But after the party ended and we were cleaning up (and putting children to bed much later than usual on a school night), my body reminded me that I'm not as young as I used to be. I got into bed as soon as I could and my alarm still seemed to cheat me of about 4 hours of sleep on Tuesday morning.
I encouraged my girls to move a little faster, as they were obviously having a hard time shaking off the sleepies, and we drove to school on a misty, cloudy morning. I had an early meeting and it was also a deadline day for children to turn in their money for a school order and I found myself writing 50 receipts in my planning period.
It could have easily have gone downhill if I had let my pity-party take control of my mood. But I had the sense to decide to enjoy the day. Left to my own demise, I probably would have had the worst attitude throughout the day.
Instead, I took a deep breath and remembered that I get paid to sing songs with children.
Now, before my fellow arts educators pull me into the alley and beat me down for repeating the junk general educators say, and believe, about our classes (kickball for P.E., coloring for art, etc), please note that singing is not the only thing we do in my class. We also have a curriculum and (eventually) an assessment process like everyone else.
Yesterday I was able to delight with the kids in the old and new songs of the season. We were in high spirits and excited about all the things to come. Of course I had to deal with some knuckleheadedness and the usual children who may need some lumps of coal, but as a whole, it was a fun day in my room.
Sometimes we just have to make the decision to carry through. We have to decide that we are going to make the best of things. I don't always like being in a classroom--it's hard for us teachers when people make decisions for us that don't make sense, when we aren't paid enough, when our hands are tied in many ways. We parent the parentless and we love on the unloved--and sometimes all of that drains us completely dry.
So today my dear teachers (and parents and workers and students)--when we are faced with the most ridiculous situations, the most difficult people we'd like to punch in the face, and/or the overwhelming exhaustion that comes with December, let's all commit to taking a deep breath and make the decision to not let it overcome us.
The waves will come towards us, but we will not let them take us down.