Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Momma Said There'd be Days Like This

After 27 years as a school counselor, I should have been able to predict that there'd be days when a major life transition might have an impact on me. But, no! When they hit, I am blindsided. Overwhelmed and blindsided.

Gray, out-of-sorts, growing pains days make me think of my friend Barb. Not that Barb was ever gray and out-of-sorts - far from it - but after she retired, she had a tough time adjusting to life on the outside. Thirty-plus years of education had left their mark, and without a school routine, Barb felt set adrift.

Set adrift has not been in my repertoire, at least not so far. So far - once the decision was made and became a reality - I've more like my friend Sandy. If Sandy had a moment's doubt about retiring, you'd never know it. She is thriving, happy, busy. Fulfilled.

Most days, I am like Sandy. Any doubts or second thoughts preceded the decision, and haunted me only until June when I could finally put closure on what had become irreversible. Once the decision became a reality, I looked only forward, not back, excited about the prospects and possibilities that lay ahead.

I made plans, shored up contacts, set priorities and (mostly) stuck to them. When September rolled around, and everyone went back to school, I congratulated myself on my planning as I headed into the fall with a schedule that was enticingly full, but not bursting at the seams.

But every once in a while, the growing pains hit, and the schedule that seemed enticingly full seems overwhelming. Adding one last thing to the grid - no matter how enjoyable - can nudge everything out of balance and leave me feeling not adrift, but drowning. Self-doubt takes over and I wonder how I'll ever swim to shore.

Momma said there'd be days like this. And in the scheme of things, these days are small potatoes.

But when I am in the midst of one of them, look out! Or please, please, PLEASE throw me a life preserver, for my sake and for the sake of anyone who has to be around me.

Two weeks from now when the craziness (of my own making) has passed, I will probably look back at  this post and laugh, asking myself the inevitable counselor question: how can you avoid getting yourself into this mess in the future?

And while I know the answer, I wonder if I'll have the self-control required to say those magic words: "No, thanks. I can't commit to that."

Perhaps I should start practicing on days like this.


  1. I always joke that my mom and dad are busier now than they ever were when they "worked." The nice thing, I suppose, is that now you choose to do the things that fill your day, rather than having to do them for a paycheck. :)

    I hope you don't get overwhelmed, and you enjoy the fullness you are so blessed to have!

  2. Thanks, Heidi! Writing seems to be one of the things that keeps getting edged out, and that's not at all what I had planned! Of course, it could have something to do with the fact that I'm working on revisions....

  3. LOL. One good thing about school is mandated deadlines. Even when I want to get distracted from revisions, I don't have a choice but to put my bum in a chair and do it. :)