All the Things, All the Time

Stack of papers and multicolored files

Today was a day like all my days used to be.

This morning started off with a 2-hour working seminar with my French colleagues in French. I’m grateful and excited for our collaboration, but I also was extremely stressed about how this would go since I’m only used to functioning in French when I am actually in France, not when I’m in the states and thinking all the time in English. I’m also not yet fully adjusted to speaking about my research in French so everything takes longer and is more tiring.

In the 20 minute break between the seminar and my next meeting with the current dissertation student I’m working with, I ate, because I couldn’t eat anything before the seminar because eating is hard when I’m nervous. I was also trying to work on revisions to a draft statement on censorship for the state organization I lead.

Then I met with my student and had a good talk about how she can move forward. She was really encouraged to hopefully start interviews for her study early next week. (Later she would find out that the “interviewees” with whom she had hoped to conduct her interviews were likely bots or trolls.)

The AERA (American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting) notifications began rolling in around this time. 1 accepted roundtable and an additional role as a discussant. A little disappointing in some respects (particularly regarding a panel that I felt confident would be accepted and wasn’t), but on the other hand, a little relieving, as I’ll be able to attend sessions and reconnect with people for the first annual meeting in a very long time.

A mid-afternoon appointment led to moving remote offices multiple times in the afternoon and I began to fall behind on the slippery slope of e-mails and meetings (as my phone was also blowing up with text messages).

Before I knew it, it was time to pick up my son and shuttle him to TaeKwonDo, while grabbing In N Out drive thru and eating in the car.

After I drop him off, I usually find another “remote office” (often a Starbucks) to catch up on the e-mails lest I become buried alive. But, two of the myriad texts were requests for support from my dissertation student (regarding her interviews) and a lecturer colleague (and former student, about an incident in class).

After two femtoring calls (both of which were on hard, human topics that are exhausting to navigate on one’s own) in the hour and a half at TaeKwonDo, it was time to go home.

The e-mails were still there.

But, so was my little one who could not decide on dinner after her soccer practice.

I made her some scrambled eggs, with a side of grape tomatoes and milk and, finally, the e-mails.

Now, the e-mails are “done” (are they ever done though?) and I am about to begin a “long weekend” but there are two meetings that I could not fit in anywhere else tomorrow (and maybe a third on Saturday) and a couple of things I have to catch up on.

Where is the time to breathe? Where is the time for rest?

It is there to be claimed.

I have realized that I rest in this writing. Not in all writing, but certainly in the flow of these words onto this blog. It is sacred space and sacred time. It is restful.

So in the midst of all the things and all the time today, I am, in this moment, choosing me.

And that is a small, but significant, victory.

Voice and Visibility: The Wisdom in Our Words

Screenshot of the publication page of "The wisdom in our stories: Asian American mother scholar voices"

What does it mean to believe that the stories we tell to our children have value to our academic communities?

What does it mean to stand in that truth despite in the face of multiple submissions, multiple revisions, multiple rejections, and finally an acceptance, a publication, and a piece in the world that reflects pieces of our hearts?

We (Cat, Ruchi, Judy & I) started this journey many years ago. My daughter was in her 3rd year of life when I first wrote my letter to her. She is now approaching 8. 5 years is a long time, but the words of my letter are still true. They are excerpted in the article, and they have changed slightly over the course of our writings, but I share here the full text of a version of my letter to my children, the wisdom of which I hold true, that words are powerful, that our humanity is powerful, that our love and the co-creation of a better world is powerful and possible.

So grateful to my sister-scholar, co-author, collaborator, friends. So grateful to journey together. So grateful for your belief in us, our words, our letters, our children, our hearts.

Betina’s Letter: 

My dear children,

This morning on the car ride to school, N and I were talking about how much I work and how sometimes he wishes I would work less so that he could have his mommy.  I know you have all felt this way, even J, in her short three years of life.  So, I am writing this letter to explain why: why I do the work I do, what I hope from that work, how that work is an extension of my love for each one of you and how I hope that, one day, we’ll work to create a better world together.

