Tired: A Constant State of Being

When I was in high school, I was super involved. As a result of my overexertion, I often found myself responding to the question "How are you?" with one word: Tired. Then I got to college and I laughed at my high school self. How could I possibly have thought I was tired? I remember thinking to myself that I wasn't sure if there would ever be a time over the next four years that I wouldn't be at least a little bit tired. I was largely right.

Now, I'm two months into my second year as an 8th grade English teacher, and let me tell you, I have never been this tired before. I may have been tired during college, but I had a hell of a lot of time to sit around and complain about it. I didn't really have to be 100% "present" in class; I simply had to show up with enough energy to take notes and give an occasional answer.

Teaching demands energy. I swear that it is a profession for extroverts, and I am completely astounded by an introvert who has managed to make a sustainable life as a teacher. There is always something that needs to be done, a parent that needs to be called, a paper to be graded, a lesson to be planned. The lesson is planned, but what are the students doing while you talk? How are they practicing the skills you are teaching? How will you know they have learned it? There are so many things that go into the planning, let alone the execution. I teach in a Title I school, which requires even more energy, as many of my students read below grade level and show out behaviorally as a result.

As I reach each stage of my life, I look ahead to the next stage, where cooking dinner won't feel like the hardest task at the end of the day. I think about having a job I could roll up to at 8 or 9 instead of between 6:30 - 7:00. What would it be like to leave work and not bring work home?

I remind myself that this is just a season, but I know the next season will bring exhaustion of its own sorts. I think the real source of my exhaustion is trying to do everything in my own power. Tomorrow, I am starting an IF: Gathering Bible Study with my sister and some other women she knows. We are studying 8 imperfect women in the Old Testament. These women were probably tired, too, but they made time for the Lord. I could use some reminders about how to do just that.