Monday, January 4, 2010

Break's Over, Back On Your Heads!

The title today is the punchline to an old favorite joke.  I'll share it at the end, but I'm telling the joke backwards now.  Funny, I've been doing that all day.

These holidays have wrung me out.  It could have been the gray weather we've been having here in NorCal.  Or work stress.  (But it didn't ease up when the last of my year-end deadlines passed without the world ending.)  It could be a new prescription I am on, or some hormonal flux.

But now that the holidays are over, and I find myself practically EAGER to tear down the Christmas decorations, I must face that it was probably holiday blues. I felt this way last year too, but blamed it on a very stressful family vacation to "the happiest place on earth."  (When your kid gets sick on his birthday, and the whole family is stressed out and taking it out on each other...not so much)

I am actually very relieved to be getting back to work. Expectations are clear (I am fortunate to have a good boss), I am confident and competent, and most things are under my control.  My first day back, and already I have 3 weeks of travel and teach ahead of me, some of it international.  But by agreeing, I get to be the hero.  It's so NICE to be appreciated.

This last month, with more of the focus on home and trying to be Martha (who I ain't!), I think I just felt inadequate.  The things that I was most worried about (son's behavioral issues, sibling's health) will take time to resolve, and I can contribute maybe 5% of the solution to the problem.  The burden of the hard work and life changes have to be shouldered by other people.  Since I can't fix these very important problems instantly, I instead focused on more trivial matters, like decorating my house, or getting my Christmas cards out.  If I just do those things perfectly, then everything else will work out OK, right?

So, I am glad to be back at work, where I have more control over things.  I am glad to see the boys return to school, where someone else has the joy of disciplining them for at least 5 hours per day.  I can be happy to see them and ask how their day was, rather than grousing at them to turn off the video games after 10 hours of playing non-stop (and stop teasing/poking/bugging/hitting each other!).

I have a feeling the sun is coming back out too.

Here's the joke that goes with the punchline:

This guy dies, and unfortunately finds he has arrived in Hell. The Devil shows him his options for eternal the first room--people are standing on their heads on a wooden floor.  In the second room,  people are standing on their heads on a cement floor.  In the third room, however, people are standing upright, sipping tea, in a room where the floor is covered in a noxious liquid that comes to their ankles.  The guy decides he will take his eternal punishment in  room 3, since they are at least not standing on their heads
Once the door shuts, the guard announces "Break's over, back on your heads!"
Oh, and if you could use a good laugh after this somber musing, go read this funny post about a wardrobe malfunction in Albany, NY.  It definitely lifted my mood!

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