Words are powerful things. I became an English teacher because I saw the power of words and stories. With words, we can tell our stories and see shared humanity through others’ stories.  I see the way that labels have been used against you; used to separate you from others; used to assume placement or assign privilege.  I have seen how the ways you read, write, speak and listen lead others to believe things about your worth.  I know literacies represent power.  I want the future teachers I work with to understand that power. I want them to think about whose voice is missing. I hear your voices but, so often, voices like yours are silent and silenced in classrooms.

Growing up, I hesitated to use my voice. I was “too loud” for my position as a Taiwanese American girl and simultaneously “too American” (for my family) but “never American enough” for my friends.  I knew little Mandarin and even less Taiwanese, and what I did know became lost in discourses of “English Only” and assimilation at school.  As I struggled to fit in with my (mostly white) peers, I lost my sense of self. I lost my words and any desire I had to be who I was.  Only through mothering and writing am I beginning to reclaim my voice and all that it represents, because I want you to see the power of your words, in English, in Mandarin, in Spanish (the native language of your father), as a citizen of this world.

As I’ve taught you the power of words; I also teach them the power of words. My teaching means I spend many late nights away.  I know this has hurt you and I’m so deeply sorry.  It has been hard for me as well.  But I must teach these new teachers because I remember entering urban school teaching at  22 years old, how much I still had to learn.  I know now (but didn’t know then) that almost all parents and educators are trying their best, even when their bests conflict, because educators’ perspectives are not always parents’ perspectives.  I teach them that traditional classrooms aren’t necessarily best; in fact, they work best only to reproduce societies that are inherently inequitable.  I teach them to see that each student brings assets to the classroom, and to honor student knowledge and experiences through relevant teaching curriculum.  I teach them that rigor and relevance aren’t mutually exclusive, and that both are critical to address inequities.  I challenge their thinking when they ask why some students don’t want to learn. I hate it when I hear that.  I don’t want you to be in a world where teachers think that some students don’t want to learn instead of looking at what they can do to support students right where they are.  I teach them to start with who students are, but to not ignore the standards that are often gatekeepers to their success. I help them understand that denying access to innovative curriculum because of their perceptions (or even realities) that students may not have internet in their homes isn’t a way to address challenges of 21st century learning. I push them to go beyond themselves because I know they hope to one day teach children, you, those like you, those different from you.

These children, like you, are my children too, and I feel a responsibility to them as I am responsible to you, as your mother. We are collectively responsible for one another although each of us develops as an individual.  I want you to understand our collective responsibility and I want future teachers to understand that.  I want to help build schools that work in a society that works better for everyone.  My role is supporting teachers in their work. It is an important role. It is an investment in the future, your future, and our future. I spend time away from you to make an impact on the identities of teachers who I know can be so powerful for students. I know because teachers have shaped your lives.

I am doing the best I can, as your mommy, as a teacher of teachers, as a human being. You are always with me, and I with you.  I am always thinking of you and the world I hope you will contribute to.  I love you and each of you has given my work real meaning. You are my hope and my light; you help me find my voice and use it to speak powerfully for justice and against misrepresentations of youth.   Each of you, and each child in the world, needs great teachers who can support you to grow into your best selves. So, when I am away, I am working for you, pushing towards hope. One day, I hope you, in your own ways, will also push towards greater understandings, using your words to push towards a hopeful future.  I hope this letter helps you in these days and those days.

 

What I Learned from 9 Days with my 7 Year Old

Photo of the author and her daughter standing in the reflection on the Mirror d'Eau in Bordeaux France

You can learn a lot from a 7 year old in 9 days.

I just returned from a 9 day trip to France (Paris, Bordeaux & small villages/ beach towns in the Bordeaux area) with my daughter. (I wrote about how going on the trip itself was already a big deal before it happened here.)

I knew I would learn a lot.

I knew I would heal.

