In today's times, the stress level is high. The unknowns of our current situation has me making decisions that I would not necessarily make in normal times. For example, my youngest son graduated high school and I was so so upset that his senior year went that way it did that I booked us a flight to Los Angeles in the middle of a pandemic. We practiced social distancing while we were there but in hindsight I thought to myself, "What the heck was I thinking"? It's been almost two weeks since we took our trip and we have not shown any symptoms of the virus but thinking about it now, that decision could have been deadly.
I did not take any vacation time while I was on the West Coast so I worked each day that I was there by writing curriculum for an Institutional Racism course and setup an app for a leadership conference that our district was having. The change of scenery was refreshing and I got to spend some time with my sister and cousins. The cool thing about working from home is working from home can take place anywhere on the planet.
So many things can happen when you work with a large group, especially during a pandemic. Sometimes you may not see eye to eye on things and tempers flare. I have been on edge at my job for weeks now. Even the California sun could not melt the hostility I've been feeling. I returned to Kansas City after eight days of sunny and seventy degrees to a 90 degree, breath-taking humidity in the air and in my heart. I'm mad for various reasons and it shows in my walk, my talk; all of my actions.
I began to have so many bad thoughts that I knew that I needed to "step away from the vehicle". After spewing the bad thoughts to my coworkers, I deleted my work email app from my phone for the weekend. I knew I needed to change and some respite. I planned to take some time off to completely unplug in the coming days.
On Saturday, I woke up at my "new normal quarantine " time of 10 a.m. and put my Apple music playlist on shuffle. I've been spending nearly every awakened minute that I have had lately on work things.
One thing that I live by is too much of anything is a bad thing.
As my playlist shuffled through hit after hit, my thoughts began to change. I began cleaning my house, singing, rapping, dancing as thoughts ran through my head about our current state of affairs. As I began washing a load of clothes, I decided to register to finish my last semester of EdTech courses to receive my EdSpec in EdTech in the fall. I did it and can't wait to get back to finishing my degree.
My mindset changed. I dropped everything again and sang and danced and rapped. I had dinner with a friend. I came back and sang and danced and rapped. Music helped me to get away from the negativity. Music helped me to remember that you have to take time for yourself.
By the time the night ended I felt so relaxed and idea after idea began to pop in my head. I grabbed my laptop and typed my ideas into slide decks as I dusted off some of my edtech Master's degree books. After the adrenalin rush, I sang, and danced and rapped until I fell asleep relaxed, calm, and positive.
When you get down in the dumps no matter how you got there, you have to find what works for you to pull yourself out. For me it is music. I had gotten to a point where the pressure of work and other people's negativity had taken over me like a virus. I had forgotten why I do this job, it's not about me and my feelings, it's about the next generation and the golden opportunity we have to transform school from being a place to a lifelong experience.