Saturday, April 22, 2017

My Best Work


The election rocked me.

Yes, this is me, six months later, talking about how the election rocked me.

Or at least just putting it out there because I'm about six months behind in processing.

It had nothing to do with Clinton.

Nothing to do with being surprised (I wasn't), nothing to do with the job hopes I had getting crushed, the planning I had done for months being put off track, the anticipatory waiting stripped away, nothing to do with cat hats and marching and people showing up to participate for the first time.

It had nothing to do with the abject disappointment I had when true and converted DJT believers in my Facebook feed started to creep out in the open.

Nothing to do with going to work every day with a tried and truer, and parsing every work of thirteen years feeling like he's a total stranger.

Nothing to do with my stablest of stable friends weep, fearing for their black husbands who work off hours, for the Hispanic maintenance workers in our office building who looked shell shocked, for the Mama who fears for their child attending weekend education at the mosque, for the families who rushed to get second parent adoptions done, for the village of powerful women sang their karaoke voices out with rage and joy and joyful rage.

I've changed my favorite sandwich shop, altered my commute route to not go back the White House. I've chosen my seats in restaurants so I don't have to look at the hotel.

I am far from alone.

And then last week, I saw my first second third and 50th signature red hat.  High school kids, joyful on their senior trips to DC.

It felt like the universe punched me in the face.

I wanted to stop, and yell "WHOAREYOUANDWHATAREYOUDOING??!"

The world has had some twists and turns in the last six months, and I can't find the exit because it wasn't in the map I was given.

I want off this map.

My life is joyful.

And it is joyful in ways, that for the first time in 20 years, have nothing to do with where my phone alarm, memorized drive to work, tick-tock every minute of when the Costco and the laundry and the grocery and the school meeting and the change of clothes and the pediatrician and the birthday party gift and the mortgage payment and the damn who kicked the bumper again, and let's not forget the beautiful precious totally planned parenting weekend moments were going to happen.

So I'm working but I'm putting my passion now into my best work.

I'm not missing another teacher coffee again.

I'm not skipping the trikeathon and the field day and the parent education and the opportunity to pick up food for the school food bank.

I'm not banking my use or lose vacation for a rainy day, and then losing it at the end of the year without fail.

I'm not wasting those minutes when I could be bouncing at trampoline parks and packing picnics and watching snakes and climbing walls when the kids are on Spring Break.

That's what I've always done.

No more.

I'm working on school food pantries and testifying on charter school laws.

I'm making all the meals I've been meaning to deliver for months.

I'm planting pinwheels instead of flowers in the chalky clay of our front yard that's never going to grow a damn thing after twelve years of trying.

I'm attending the fashion show and buying something out of my comfort zone.  (But let's be honest, after I find a better coupon code online)

I'm noticing that bunches of flowers are $5.99 at Trader Joes, and $4.00 at Harris Teeter and I'm buying those flowers.

I did this work. My best work.  For the last seven days.

It is good work indeed.

I'm going to work to live.  Pay the bills for all this living.

Watch out kids.  This roller coaster has a new driver.

Photo Dump