When you are standing at bus duty, in August, in Georgia, mentally willing hundreds of students to GET ON THE BUS, as sweat pools in every crease and dimple – it can be difficult to remember that in only a matter of months you will require 15 layers and an electric blanket to stand in the exact same spot. Isn’t it strange that, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, it is so easy to think that every uncomfortable circumstance is permanent?
One year, I had a particularly difficult group of students. Not difficult like too chatty. Difficult like, and I quote: “Why you always messing with me? You best leave me alone. You hear me? Do you hear me???” This was one student’s daily response when asked to pick up a pencil and get to work. DAILY. When the morning announcements stated that it was the EIGHTH day of school – I was so stunned that I just cried. I thought it was at least the EIGHTIETH day. It was the year that would not end.
Time is not as straightforward as it seems on paper.
I have never been a good patient. I am, however, an excellent impatient.
It has been 23 days since I had surgery. A bilateral mastectomy. Miles of stitches. A virtual train track across my entire chest. Uncomfortable? Yes, indeed. I have been mentally willing the healing process to GET ON THE BUS! It seems like there is NO WAY that it has been 23 days – more like 230. I wonder if there will ever be a day when I have no pain, and I can go back to work and have my life back.
Then I remember several things.
This is a season. Seasons change. Not overnight. In due time.
I don’t want my life BACK. I want my life FORWARD. I want to learn everything that I can from this experience. I want to remember that in the midst of difficult circumstances beautiful and wonderful things happen. The year that I had such a difficult class ultimately included some of my most favorite students. It wasn’t an all or nothing proposition. And August in Georgia – which is unbearable for anyone who doesn’t enjoy feeling like a marinated shrimp on the barbie – eventually gives way to a spectacularly beautiful fall.
These hard days are not permanent. They are also not solely difficult. They are filled with love and support – hope and courage – faith and joy. Additionally, August – even in Georgia – is filled with expectation of new beginnings. The school year rolls out from there. If you can remember (while you are sweating profusely) what all lies ahead, it can be exciting to anticipate.
In the midst of this somewhat uncomfortable season, I am more than excited to know that I have a whole life ahead of me.