Friday, June 10, 2016

Marathons and Teaching

I have a  wonderful young friend who completed the Boston Marathon this spring. She described to me the last few miles as grueling and painful...there were tears. She persevered and finished. Her time matters not; the fact that she finished was the whole point. It reminded me of watching my son finish his first half-marathon....the look on his face of complete exhaustion, disbelief and pride is one I will never forget.
That's how I felt today. Not that I could physically run to the corner and back, but the feeling I had of of completing the marathon that was my teaching year. I've realized that it doesn't matter if you've taught one or 15 years, beginning again in a new district is like being brand new all over again. Or at least it was for me. Today, there was an exhausted sense of relief and disbelief that the year was over. And I made it to the finish line. And a maybe there was a tear or two. 
Over the years, I've shed a few tears on the last day as my students went on to the next stage. I didn't expect that this year; my kids are tough and I didn't feel as if I'd made any relationships. Today that changed as I heard, "Please stay...I'll miss you so much!"
 "Does this mean I won't ever see you again?" 
 "I just want to give you another hug."
 "Will you visit?"
 I had to dig out the Kleenex I'd packed at the end of the day, after they'd gone. Most of the comments were from kids who weren't always so well-behaved. It was a bittersweet cry.
I'm not looking for accolades or, "See? I told ya so's". For me it was all part of the "disbelief" stage of the marathon. The realization that maybe mile 10 or 14 or 20 meant something after all in the "race" of teaching this year. 
But it's a new start! A new chapter! I'm tired, a little melancholy, but I'm not wallowing. This is not going to be a "Wendy the Whiner" blog. Will there be posts where I'm lost and confused about direction? Probably. But my intention is for this to be a place where I notice LIFE.  Where I step out into the unknown and get my toes wet. Where I have the time to notice all the good things in this world of ours.
I have  NO indication of where this will lead. I am however, reminded of this great lyric from a modern song. It is my new mantra
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong (I'll be strong)
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me
Know I've still got a lot of fight left in me

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