Sunning in Survival

These last few days I’ve been thinking about July 2019. It was the month where I decided to cash in on some earned wisdom. I was saying goodbye to Pennsylvania, a state that had become more of a home than anywhere else I had lived. My stuff was headed to Sweet Home Alabama, a complicated place of which I had little first hand knowledge. I was nervous. I was excited. I was grieving. And I was leaving.

Going from one place to another gave me a lot of time to think about transitions. And one thing I knew is that there was no telling what I could expect. Categorically I knew about changes to come–a new child, a new job, and a new world in which I needed to find my place. I decided that the only real goal worth setting for the year was to survive. [ProTip: First year teachers or veterans in a new teaching space, this is the only goal.]

I had done the moving thing before. Instead of high hopes, I decided to be pleasantly surprised. If I set a low bar, then overstepping disappointment would be all the easier.

I suppose there are a number of ways of reading this. Maybe I’m an optimist jaded by too many missteps. Maybe I’m a pragmatist who is playing safe. I think both explanations are true enough.

In my own self-description, I guess what I’m trying to be is in the moment. And that’s pretty new to me. No dawns. Every day just high noon. Sometimes there’s a showdown; other times, iced tea. And with each there’s a sunset to take a breather and to prepare to count another yesterday.

A Shadowed Luke Skywalker looking off at a binary sunset in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Did I have a good year? By a lot of measures, I had a great year. It was also a very hard year. Right now I prefer savoring the fact that I’m still here. If I can’t do that, then the rest doesn’t matter. So here I am. And that’s not nothing.

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