and cause reactions that definitely don’t add to the serenity of life. šŸ™‚

perfect-mumsAs a mom (even though my girls are teens they still have a gazillion activities, sports, and social issues to navigate), it’s easy to start to feel like this:

What to do?

live-in-the-momentI don’t have any silver bullet, I’m afraid. All I can offer is an idea that occasionally helps me to slow down so I can process what’s happening. It helps me to deflate some of the intensity of stress when it begins to overwhelm: Just live in the moment.

Attitude affects everything, whether its the day-to-day grind or the challenges of facing illness and pain (when my father was undergoing chemo and treatment during his final illness, he reiterated that to me many times, and one of the moments he was most proud was when his doctor’s office staff pooled to together and gave him a little pin that said “Great attitude award”, because he had one of the best they’d ever worked with).

While we can manage some things (like schedules or what we add to them by saying “yes” to too many things), there is much we can’t control. Much that just has to get done and needs that have to be met.

They will be. It will all work out. Just consider what this poster says. It helps. It really does. šŸ™‚

11568-Be-Free-Live-In-The-Moment

 

Anyone else have tips for getting through stressful times?

 

I Am Cinderella…

papers-to-grade

An actual stack of student papers that is the work of only three of my six classes…

The Struggle is Real…but I have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat!

In this modern age (so different from when I began teaching, back in 1988), student grades are submitted electronically, via computer. That means when grades are due on a particular date, they can be submitted up until midnight…at which point the system will lock you out, preventing any further entries.

In my case, the academic year’sĀ first set of five week “progress report” grades were due today (well, technically yesterday at this point).

I amĀ a HSĀ English teacher.

With 92 students per day.

I bring home a LOT of papers, quizzes, reading logs and daily writing journalsĀ to read, correct, write suggestions on,Ā and assess, followed by tabulating and entering averagesĀ into the computer, along withĀ the variety of helpful comments that are expected and selected by code (i.e. typing in “300” will print out “A pleasure to have in class” on the report that students receive at home).

I am always behind in my paperworkĀ (as in “I can either have clean clothes/see my kids/make dinner for the family/do the dishes/plan lessons/attend one of their sporting events/sleep for seven hours straight once in a while…or whittle away at the ever-growing pile of papers). Add my own fiction (or blog) writing to the mix, which is necessary for my mental health…and well, you get the idea.

It’s a never-ending battle, and a balancing act that tires me more than seven straight hours a day interacting with/facilitating discussions of/serving as sounding board and mediator for masses of young (sometimes hormonal)Ā people ages 14 – 18. Don’t get me wrong: I love my job and adore my students – really and truly.Ā A few get squirrely now and then, but mostly they are great. IĀ feel privileged to work with them…but I HATE the paperwork.

Tonight, at the stroke of midnight, I entered in the last grade.Ā  I escaped the wrath of the Guidance Office, who would be calling me in consternation tomorrow morning if they opened the system to run grades and some of mine were missing.

I am Cinderella, and I made it out by the time the clock struck 12. šŸ™‚

Goodnight, all…