I haven't been sleeping well this month. I'm either up late working on my house or I'm lying in bed awake thinking of what I need to be doing for my house. I haven't taken any sleeping pills for this for fear of the all-too-easy-to-miss 4:45 wake up, so instead I'm getting more and more stressed over less and less sleep.
Thus last night I was lying awake sweating (my AC is still broken) and stressing about all of the boxes I need to unpack, the phone calls I need to make, the bills I need to pay, and I was feeling pretty resentful of my job. To be eleven years into a profession and to still make less than the majority of graduate degree level starting salaries... well, it's insulting. It's likewise annoying that I can't pick up a second job to supplement my income during this time of need because of the crazy hours my primary job demands. I couldn't even figure out when I was going to unpack my home because I have an all-day coaching conference Saturday and speech practices every afternoon starting Monday. I want to be a teacher, but it just doesn't feel like a sustainable profession.
But then I thought of what I do have - I have 15 days of leave saved up, I have classes that are on autopilot with student-run projects through Monday, and I have a principal who announced on our first day back that we were going to a results-based work environment. "Do a good job, make sure your students are learning, and that's all I care about," he said. "Keep up the good results and do what will make you happy. It might not be school-related, but if it makes you happy and it doesn't interfere with your results, do it. Take care of yourself."
I looked around my bedroom. Even in the darkness I could see the stacks of boxes surrounding my bed; my work literally and figuratively looming over me as I tried to sleep. What I need, I decided, is to have a home again. I need a day to unpack, to fix my washing machine, to clean everything, to make phone calls during business hours, to gather documents and get them notarized, to sleep until I am done sleeping. I need a day to get things done.
And so I'm taking one. I submitted the request for a substitute. I had my explanation all ready, my tale of flooding woe and the subsequent repairs on the tip of my tongue to offer when the secretary or the principal questioned my reasons for taking a day off when I was clearly not dying of the plague. Except they didn't even ask. They don't even care. They trust me and treat me like a grown-up. Go figure.
I had to skip lunch to get everything ready for a sub tomorrow, but oh, it's worth it. Tomorrow I am going to clean and organize and put things away and make phone calls and do so many things that would otherwise take me a few weeks to cram into my schedule.
But first I am going to take a sleeping pill.