So I know its a little early. Fall doesn't come to Texas until November. But, the back to school items are in the stores, and I've seen busses practicing their routes. Its back to school time around here. In the district I used to teach in, teachers are going back in the next 2 weeks.
This is the 1st fall since 1978 that I have not done the "Back To School" thing. First year I haven't had to buy school supplies, new clothes, a new back pack. First year in 13 years that I haven't had the "OH MY GOSH I HAVE ONLY HOW MUCH TIME TO SET UP MY ROOM!?" freak out while receiving a pile of paperwork, a list of staff meetings, my class list, and spent $500 of my own money buying students' school supplies.
This is also the 1st year I haven't had my Fall Panic. My Fall "I think I'm gonna die of stress" insanity. Everyone who knows me probably has seen me go through my annual Fall...fall. I may be in a great mood all spring and summer, but in the fall...down I go. Lots of things that I don't like have happened in the fall. And I don't think I was built to take the kind of stress that fall has alwas brought.
This is fall, redefined.
Now I am no longer teaching. I have no more meetings, no more paperwork. No more school supplies to buy. No more stress!! I loved teaching. I was called to be with children. But quitting special education was probably the best thing I ever did for my health and well-being. Old colleagues that see me now say things like "You look so much less stressed out!" and "You look so much healthier!" (Funny how not being attacked by kids on a daily basis can have that effect.)
Also, I used to get sick ALL the time. I haven't had so much as a cold since I quit teaching.
Now I hang out with a baby all day. Now the biggest decision I make are: bananas or peaches with lunch? Sixty minute or Ninety minute walk this morning? Do I take a nap while the baby is sleeping or try to get some stuff done around the house? Instead of pondering BIP's and IEP's I ponder nursery rhymes and how to get out stains. Or why the baby is obsessed with bananas and my telephone.
I do feel weird. Restless. Like I should be stressed out and doing something, but I'm not. I have back-to-school dreams still. Back to school nightmares sometimes. My body seems to know its back to school time and thinks it should be revved up and freaking out--but, I'm just NOT.
This is fall, redefined.
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the LORD. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'" (Jeremiah 29:11)