Work, Love, and Learn Your Butt Off

“It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.” 
 ― Edgar Allan Poe

So this is how my Wednesday is going.

I stay up late Tuesday night. I set my alarm this morning for 6:15 AM to go to the school that I work at. My 7 month old boy wakes me up at 6:07. Thanks, Connor.

I recently learned the secret to perfect fried eggs (my family calls them “dippy eggs” because we always dip our toast in our runny yokes). That’s what I have for breakfast. I get ready for work and go in and teach. I teach 6 classes, and I have no planning period on Wednesdays.

I run off assignments and create lesson plans for my fourth, fifth, and sixth periods. I leave work early, like I do every Wednesday to go to class after eating an early lunch. I learn a bunch of Anglo-Saxon stuff that is super interesting, but it’s stuff I’ll never use in real life.

Séo wrítungfeðer sy mára binnan se sweord.

(I hope this means the pen is mightier than the sword, but I could be wrong.)

I love it.

I go home to see my two older kids get off the bus (Levi — 7 and Katelynn— 9). My husband is at his mother’s house with the two babies (7 months as I said before, and almost 2 — both boys). I am so proud of myself because I made time for a workout.

Kids get home. I make flashcards to study with. Hold my kids a little. Give some kisses. Bathe. All of this happens between 2:30 and 4.

Then I get in my car and drive an hour to my next class.

I’m missing church tonight with my family. I’m missing dinner. My class is 2 hours and 30 minutes long and I won’t be home until 9.

My two year old will be asleep before I get there. I’ve had maybe 15 undivided minutes with him. My seven month old will need a bottle or some cereal and I will hold him and rock him to sleep while my husband and I watch a show. My two older kids will be going to bed just as I get there. I probably won’t even think about hugging them before they go to sleep because the baby will be crying. My husband will be so tired himself and will have lost all patience with our ornery kids, as he has kept up with them all day.

I will eat after the baby goes to sleep, hoping he won’t wake up in the middle of my dinner. I will lie in bed at probably 10:30 PM.

I will be behind on grading things at work. I will neglect my kids and my husband. Neglect some class or another (I have four). I will be angry and feel guilty for trying to make my life better by going to school. I will waste my time learning things that don’t matter and I will never lose.

And THANK GOD, it will be over in May. And it will be summer and I will get paid to not work. And I will have graduated with my BA in English. And I will be able to write what I want, read what I want, hug and kiss my kids as much as I want.

People ask me how I do it, and I tell them I have no idea myself. It just all falls together somehow. I couldn’t do it without my husband. I couldn’t do it without faith. Faith in myself and my dreams, but mostly faith in God. This semester will be a blur to me in the future, and I’m pretty sure I won’t regret it, but for now…I write this and complain my heart out. This is why I get so mad when my students tell me they don’t “have time” to write their essays.

“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.” 
 ― Lao Tzu

For the important things, you make time. You make time for things you care about. You make time for God, and family, and love, and stupid homework, too. And guess what? You will have huge mounds of clothes piling up that will never entirely disappear, but you will feel accomplished. If your heart is in the right place, you may be stressed out (Spoiler alert: I am about to use the word “butt” to say something kind of deep), but you will be happy you worked your butt off instead of wasting your precious time sitting on your butt.

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