Read this on galpod.com.
I usually love going back to school. About two weeks before, we try out the old uniform to check if they still fit and order new shoes, skirts, or shirts as needed. About a week before the start of the school year, we wash out the backpacks, go over last year's books, take pictures of things we want to remember, then throw the lot in the recycling bin. On the first day (sometimes the second) of September, we also hang the new calendar and start putting in commitments: clubs, lessons, date nights.
This year, I'm a bit reluctant. To begin with, my kids have been home for a very long time now. Everyone's kids have, obviously. But unlike most people I've talked to, we rather enjoyed it. I actually liked the kids being home. Not that they were getting any sort of education, and therein lies the problem, but we were having fun. We got into a routine in which they read or did some school work in the morning while I wrote, then we all had lunch as a family, then we hung out in the afternoon, reading and playing.
Another reason I'm reluctant is that this year is going to be stressful. My son is taking a test that would determine which school he can get into next year, and over the last few months, he hasn’t been able to see his 103-year-old tutor. We didn’t want to kill him, you see. He’s been working on his own a little, but not much. The ridiculous thing is that we, as parents, see very little significance in getting him into the “proper” school. Still, we want him to be challenged academically and have the opportunity to develop his musical skills, which in our area at least necessitates an independent (American: private) school. And those schools are hard to get into, being selective and all that.
The past couple of weeks have been overwhelming for me. On top of my regular concerns with going back, our dog had two different grass seeds in his paw, and there was a sharp increase in personal administrative stuff. After such a long time of relaxed and even leisurely schedule, having to be in places on time and other people expecting things from me is a complete drag.
I’ve been thinking as well about the things I would like to achieve this school year, and at the same time being wary of setting goals or expectations as I’m pretty sure that in three weeks we’re all going back into lockdown. That said, I’ve been pretty productive in the last lockdown. I’ve been going back and forth about what to do with all the free time I will have now (six hours of child-free existence!), what I want from myself, and how I can bring myself to get there.
As you can tell, my anxiety levels are pretty high lately, and that’s not helping anyone. Even the new calendar did little to assuage the anxiety, and a new calendar had always done the trick before. Meditation helps a little, but I suspect that there isn’t a substantial boost so much as a slow increment because I meditate every day. Right now, it feels like I will never figure this thing out. I know in my head that this is the anxiety talking and that I’ll figure it out at some point. I’m just saying it’s been a tough couple of weeks.
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