Slice of Life Tuesday: Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

This slice of life could have been about the daily wrestling match that gets fought at five a.m. between my alarm and my brain,

or about the importance of having workout buddies who look out for me, who expect so much from me, who inspire me to do better,

or about the way time. Slows. Down. with that first morning sip of chai,

or about the new phrase I developed – “joyfully irrelevant,” describing the way I feel sometimes when I’m now out of the loop and I’m just fine with that,

or it could have been about the way plans seem to get made and unmade, made and unmade,

or about seeking happiness from within the confines of an extra bonus planning time.

This slice of life might have been about the excitement of watching kids talk about things they enjoy learning,

or about the way students put effort and heart into their communications with each other,

or about the up-down-all-around ride that’s called “waiting for weekly COVID screening results,”

or about a lunch, barely chewed but still eaten between a meeting and a quick doggo check-in.

This post would have been about the thrill of kids seeing history open up wide,

or about how fun it is to talk when it’s something we’re excited about,

or about the anticipation of what’s for dinner.

No, I suppose I’ll just have to settle for a post where I tell you
I’m kind of tired,
And my brain is mushy,
And there’s nothing happening anyway,
And I’m preoccupied with too many things
to write a post today.


This post is part of the weekly Slice of Life challenge from Two Writing Teachers. Check them out!

Published by Lainie Levin

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

29 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

    1. Thank you! Feel free to steal the phrase. I was chatting with a colleague who told me of some PD going on in my district, and I had *no clue* it was happening. Last year I would have been 100% in the thick of it. Let’s just say my feathers were entirely unruffled by the slight. =)

  1. I second what Stacey said. I really like the joyfully irrelevant phrase. I’ve recently switched roles at my school. I retired and came back as a special ed. para. I work with kids (that’s the joyful part), but I no longer write report cards, go to ppts or have to attend faculty meetings (that’s my Mr. Irrelevant side)…and on a Monday afternoon at 4:00, that brings me joy.

    1. Thank you! And..getting to work with kids, but *not* having to do report cards? That sounds fabulous, indeed! I’m saying this as someone who has to conduct over 70 conferences in the next two weeks…

  2. This is a kind of list poem. All of those ideas slip sliding around. I know that feeling. Mushy brain happens daily at about 5:00 PM for me.

    1. Wow. You make it all the way to 5:00? Depending on the day, I’m out of articulate by noon. I tell folks around me they know what kind of day I’m having by when I put my hair up in a bun. (For reference, today was around 10 am)

    1. Thank you! It was more fun to write than drilling down with any of these single subjects, which is about where my 3:00 brain had landed…

  3. What a clever approach to a slice when “my brain is mushy” – I must remember this! Very enjoyable read – sorry you are so full, tired, preoccupied.

  4. I am sorry you didn’t have the focus to write a post today. I guess yours is one less post I need to read today. Hopefully, your brain will get some much needed rest and you will be back here next week. Since you haven’t written today and I am not reading this I guess I could say that I haven’t written today either because my brain isn’t working either.

  5. And so it is a true slice of life…all the things, and nothing. This is the time of year that “tired” settles in the brain like snow and seeps down into the bones. And no wonder – look at where all the daily energy goes! I look at my full planner and wonder – just briefly, in one pale spark – how bad it would be if I just went back to bed. Alas. I pour another cup of coffee, read your words, and know…I’ll make it, I will have written SOMETHING true and meaningful, ever how small…and there’s a tiny pocket of peace in that.

  6. I cannot imagine your brain ever being mushy! I do understand being tired. I do understand not being fully awake when you get out of bed. I do understand that hot cup of “something” that gets you going in the morning – for me it’s tea. You should understand you are still a hero to some – your family, the families of the children you challenge each day, and those of us in the writing community inspired by your work ethic and words each week. Thanks, Lainie!

    1. Ha! Well…check’s in the mail for that compliment, for sure. And…thank you. Yes, I do understand the influence I have with my students and families, and will never cease to amaze and humble me. As far as the writing community, just know that I feel exactly the same about you. THANK YOU for being part of my trusted reader circle. =)

  7. Dearest Lainie,

    I am enamored with this post! In the vein of your “inability” to write, you have masterfully designed a most beautifully designed piece – and the structure is most lovely.

    I adore how it aligns with a poetic form, coupling free verse with stylistic patterns and heavily laden with such meaningful content – and I can relate! To the morning struggle, the intermittent chaos, the welcome celebrations – and the awareness that our thoughts, lives and emotions are so meticulously complex!

    This poem would perfectly fit so many moments in my life. It’s nice to know we’re not alone! Thank you so much for sharing! Job well done – this post is rich and PHENOMENAL!!!

    ~Dr. Carla Michelle Brown

    1. Thank you, Carla! Free verse is one of my absolute 100% favorite ways for me to express myself. Simply put, words are fun to play with.

      It’s also validating to know that I’m not alone. So, yes. Thank you. ❤

      1. Good Evening, Lainie! This comment rings true with me tonight. I recently presented at/attended a literacy conference in Colorado and met an amazing author who published a young adult book in verse. I’m so inspired – I’ve settled on a topic that I’d like to explore myself and it is officially (though slowly) in the works! I can’t wait until it’s finished.

        You are not alone indeed. Looking forward to reading more of your writing!

        ~Dr. Carla Michelle

      2. Thank you, Carla. And…I’m anxious to see where your explorations take you!

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