So, today I went looking back through time using my Timehop app. You know, Timehop Abe just loves taking us back through time, right? I realized something as I scrolled through the years. Every single year at this exact same time, I post a variation of the same thing on the Facebook. Anxiety-ridden, unable to sleep, and worried about getting it all done, I always post something about my excessive worry about the impending first day of school. This happens to be my ordinary; my status quo for back to school.
How does this happen every single year? How do I wind up never feeling like I have enough time to get it all done? Surely in the almost two weeks of teacher work days before school starts, I have time to set up a classroom, fill out modification sheets for 23 students, make copies of goal sheets/behavior plans, get a roster completed for 67 students, write lesson plans, plan with my coteachers, make sure I’ve got classroom expectations set, and breath. Right?
Oh, but then there’s the meetings. The endless meetings. The three days of workshops. The meeting with the parent. The staff meetings. The meeting with the team. The meeting with the school. The meeting with the grade level. The meeting with my department. The meeting with my coteacher. Someone stopping by to ask me a question about a student. The sudden realization that a student that wasn’t there suddenly popped into our caseload and now I need to figure out where the student came from, if we had the paperwork, and what we need to do to get it before the year starts.
Suddenly I realize that I still haven’t finished filling out my modification sheets. The roster hasn’t been completed. I’ve got no lesson plans. I still haven’t met with my math coteacher. I still don’t know exactly what I’m doing with my language arts coteacher. And we still have crap in our resource room that we shouldn’t have that no one else seems to care about.
All of these things are completely normal. It happens every year, yet somehow I survive. Somehow we carry on, and the year moves on. Maybe things aren’t perfect. Maybe I hate not having 100% of the cogs in place. I will have 95% of them because I’ll stay up late when I shouldn’t, spend more time at work than I should, and bug the crap out people until I have answers about the important stuff. It’s just in my nature to want things in order. That’s my normal. That’s what’s ordinary for me. And that’s why I find myself posting the exact same message on Facebook every single year in different words.
I cannot control the chaos of the world. I read the book Who Moved My Cheese. I’ll never learn the lesson that’s integral to that book enough to apply it to my life. Perfectionism and order has become so ingrained at this point that I feel I’m a lost cause. But perhaps admitting I have a problem is the first step.
What about you? Are you the type of person who has to have things in order, or are you okay with just taking things as they come?