‘Twas a long day, full of testing children and 78 trips to the bathroom, none of them mine. Full of kids who went to bed at 2 AM and wondered why they were tired. Kids that were done after an hour and had to entertain themselves silently for two more. Teachers who hadn’t eaten or peed for longer than normal. Then once we let the kids go, we had to settle down to a large chunk of time to collaborate…despite our brains being equally fuzzy from long hours of trying to keep kids focused AND quiet. It mostly worked. That was Day 1. Day 2 is today.
I had stuff to do after school, plus got stuck in traffic. Stupid drivers during rush hour, cutting people off, not signaling, being assholes. It’s not good for me to be in that. I finally made it home around 6, tired, cranky, with a pile of work to do. So I did it. And then realized it was late. This is where living alone sucks…you’re too tired to cook, money is tight so you aren’t going out, but you need to eat. Leftovers are gone because you ate them for lunch. So I cooked. But it was late. Really I should have worked some more, but I was tired of it. I get like that. This job has so many hours of my life. I feel like after 9, that should be mine. We work to earn money to survive, yes, but at some point, it should also be so that we can spend time doing the things we love…hiking, art, reading. I want more of that this week.
So I didn’t keep working. I didn’t start grading the next assignment. I didn’t read yet another Teacher Appreciation Week email and wonder…hell…who is appreciating my being a teacher right now? Probably not the kid I harassed into sitting up and not falling asleep on the desk yesterday (thanks, parents, for letting him stay up late). It’s OK. I don’t teach for that. Our parents don’t send flowers or notes. They don’t cover our doors with big grateful signs. They don’t do anything, honestly. It’s enough that they are surviving.
I finished cutting out all the pieces for the new quilt last night…
It’s not a huge quilt. The pile of trimmed scraps looks bigger than the pile of trimmed pieces. I spent 3 relaxing hours doing this last night. I needed that. I stayed up a bit too late to do it, but at that point, I just wanted it to be done. That’s a motivator in itself, that desire to move on to the next step, to not leave a few pieces sitting in the box until tomorrow. To FINISH. I feel like I need to achieve something tangible each day, something that will take me to bed and murmur sweet nothings of achievement. Then the next morning, when I sit down to write this post, I can feel like I did something worthwhile…for me, anyway. I’m sure some people would say I should spend more time cleaning (and certainly, if boychild could see his room right now, I’d probably be in a bit of trouble…but I have 20 days until he gets home) or maintaining the house or yard, and sure, I could. But I wouldn’t be happy that night, curled up in bed, and the next morning, I’d have that empty feeling I get in my chest when I don’t make any art.
This really is an everyday habit.
Here’s today’s Artwalk artist: Victoria Alexander Marquez, also mostly a paper artist. Her work is delicate and beautiful, especially the larger landscape pieces.