Find another power source or plug in…

When the final day of school arrives, at least for those of us with children in their schooling years, fatigue can set in. No matter that the days are longer with more sun, the kids have summer to look forward to, and the lessened structure will be our friend for the coming weeks. The ending of school is a culmination of months of work and attention. For teachers and school staff, that is particularly true. But all of us have a sense of relief at the end of the school year. Summer can be a time to renew – to switch things up – and this summer I intend to do just that.

It’s a bit like that alert that comes on your computer,”find another power source or plug in.” The battery has been running all year long. It is time for a change.

During the school year, my power source is the rhythm of weeks and weekends; time spent alone with my music or writing; staff meetings; time with friends and family (heaven knows, I could never do it without my ultra-organized spouse. God bless all single parents out there – if it were me, I’d be talking gibberish by now.)

I have been feeling the need for a change inside me. Sometimes when I am in this kind of energy, I wallow in it a while. Not necessarily in a good way. But, that is what I do – and eventually I come out of it – usually with something new and better on my plate.

It reminds me of a Will and Grace episode where Grace has broken up with a serious romance. In it, she goes to bed and turns all the lights off. She hangs out there for days while Will and Karen take turns trying to cheer her up. She just lays in a dark bedroom, eating junk food and switching television stations, for what seems like weeks. Finally, after one failed attempt to cheer her up, she says, and I paraphrase, “I need to do this until I don’t do it any more, so quit trying to cheer me up.”

The ensuing clips show all 3 of them lounging in bed watching tv, eating popcorn, and sleeping. Then, one day, she gets up and turns on the light and gets dressed. It’s a great scene. And a poignant moment.

I don’t mind a little cheering section, myself, and need it sometimes. But, the scene stayed with me because it reminded me that we all have our own ways of dealing with grief – and life, for that matter.

I have a number of questions peering back at me: 

  • How can I live more fully into my “calling” – that mysterious relationship of work, passion, and making a difference in our world
  • What do I need to let go of to help clear the path to “there” (wherever that is)
  • How do I nurture my most heart-enriching relationships for the long haul
  • and of course… will I ever chose to lose that extra weight?

I think it may be time to explore another power source. I don’t know what that looks like – and I am not ready to completely unplug, not yet. That is good. I will know when I need to.

Don’t get me wrong. All is well. I am not planning a move or change in family or marital status; I will stay focused on my family and husband, and my sense of call to some combination of peace and nonviolence, music, writing, and education. I still love my colleagues and my job. It just seems that the winds of change are blowing. I am unsettled and will be open to making some shifts.

Why not? I might find a new power source that will give me, my family, my community, and the world a better me. I might be part of creating a new form a energy. THAT would be excellent.

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