S0, HI, I just had jury duty for a week. It was honestly exciting, fascinating, and exhausting. For some it was a break from work, whether they wanted it to be or not. For me, it was jury duty by day, sub plans by night. It was eight hours of trial followed by three hours of "what do my kids do tomorrow?" The whole week was an experience that is valuable and taught me so much, but it left me more disconnected from work and my students than I've felt in a long time.
Yesterday I shot a wedding, but before that I was at a coffee shop working on editing and writing and school work and grading and everything all at once when a couple of students walked in. When I saw them I felt genuinely joyful, and I was excited to see them after what felt like weeks. For me that was such a powerful moment and reassured me that I'm where I'm supposed to be right now. It was also a reminder that there are people who depend on me every day, which is both terrifying and humbling. My Creative Writers are doing an amazing project right now and I missed being able to guide them and help them find their voices, even if just for a week (more on all that later).
Taking a break is hard. Not only is it difficult to slow down and step away from work, but it's even harder coming back after being gone. It's like watching a show but missing a few episodes in the middle. You might be able to read summaries of what you missed, but you didn't actually see the episodes, so you'll never be fully caught up. Even though I wrote my sub plans and my students kept moving forward in their projects, I feel like I skipped a few episodes along the way.
One thing I've learned about myself is that I'm rarely happy when I'm in the groove, or when everything is structured. I live a very scheduled life, but right now there are so many deadlines and expectations floating around that at times it's overwhelming. It's also how I work best and when I'm the happiest. So even though my deadline for Project 229 is at the end of the month (yikes!), and school is beginning to feel like the crushing weight I'm so familiar with, I'm happy. And I'm so excited for it all.
p.s. ALSO, I think I'm going to write about jury duty because it taught me so much and made me sad and angry and also I felt like I was on Law & Order. There's a lot to unpack, so that's coming later. See you then.