It’s a tough week here. It is the end of the trimester and sadly, even middle school students feel the stress. We are also two weeks into an eight-week stretch without a break. With 10 more students per class than I’m accustomed to, I’ve also learned that I’m absorbing more stress from them as well. Sometimes I feel as if I am in the room in the center of a house fire when the room is full. And it is about to ex/implode at any moment.
That’s not what kids deserve. And frankly, I’ve feel like I’m not what the kids deserve this week either. But I’m what they have. So I’ve been looking for a way to stay calm.
I have tried to see myself as a tennis racket this week. Weird I know, but bear with me.
The tennis racket doesn’t get to sit still during a practice or a game. Even when the other player is dealing with the ball….the racket is poised and just slightly in motion…ready to return the play.
I realized that I did not have to be the entire racket…and that I could chose, at any, or every moment, which part of the racket I could be.
Professionally, and personally, I often have to be the strings. I have to catch the boll. I have to return the ball so that the players can hit it back to me.
But this week…..I’m trying to be the spaces between the strings. The spaces don’t have to do anything. They just have to be there. They let everything go by. They let the racket move and the strings do the work when necessary.
So when the tension heated up and the ‘little things” felt like they would explode into big things I kept saying to myself…”I’m the space. I’m the space. I’m the space.” (If you couldn’t tell, I am a big fan of mantras!!)
It helped me so much. There is a time to be the strings….but it was a good week to be the space. I hope it helped the kids as much as it helped me.