I am into my third week of school. Teachers hit the ground running, and we haven't had time to stop. The needs are many. It's all hands on deck all the time. I have had three IEP meetings already and another one is scheduled for later this week. Assessments are already underway and will continue through this month. It's like we never left.
I had hoped I wouldn't be back this year. I gave myself permission to think about that possibility after April break. It was the only way I could see myself able to finish the year. Mid-May I took a hard look at my room and started organizing it so I could slowly, discreetly take everything that is personally mine home with me. It worked. On the last day of school I was the first one out of the building. I had all the paperwork done, the room ready for cleaning, and no need to return for anything should that be possible.
Every single day of summer was wonderful. There was literally not a bad day. As I wrote in my last post, the summer started strong and it continued that way right up until the last day, when my son and his family were wrapping up a five-day visit. We even had a chance to get the three cousins together that Sunday.
I had until the last day of July to say I wouldn't return for this school year. A teacher "can't" resign in August, and after that they are required by contract to give 30 days notice.
I met with my financial advisor in late July. I had done the numbers before the meeting and was sure what the score was: it would be better for me to keep working. We would be okay if I got done, but there would be no wiggle room. By working another year I can add more to my retirement and put more money in savings. It also gives us time to better invest Ken's 401K in a diversified portfolio with a better average return, and we won't need to dip into that for at least another year. We will by no means ever being living high. The goal is to feel secure enough with what we have on the books, even if there is an unexpected expense, which we know there will be somewhere along the way.
So I'm back in the classroom. I know I will do what is best for the kids. My struggle is to take care of myself, too. Some mornings the vertigo is back. I start with intention and work to stay present. I am staying later at school to work and hope to get to the point where I don't bring work home in the evenings.
I have claimed weekends as mine and don't plan to do schoolwork. There's still time to go the beach with my daughter and granddaughter. There are planned visits this coming weekend with all the grown children and three grandchildren. These are the people I love and the moments that matter the most. The rest is day-to-day and what needs to get done will get done. We'll see how it goes.
Two grandchildren at the beach ~
The three cousins ~