Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Slamming My Head Against the Wall

When I was a young child, I used to get really bad ear-aches. My mother always tried to stop me, but the only way I found to relieve the pressure was to slam my head against the wall.

Tonight, I’m thinking that method might once again make it onto my list of possibilities. I don’t have an ear-ache, but the pressure and stress might just be beginning to get to me. I thought maybe if I had a way to let it all out, I’d at least feel better.

So, tonight I’m forgetting the teachings of The Secret for a few minutes and release my top five lists of reasons I’m under duress. Once I’m done, I plan to take a deep breath, log off my computer, and go to bed.

After all, like Scarlett O’Hara says, “Tomorrow is another day.”

Stress #1: Summer vacation is over and I’m back teaching school. This year is my first ever to have a class of 7th graders on top of three 8th grade and one 9th grade classes. The class sizes range from 25 to 43 students packed into a room that is wall-to-wall kid. Altogether, I have nearly 160 students in my classes. Just think about how many papers that adds up to each week to grade.

Stress #2: My husband in living and working in Los Angeles which is great for the finances, but it leaves me home with five children to watch out for, on top of all the others things I do. By the time I leave for work in the morning, no one is awake except the youngest who leaves with me to be dropped off at a neighbor’s who takes him to and from school. I have to hope all goes well and everyone makes it to school on time, come rain or shine.

Stress #3: One of our children has gotten a little too big for his britches in the last few weeks and keeps both my husband and I emotionally distraught, trying to figure out what to do to prevent him from having a negative impact on the other boys. Is it a sin to count the weeks until he graduates and moves into a life of his own?

Stress #4: I’m enrolled in graduate school and classes start again for me tomorrow. Now, if that isn’t enough, I just started reading the articles for this week’s discussion and I might as well be trying to read Greek! As a nearly thirty-year teacher who knows that educational theory is almost always a bunch of malarkey and rarely useful in the real classroom, reading this stuff, assigned by doctoral candidates who are years younger than me, makes me crazy.

Stress #5: I want nothing more than to publish full-length novels and non-fictions books, but every time I turn around it’s another major rejection for me. Tonight I had great hope that I had found an agent. Alas the e-mailed rejection came less that two hours after I had sent the sample chapters she had requested. I should be happy about my writing because a script option was recently renewed, but I’ve worked so much harder on the novels, only to receive yet another rejection.

It’s eight-thirty. My brain is fried. My body is tired. I’m going to bed to sleep, perchance to dream of better things. And tomorrow, I will awake and again pursue my dreams of holding my published novel in my hands before too many more days pass me by.


Josi said...

Cyber hugs, LuAnn and may I add a "Holy Cow". Your plate is surely brimming and you have every right to feel overwhelmed, and a good vent sometimes just lets the boil get back down to a nice simmer. You're an amazingly talented and multi-faceted woman, and you're time to publish will come--you're just in the malarky and snot-nosed-teenager season of life right now. But not for much longer, I'm sure.

Keep the faith--and make the kids correct each other's homework, though maybe that makes even more work for you . . .

Julie Wright said...

I am going to add to Josi's holy cow! I feel overwhelmed just reading all you're dealing with. I do understand the hardships in long distance living while married. It's a tough road. I wish I could give you a huge hug and help with your dishes to alleviate one thing to worry about. i so relate to all those stresses. feel free to vent anytime. I think a good vent is good for the soul.

Janette Rallison said...

Oh. My. Heavens!

LuAnn--any one of those things would send me completely over the edge. (Actually I do have the one about a certain child who brings more than his share of contention to the family. I swear he was born a teenager and it's all gone down hill from there.)

Anyway I'm amazed at your obvious ability. You are my new hero.

Annette Lyon said...

Oy, oy, oy! I sense a need for some comfort food . . .

Hang in there. Somehow things will get better (they HAVE to, right?!). You're a great writer. I have no doubt that you'll get that book contract. It's just finding the right person to give the book to, the one who will fall in love with it. That person IS out there!

Lu Ann Brobst Staheli said...

Thanks everyone for your support. I am feeling better today, so the rant helped--as did all of your kind comments. Of course, I am still looking forward to this LONG weekend just to relax and give myself a break from the stress of everything coming up in my crazy life.

Tristi Pinkston said...

LuAnn -- feel free to vent as much as you need to. I'm the type that doesn't heal until I've let off some steam -- so I know how good it feels to share thoughts and feelings. Keep plugging away -- and I must say, if there is something in your life you can quit, or let go of, or stop doing, I'd quit it and give yourself some slack. You deserve it.