Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In a Bad Place

For Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Okay. I was in a bad place this morning. At 5:00am, I had not had a shower in three days due to Hurricane Irene having knocked out our power, and I began my day shivering as I poured cold water from a jug over my body while trying to clean off body soap. It was dark as I pulled a dress from my closet, and after balancing a flashlight on my bureau, I did my best to put on some eye makeup. I got the puppy outside, got my bags packed, left a note for my children, and after securing the puppy in her crate, I headed to school for my first Teacher Workshop day of the year.

When I reached the school, I wanted to cry. I was exhausted from two nights of disrupted sleep and anxiety. I didn’t know if it was the start of the school year or the loss of electrical power or other concerns I’ve been fretting about this summer that was causing me duress. All I knew was that I had this feeling of being utterly and completely out of control.

I tried to put everything out of my mind and after getting into my classroom, I pushed my furniture back into its proper places and unpacked school supplies. The mindless work was soothing. Sometimes just the physical act of moving boxes and clearing space does wonders for clearing one’s mind. A few colleagues stepped in to say hello and quickly asked me if I had power at home. They too had gone without power but only for a brief time. They quickly sympathized with me and offered me water, a place to shower, and whatever else I needed.

I continued to be in a daze for most of the day. But by the time the school day ended, I had had several coworkers offer me their homes for a hot shower. There were four big jugs of water for me set near my van in the parking lot. Two people made plans to loan me their generator the next day. I began remembering that despite what I’d felt at first, I was definitely NOT in a bad place. The family I have at school reminded me of what a good place I am in, whether or not I have water or electricity at home.

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