Once upon a time the perfect storm came and tried to ruin everything.
It involved about forty hours of grading essays in a week, doing everything possible to have them done before a trip home.
It involved putting off projects and readings that needed to be done in favor of pushing forward with every last inch of sanity to finish those essays and get them back to students before their next essay test.
It involved death bed repenters and desperate parents wanting to put bandaids on gaping wounds.
It involved a frantic Friday after school rushing to get things done and make it to the airport without falling asleep at the wheel. Boarding a plane and feeling like - finally - I'd have an excuse to relax.
It involved a delayed - and then cancelled flight. Followed by a missed airport shuttle. Followed by a sleepless night in a cold and kitschy hotel room. Followed by a way too early morning. Followed by a flight in the world's smallest airplane. Followed by a two hour ride home instead of a fifteen minute home.
It involved a not nearly as relaxing and enjoyable trip for me or for others in my family as it should have been. Long week + long weekend = an unfortunate conglomeration of out of control events (translation: I was not in the world's most enthusiastic mood. Further translation: I think the weekend was a disappointment for those, including myself, who like me slightly better rested and fed.)
It then involved returning home to an individual blaming me for purposefully grading hard to prove a point and more or less claiming that I am not intelligent enough to do the job I have.
It involved me wanting very much to throw up the proverbial white BANNER of surrender. To yell to the world that I cannot possibly be everything for everyone, or do all the right things, or please anyone, and that I may as well not try any more, because what was the point? My imperfections felt so very close to the surface and frustrating for me and inconvenient for other people, and it was beyond my mental and physical stamina to handle it any more.
But then. . .
I drove home and saw a sight that looked almost identical to this.
I took a little time to visit . . .
(She's been missing me lately. It's been mutual.)
And suddenly life doesn't seem so unconquerable any more.
I'm still imperfect. I'm still overworked. And stubborn. And maybe a little delusional sometimes. But mostly, I think, I'm like the majority of people in the world trying to get by the best they can - sometimes meeting success and sometimes not. Rough weeks happen. Sometimes weeks are more overwhelming than others. But they end. And we move onward and upward and, with any luck, gain more than just some sore muscles by the time we reach the top of the peak.