August always feels like a long Sunday for me--as a teacher.
But this August brings with it the now familiar feeling of relief and failure--simultaneous reactions to the fact that I am not teaching anymore.
Teachers come in for lunch at the restaurant and bemoan the exhaustion they always experience at the first week of school. They discuss the upcoming long meetings and preparations and how they will do such-and-such lesson differently this year. I serve them iced tea and sometimes say, "I used to be a teacher."
If they ask me whey I'm not teaching now, I tell them I just moved from San Diego and am taking a break for a while. If they ask me if I loved it I say, yes, but it got a bit overwhelming. If they ask me if I'll do it again, I say, maybe.
I did love it, once. But now I love me more.
It's time to get rid of all those boxes of lesson plans and tools. I know if I teach again I will want to reinvent the wheel. I know I am that kind of girl. I know I would like to have the space in the living room free of the constant reminder that I was once a teacher.
It's hard to accept that my brain does not work that way that well that whirlwind anymore.
But it doesn't.
My brain has a little break in it and that put me on the disabled list and eventually caused me to retire from the game early.
So in August I have to find a way to love Ms.-Olaina-Anderson-not-a-teacher and to start the new year without it being a new year.
I allow myself the indulgence of a new day planner and walk quickly past the lesson plan books. I indulge in extended vacation-like plans and plan a trip to Disneyland on a weekday right smack in the beginning of September.
In August, 2008, I remind myself that it was only in January 2006 that I stopped teaching. It's only been August 2006. August 2007. It's only the third non-long-Sunday-before-September. It's only an almost 3-year-old child that is not, an almost 9-year-long career that is not...
In August, 2008, I go to the beach at least once a week and ride my bike to the local stores and bars and do not have to take care of anyone but me and Justin.
In August, 2008, I am more free than I could have been if this were another August before school starts again.