I haven't posted in a little while. I blame it all on jury duty that took over my life for almost three weeks. But I'm serving my country, right? I could actually go on and on about this experience. Not only was I a tad stressed out trying to arrange childcare and doing all my school work and writing in the evening, it was a very difficult and eye-opening (I was the foreperson and had to read the guilty verdict to the accused) experience in itself. It drained me to the point of just wanting to leave it behind, in the courtroom, and close the door.
The day afterwards, I was straightening up my daughter's room trying to restore order in my chaotic household when I found a book my mother-in-law gave her. She works in a school and is always bringing her used books from the library. The books are either well-worn classics or random little discoveries. This book fell into the latter category:
Today I will not relate well to my peer group.
Today I will not contribute in class.
I will not volunteer one thing.
Today I will not strive to do better.
Today I will not achieve or adjust or grow enriched or get involved.
I will not put up my hand even if the teacher is wrong and I can prove it.
Today I might eat the eraser off my pencil.
I'll look at the clouds.
I'll be late.
I don't think I'll wash.
I need a rest.
(excerpted from Jean Little's Hey World, Here I Am!)
I love this poem because it's so truthful and it's exactly how I felt when I first read it. The entire collection of poems and stories strike a similar note as we follow fictional young teen character Kate Bloomfield while she tries to navigate her young complicated life. She's brave and honest and critical of the world she lives in with her two distracted, intellectual parents who don't bother giving her a bedtime, but will always listen if she has an opinion about something. Sometimes she longs for a more traditional household and sometimes she's happy with her life. But Little perfectly blends Kate's newly unearthed teenage angst with her keen intelligence topped with the bits of innocence still clinging to her. It's one of the most pure and refreshing pieces I've read for young adults in a long time (best for probably 8-12 year olds). It was first published in 1986 by Kids Can Press and I believe it's still in print. There are a few more books by Little based on Kate and her friend Emily as well.
Many of us work so hard striving for balance, peace, and happiness in our lives, and we should. Sometimes, though, there is just today, and we're tired, and it is what it is. I think that's okay, at least for today.