Relieved. Happy. Exhausted. These were just some of the adjectives teachers mentioned when I asked them how they were feeling about the school year coming to an end. Of course, the way in which it ended may not have been how we wanted, but there is something comforting about closure all the same.
I had lunch with a friend recently and she talked about the events in her life as a series of chapters. I love that idea. Breaking things up into manageable chunks, or chapters, keeps us from getting too overloaded. One chapter comes to a close and another one begins.
This week marked the end of a rather large chunk of chapters devoted to my work, mostly in the Texas education system. After 30 years, I’m retiring. I don’t really like that term, as it’s not really accurate. My time working directly in one school is ending, but I’ll still be presenting, consulting and writing until I am able to do so no more.
Although the Covid experience interrupted how I would have liked things to end, I keep reminding myself, “That was just one chapter – not the whole book.” I also try to remember the lessons I learned, and the positive things that came out of the experience. As mentioned, I can’t control the pandemic, but I can adjust how I view and deal with it.
Our health crisis might not be over, but for now let the chapter of this crazy school year close. Enjoy time with your friends and family. Relax. And try not to dwell. It’s hard to experience new chapters when we obsess on the old ones. I am certain there will be challenges ahead, but I, for one, look forward to seeing how the future chapters will unfold.