Enough

These last few weeks have been crazy.  I’m not sure if it’s the November blues (lack of a break) or daylight savings time, but I’m beat.  I can’t seem to drag myself out of bed in the morning, and my attitude stinks.  My glass definitely seems half full.

I’m angry.  Scared.  Bitter.  Recent events in my city have left a bad taste in my mouth. I feel like enough is enough.  Between the shooting down the street, the news of recent burglaries in my neighborhood, and the impending threats of violence awaiting a grand jury decision, I’m losing faith in humanity.  And losing faith in my city, neighborhood, and line of work.

It’s my own fault, I guess, for watching the news and reading the comment sections online. (The comments get me all riled up.  It’s so addicting, and I can’t stay away.)

The crime and ignorance terrifies me.  I’m not sure, but I think this is magnified for me because I am an educator.

The people arrested in connection with burglaries in my neighborhood were ages 21, 17, 15, and 13.  I can’t shake the 13 year old.  He could be in my classroom, but, instead, he is robbing homes down my street.  It’s heartbreaking.  I feel like I’m part of a bigger problem.  A failing system.

I can’t help but wonder if any of my students will someday protest over something they aren’t informed on.  Will they respect authority?  Will they know the value of hard work?

Does what I do matter?

Is it enough?

Are we preparing these kiddos to be upstanding citizens?

I love that despite my grumpy demeanor, there’s been a few bright spots to help me not throw in the towel:

  • One of my students brought me the third book in a trilogy series I book talked.  On Tuesday I book talked a book and mentioned in passing that I had read the first two books, but I hadn’t read the 3rd book because it was always checked out when I looked for it at the library.  When my student came in to class today, she said, “I have something for you.”  She handed me the 3rd book, and I almost cried.  She went to the library yesterday by our school and checked it out for me :).
  • Last night I had some time to kill before meeting with a new book study group, so I called my grandma to see if she wanted me to bring over dinner.  She was delighted, and we had a quick meal before I had to head to my meeting.  Today she left me the most beautiful message about how I made her day and how much she loved me.  I think someday I will write something about lessons from my grandmother.  Here’s what I’ve got so far: always dress your best (she was dressed to the nines just sitting around her house), keep a tidy house, send notes in the mail, tell people you love them, be generous and frugal, and don’t watch the news (this would have definitely helped me lately).
  • One of my coworkers told me the most beautiful story about his grandmother who raised 13 children.  Once the priest at her parish asked why she left mass early on Sundays after communion.  She simply responded and didn’t think twice, “I do enough.”  This statement was so profound for me.  She was setting her limits and excusing herself.  I am trying to do so much, and it often never feels like enough. I’m trying to learn how to let myself off the hook and to know whatever I’m doing is enough.
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