12 October 2011

The Perfect Storm

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.


Nanakat said...

Do you mind that I comment on almost every one of your posts? I hope not.

It's just that I can hear you, and though I hate to say it (because I would prefer being able to tell you that it will get better--sorry, it may be different, but it will still probably be a challenge), I feel that I am very much where you are in my own way, with my own crazy-making demands on my time.

And since I have daughters who have come home for visits and been frustrated that those visits haven't been as restful as they might have hoped, I can sympathize with you. What a frustrating travel experience you had!

But I also see that you know how to find the beauty that can heal, and I'm glad you were able to get some refreshng rest as well.

When I was in college, and I'd become overwhelmed, I'd go sit in front of a particular fountain on campus that simulated a waterfall, and I'd let the roar of the water remind me that my Heavenly Father loves me, even if it seems that everything else is wrong or crazy.

Thank heavens for the beauties of His creation, even when they may not be entirely "natural." I think I need to go take a walk. Thank you for reminding me.

Joni said...

Nanakat -

Don't mind at all. I remember being a kid and thinking that adults never had issues figuring life out or themselves out. That somehow a degree solved problems - if not professionally, then personally. The older I get (and the more time I spend in Relief Society), the more I see the universality in the experience of women, no matter their ages. It's the same thing I tell my students who are reading Little Women right now. I don't care if you're a boy or a girl - everyone knows what it is to be jealous, or left behind, or unpopular, or confused. The ultimate reality behind the experiences of life are relatable to lots of people, even if the sequence of events are not. It's why I love this kind of writing so much. I appreciate your comments and feedback. No worries at all :)