#SOL20 Day 14: The Dog Days of…March?

I love standing in the school hallways at arrival and dismissal time. It’s like a barometer that gives me readings of a different kind of atmosphere.

Yesterday, as the bell rang for our half day early dismissal, the kiddos were released from classes, backpacks full of materials, heads full of instructions. Some even stopped to give me a big fat hug. The mood around me was…inexplicably…summer.

I can’t explain it. Maybe it was the warm weather we’ve been having. Maybe it was anticipation of a week of at-home learning before our spring break. Maybe – and this is my guess – it was the sense that we might be looking at an even longer time away and nobody really knows what that will look like.

We stand face-to-face, staring into the wide-open yawn of time. These days at home are going to feel really long, and even more uncertain. And just like with summer, it is upon us to fill our days well, to bring the sense of structure and predictability that keeps us from breaking loose from our moorings.

None of this truly hit me until today, when I noticed that despite having to report for professional collaboration time on Monday, I had shifted into summer mode. Which, for me, translates into expressing insanely productive energy around the house because I am physically unable to downshift once school ends. In the hours since I have been home, I:

*Cleaned out the playroom
*Set up a home office for myself
*Organized all extra food and supplies onto shelving
*Cooked dinner for my family
*Arranged and began assembling a give-away pile
*Wiped down all kitchen surfaces, switches and door knobs
*Did 3 loads of laundry
*Cleaned out my closet and drawers
*Caught up on school work
*Called my mother (always!)
*Rearranged the living room furniture
*Ordered and assembled materials for at-home workouts
*Inventoried and organized the fridge and freezer

Yes. I have a problem. I can’t help myself. I’m a wind-up toy that just has to run down before I can let things be. My entire family knows that the best thing they can do during the first two weeks of summer is to just. Stay. Out. Of. My. Way.

The trick to being a wind-up toy, of course, is running down without becoming run down. I’m always trying to find that balance.

In the meantime, I’ll be over here organizing files and activities for my students. Or cleaning the oven. Or scrubbing the floors. Or or or…

Published by Lainie Levin

Mom of two, full-time teacher, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and holder of a very full plate

13 thoughts on “#SOL20 Day 14: The Dog Days of…March?

  1. Such a strange, strange time. Our schools are closed for three weeks. Services at my church have been cancelled indefinitely. I’m not allowed to visit my 86-year-old mom, which I have done every Sunday for the last five years. I’m feeling more than a little unmoored, but I wasn’t nearly as productive as you have been today.

    1. Yes, our community is closing in on us, as well. No services, school out for two weeks – although I’m guessing with spring break many schools will have to stay closed to allow for self-imposed quarantines with families who travel….?

  2. OK, after reading your list of accomplishments I need a nap. These are strange times. I am not sure what I would be feeling of how I would react if I were still teaching. I have the feeling that many communities are going to be like ghost towns with people not venturing our of their houses.

    1. I would agree. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it, but the only way I’ll understand is to live it. Which…I’m not looking forward to.

  3. “Staring into the wide-open yawn of time” … what a wonderful way you have with words. That’s exactly what we’re doing now. Your list-!!!! And here I was proud of just trying to get ahead on some writing. You’re a phenom. In more ways than one. And all good.

  4. I feel like you & I have been on a similar writing wavelength. Your writing echos my sentiment that yesterday felt like a summer dismissal. Yet it’s not. Like you my mind has shifted into summer mode and here we are on a Saturday at 11:17 PM and I’m nowhere near tired. What in the world? That’s all I can think.

    1. Yes, indeed. I think I may also have to get better at quieting my mind. It will probably be much better for me all around.

      I’m also glad and grateful that I’ve struck a chord with you. One of the things I’m learning about this community is how very much I need it to maintain my sense of connection with others. So…thank you. =)

  5. Lainie, you nailed it. I had a kid in tears and one that grasped my hand so tightly yelling “goodbye Ms. Wright” that it made my hair on my arms stand up. The uncertainty is eating away at me and I know that the only way to get past the idea of not knowing our next move is to stay busy. Thanks for the inspiring post. I’m going to push myself to find some fulfillment in this “strange time”

  6. I am in awe of your energy! Your family should be thrilled by all your accomplishments! All of us are trying to cope with the insane flux of emotions in this time of so many unknowns. I have been greatly helped by my list-making, and tackling things one by one.

    It is so strange that there is so much time at home in the middle of March. I loved your title – The Dog Days of …March?

    1. Thanks, Maureen. I guess my family kinda takes it in stride – they can usually set my calendars by my post-school activity swings.

      I’m hoping that I can find some middle ground to balance everything out…

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