Make Me One With Everything

Which is exactly what the Buddhist said to the hot dog vendor.  But that's beside the point.

We're in The Slump now -- the third quarter of a four-quarter year.  The weather has warmed enough that snow days are out of the realm of possibility, but not enough to make time spent outside pleasant.  Midterms are over, but finals seem miserably far off.  Even spring break exists only in the distant future, on the other side of the chasm called Term Papers.

And as such, there are many days when I feel selfish, whiny and generally unsatisfied with my life.  Most times when I feel this way, it's because I feel the pressure of an existence that is crammed with many different facets.  I spend my mornings working for The Man (solely a figure of speech, as my principal is female): part of that job involves spending time with people who are not easy to get along with, for one reason or another.  I come home and work for myself: part of that job involves allowing others into my home, a situation with which I am not always completely comfortable.  I spend a lot of time preparing for and directing church services: like teaching, this is a job that is potentially limitless, ending only when I arbitrarily call it quits for the day.  In the cracks between these jobs, I'm also trying on the hats of student and housewife -- and, I suppose, writer.  So many spinning plates that I feel I never have enough time and energy to treat them all with the respect and care they deserve.

But there's another dimension to all this busy-ness: the unexpected and dynamic reactions that occur at the intersections of my various vocations.  Working for The Man means I can, on occasion, take a day off for which I am paid as if I had shown up and taught the lessons myself.  Teaching from home means I can step into the next room to make a cup of tea and come back to congratulate a student on her diligent practice by moving the star stickers from her music to her cheeks, where they accentuate her dimples in the sweetest way.  Playing at housewifery means I can spend all afternoon on a batch of chocolate babkas, just for the heck of it.  I get to learn about being a teacher from professionals who have been at it all their lives, and then I get to go to work the next morning and play the sovereign over my own class, experimenting with new methods and techniques I just picked up.  And while I'm laboring over a blog entry that seems unnecessarily heavy or heady or both, my cat will pad into the room, meow inquiringly and then look for a spot on or near my lap to curl up and offer soft rumbles of support.

I am *not* the person who orders the same thing every time she visits a restaurant she likes.  Rather, I often feel anxiety about the fact that I can only try one thing at a time. So the funny thing about my life is that if I could have created it from scratch, ordered it at a deli, I would have picked this one.  One with everything.