But I still was not prepared for what I am taking away from this time and the ways in which it was transformative. Recording these things here for accountability and remembering:

1) There is so much to be gained from presence and an abundance of time

I did close to no work for 9 days, which, for those of you that know me, or read this blog with any regularity know, is transformative and borderline miraculous in and of itself. I glanced at e-mails and sent a few, but I didn’t open my laptop for 8 days, to the point that it was down to 1% charge when I finally checked the battery before our return flight home.

Not working gave me space and time to be present with my daughter, to be fully attentive to her, and to the space around me. It freed me up to breathe deeply, listen to my body, eat mindfully, care for her, spend time fully with others. I was not perfect. There were moments when I got bored and looked at my phone, but I was, to a remarkable degree, there during those 9 days. I remember them. I cherish them. I was not irritated when she asked me to play with her. I just was with her, and enjoyed her.

2) I am actually a really good mother, who is generally doing too much

I have doubted my ability to mother since I first became a mother 16 years ago. This was devastating to me because I have always wanted to be a mother. What this trip helped me to realize is that I can be an excellent mother, when I am present.

I am, on a day-to-day, regular basis, a fine mother, who is extremely overwhelmed with competing demands, but I absolutely know my children, love them, and want the best for them. It is just not easy to be the mother they need me to be when I am on a (often self-imposed) deadline or when I am trying to think deeply. Seven year olds (at least, or especially, mine) don’t like waiting (even a minute). My daughter wants attention and presence all the time, and while that’s not possible in the same way it was for the last nine days, it can be possible.

3) I am human

It was an excellent trip, but not perfect. I messed things up, took wrong turns, got really stressed at one point because things weren’t open and I got locked into a particular idea (while hangry), and my daughter kept reminding me, “Don’t freak out. We’re all human, Mommy.”

Yes.

And in that humanity, I need space and time to recharge. I need people who I love around me. I need other adults who I can trust and be fully human with.

4) Things that I want are more possible than I allow myself to believe

While we were on our trip, a little boy asked my daughter if she wanted to play. He asked her in French, which she doesn’t understand, and when I translated into English, he said brightly, “Oh, you speak English! I was born in Texas.” I spoke to his mother and learned his family had moved to Bordeaux a couple of years ago, he was in a local nearby school, and they happened to stop by the playground on their way home.

This interaction touched me a lot. It made me realize that community has a way of finding you wherever you are and that living internationally is a real possibility (even when you have a family, and although it’s incredibly challenging). This gave me a lot of hope for a future that I want to believe can be possible, and faith that however things turn out will be okay.

5) I am deeply loved, but I cannot be (and am not, in fact) everything to everyone (or anyone even) and that’s okay

My little girl had a hard time without her Papa. I anticipated being away from him for 9 days would be hard, but I didn’t anticipate how hard. She is much more accustomed to my being away for several days, and while she misses me, she’s generally at home, and I am traveling. This is the longest trip she’s ever been alone with either of us, and it’s the longest time she’s ever been away from home. She was in a country where she didn’t know anyone and didn’t speak the language. It was a lot for her, the whole time, and she handled it like a champ, but it was still a lot.

I could not be her Papa or take his place (nor would I want to), but we made it through, with lots of hugs and lots of love shared between us.

I know I am embraced by community at home. In fact, in less than 24 hours, I’ve had a friend come by, an amazing Zoom call with my sister-friend, felt the love of my family, and had multiple texts that remind me how loved I am.

I’m also embraced by my community in and near Bordeaux, who have showed me so much love, thoughtfulness, grace, and generosity.

This love, across two countries, has allowed me the space to see that however I am works, that I will be loved when I complain, when I am frustrated, and when I am sad, just as much as I will be loved when I share joyful moments and laughter.

What a gift this trip was for me. What important lessons for me to have learned. And one more lesson: that I must embrace the moments I’m given, living in them, not beside them, in my body, and not just my head. This will take work, as I have largely survived through thinking and disembodied movements in the direction that others want me to go, but I have seen the other side, and it is beautiful, even as it brings its own challenges.

