Sometime in my 30s I got pneumonia. It started, probably, with a cold that just wouldn’t go away. Nor would I give it a chance to go away because I had to keep going and going. Just like that energizer bunny. I had a small child, a job, a house, and a myriad of tasks to do. Oh, and I also taught a Sunday School class and may have been serving on a church board. That part is lost in the recesses of my aging brain. All I knew, there was no time to be sick.
But I got sick. By the time I went to the doctor, it was bad enough that he threatened to hospitalize me. Now, that would never work. I was a wife, a mother, an employee, a volunteer. Life was too busy for a hospital room to be thrown into the mix.
“Then you must go home, get in bed, and stay there all week. Get up only to use the bathroom,” was his reply to my wail of anguish, “and if you are not better in a couple of days, you will go to the hospital. Pneumonia can kill you.”
I guess dying would not be a good thing.
I went home, went to bed, and stayed there. And got well.
Life continued. The child was fed and bathed. The house did not fall down. Someone filled in for me at work. But, the Sunday School class? No one took care of that. I don’t remember what the boys who I taught did during the time period I was away. No one from church called to say they missed me. I felt a bit betrayed by the people who should be caring about what happened to me.
That incident taught me that I should never count on people to take care of important matters. That it was important for me to stay healthy and keep doing the tasks that did matter to me. Unable to count on others makes one very independent. And well.
My district put out an offer right after Christmas: tell us by February 7 that you are leaving at the end of the year and we’ll give you a $1000 bonus. I turned in my notice and today the money showed up in my account.
Some districts, in different years, give various amounts to get their faculty to commit, early on, to leaving. My district gave a big bonus last year ($25K) to teachers who had 30 years and were 60+ years old if they would retire at the end of the school year. I will never reach that point, nor do I think they will have the funds (they used stimulus funds) to do it again, so I took the offer they did make.
This is not retirement as I am only leaving teaching, not the workforce. I want another job, doing something different than what I’ve been doing for 21 years. I keep saying, I’m getting off one bus and onto another. I just don’t know the route yet.
How do people manage a busy personal life along with a job? This week was a killer due to too much personal stuff on my part. I cannot do all these things and manage to work a 60 hour week.
In addition to the death in the family, I had a small dinner party, and a doctor’s appointment. All these ate into the time I usually give to work. So, the work suffered. But work had some major hurdles in addition to my regularly scheduled program. I had three major meetings at school, one from 4 to 7 on Thursday. We had a field trip and an assembly to add more fun to the scheduling. Then I’m using a prep period to coach two boys for a competition in another week. One of the guys decided it was too much and got sick and missed today. The girl I was counting on to take pictures and get a page done in yearbook has been out sick all week. The multimedia class is learning how to use Windows Movie Maker, which is an unknown quantity to me so I am learning right along with them.
So, how do people have time for a personal life? I sure don’t, especially not during the week. Can we plan those extra things for the weekend? Oh, wait, I want to do laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking on those two days.