A little bummed

I’ve been kind of down in the dumps lately. It’s a lot of things, some of them big, some of them small, and some of them kind of confounding.

Some really big shit is going down at my daughter’s school right now. Like, really big. I’m sorry I can’t give more details, but it’s actually been written about in some smaller local publications and I don’t want anyone to read this and google it and find out where my daughter attends school. Needless to say, I’m wondering if we’re going to be able to keep my daughter there when she gets older. I’m not worried about 2nd grade, but I’m going take each year as it comes.

The stuff going on at my daughter’s school bums me out for a lot of reasons. On the one hand my feelings are self-centered; I want my daughter to be able to stay at the school and continue her education in an immersion setting. But even more troubling is the reality that while I can pull my daughter (because I have options, or at the very least know how to access the limited recourse available through the district), so many of the students there will have to stay, no matter how bad it gets. The disparity in quality of education, and access to resources, is so great; it exacerbates the already massive chasm of opportunity between those of lower socioeconomic status and those of higher.

The actions of our current executive and legislative branches are only compounding my fear of the future. The effects of their policies are going to hurt our country for generations to come. The political climate engenders a feeling of hopeless that it is hard to get out from under. I do believe it’s coloring my impressions of everything else that is happening in my life.

{But not everything is horrible. The ACA has been saved! I honestly can’t really believe that. I thought for all their hemming and hawing enough Republicans would eventually get in line. I’m so relieved that not only did they pull AHCA, but that they aren’t making a second pass to repeal and replace, at least not for a while.}

Some other stuff that has been bumming me out: my husband’s good friend recently separated from his wife. They were never married but have two kids. We see them a few times a year and my husband has drinks with his friend about once a month. He hadn’t seen him since Christmas and now he knows why… His friend is evidently distraught. They tried counseling but I guess in the end they couldn’t reconcile their differences. So now he is living in his own place. The only good news is that he’s a lawyer at a big firm and makes a lot of money so at least financially they are probably okay, or at least have options. Still, I’m sad for them and sad for their kids.

Our friends’ separation is also a reminder that we’re entering that era of lives, the one where marriages end. Most of our friends are in long term relationships. Only a few might still have families. And now a certain percentage of couples we know will get divorced. In the group of mothers that I hang out with from my daughter’s school, half of the six of us are already divorced–and our kids are only in 1st grade (to be fair, one also has a 5th grader). Every time a couple that I know and love (and think seems great together, like the ones who just separated) break up, I’ll be reminded of what a fragile thing a marriage can be. I suppose in some ways that is a good thing, as marriages are fragile in that they require a certain amount of deliberate maintenance to stay healthy and strong and it’s important to remember that. But it’s also depressing to think that this relationship I’ve worked so hard for might implode in five or ten years down the line. (Especially when my husband lies in bed for over an hour just scrolling on his phone the first Saturday after his six days away in Austin–grrrr!)

The final thing that is bumming me out is less obvious. And honestly I don’t really know what my feelings are about this, or where they are coming from.

I applied for the two high school jobs on Wednesday night. Ever since then I’ve been especially down. The thing is, both possible outcomes are depressing me! The idea of getting a new job, leaving everything I know, packing up my room and 13 years worth of resources, spending the weeks of the summer when we’re not traveling (which are few and far between) setting up a new room and preparing to teach new classes… All of that is overwhelming and upsetting. Strangely the opposite doesn’t provide much relief. Staying where I am, commuting between campuses again, teaching the same thing I’ve already taught a dozen times, dealing with the construction fiasco that will be the first half of the school year (it’s a long boring story), waiting until March to apply for high school jobs again… That bums me out as much as the alternative. I’m not quite sure why I feel equally shitty about both possible outcomes, maybe I’m just burned out, or the other stuff in my life is shadowing all the other possible bright spots. I hope that by the time I know what next year will look like I can garner a little enthusiasm for it.

I’m trying to count backwards to when I last had my period. Is this just the general malaise of the second half of my cycle. Quite possibly. I need to do a better job of tracking my cycles.

I don’t know. I’ve just been down lately. I’m trying to both accept it, and do little things in an attempt to shake it. I’m sure in a few weeks everything will seem better again.

3 Comments

  1. If both the option of moving to the high school AND the option of staying at your school are bumming you out, then to me it sounds like if you get another job then you should take it. Change is often hard and thinking of lesson planning/moving to a new classroom is hard work. But you never know- it could be the change that makes you happier! I think that as long as you don’t get a lot of red flags during an interview a new job would be good because otherwise you will just stay depressed about your current one.

    Have you thought about something OTHER than teaching? Maybe something for adults wanting to learn Spanish? A corporate job? Not sure what is out there but maybe try thinking out of the box.

  2. Agree with nonseq …. know you are concerned re loss of retirement benefits but look carefully about putting even more into STRS which will not happen until you are 68 or so versus the question of today. Also look at the question of summer off with kids … but they go to camp anyway…. and how much money you would earn at non-school 12 month job and how that would or would not play into your desire to travel with your children. I AM NOT PUSHING for either choice. There are no perfect answers and the real question is: which trade offs work best for you and your family. And, only you can answer that.
    You have a LOT of years to go before retirement and being unhappy in those years would be a LOT of unhappy time. On the other hand being unhappy not teaching is also unhappy.
    Does your district have any idea what it is doing with the new CA laws re education and what they will choose if 45’s ‘vouchers for schools’ thing happens? I think there will be terrible reductions in the dollars available to public schools but have read that actually federal dollars are not super key decision drivers. I do not know what is true.
    SO sorry there is upheaval at your daughter’s school. Had just seen 15 SF schools lauded in the Chron this weekend and hoped yours was among those. Sometimes upheaval creates good change even when the process is hard. Fingers crossed for you all.
    Sending good wishes. And reminder that, as we age, our responses to hormonal surges and changes also change and can intensify in all sorts of different directions.

  3. I’m sorry that you’re feeling down. It’s really stressful when something in your kid’s school is not right.
    About your job situation – if there are downsides to both outcomes, perhaps there are also upsides to both? Like, if you get one of the new jobs, you get a fresh start and perhaps a better work environment. Even slightly faster commute is also really good! (I have a 20 minutes commute but next year our department moves so it will be about 45min and I’m devastated). But if you don’t get the new job, you get to relax in the summer and you don’t need to stress about changes.

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