It’s All Coming Back to Me Now

Photo of the Eiffel Tower on the Seine. It is a cloudy day.

I was 15 when I first went to Paris. It was the summer between my sophomore and junior years, on a trip with my high school French club. My brother, French teacher and his wife were among the chaperones. Aside from being the first time that I was sexually harassed (at least twice, actually, having my butt pinched as I stood in the entranceway to the mall at the Louvre and then in a shoe store, where the salesman tried to tell me how much he’d love for me to take him back to America and would love for me to come with him to see Paris– it was a lot, but that’s not what this post is about), it was a pretty magical trip.

My mother, for her part, took a trip to the East Coast of the United States to visit friends near Schenectady, where I was born, whom she hadn’t seen in years. I was happy for me and happy for her that she was coming back to a life where she finally had both the financial and mental freedom to travel and to send me to places that we could only afford to dream about when I was little and she was struggling.

As a single mom who hadn’t taken care of the finances previously, she had to figure out how to support a little girl, a college student, a car note, and a house note, and how to do so navigating multiple jobs. It meant we didn’t have much time.

I had no way of knowing that we still did not have much time.

This would be the last summer before my mother died.

In late September/ early October, I returned to Paris. I had come back to France in college, spending a year abroad in Bordeaux and then building relationships that had me come back every six months until I married, and then not again from just after my son’s birth to last year. France was still a magical place for me. It was a place where I was home even though I was not home. It was a place my mother’s death did not haunt me or follow me. It was a place where I felt free from who I was back home in the states.

And when I returned last year, it was all of that again for me. When I returned from my trip, my daughter asked me if I would take her. I promised her that some day I would.

She replied cheerily, “Great, so how about this summer?”

“This summer seems a little soon,” I responded.

“Why?” she asked.

I paused. I didn’t really have an answer for her. My answer typically would have been that she is too young to “get the most” out of the trip. But really, is she? I am good at saving airline and hotel points. I imagined (in October) that the pandemic would be in a better place (if it were now, I may have had a different answer). At any rate, I investigated points conversions, bought our tickets and soon, we will be off.

It is the summer between my son’s sophomore and junior years.

My father died last year, unexpectedly, and ironically when I had returned to France.

I will be department chair in the fall, returning to a 12-month position.

There are many transitions.

I am grateful for these moments, this time, this trip.

I am grateful for the space to take it, and the time to devote to my little girl.

I know that time is fleeting, that it is precious.

And, I know that, in taking time with my girl, I am also healing myself, the little me who wanted so desperately all the time she could get with her mother, as if she knew somehow that time was short.

Time and energy are precious. Mine is so often, so easily, given away.

I am grateful for the gift of time to make memories, for the space of my life to step away.

And the space to come back to myself again.

The Heaviness of Heart Work on the Days After

This morning, I woke up crying.

It is Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and I am facilitating two discussions (one tonight and one on May 31) related to Asian Americans in educational and literacies spaces. Introducing more people to and centering the voices of Asian Americans in education is at the core of the work I do, based on the belief that when we know one another’s stories, experiences, and perspectives, it makes it harder for us to dehumanize one another. Usually, I use extensive social media networks to promote this work. But most of this month, I have been grieving, for the first part of the month, personal grief around mothering, and since then, particularly in the last 11 days, collective grief and renewed trauma based on my connections to multiple mass shootings.

I was just feeling a little more like myself yesterday, after spending over a week recovering from the shootings that occurred at the Tops Market in Buffalo, New York, and at Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, just 20 miles from my home. So, I got on social media to tweet about today’s panel discussion.

And then I saw the news about the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

A friend texted me that there was another school shooting, in Texas, and it looked bad.

It reminded me of the morning my brother texted me on the way to pick up my nephew from Sandy Hook school, nine and a half years ago and I was trying to piece information together. I knew we would not know the true total of those killed until the next day, maybe the next week. I knew that community would become just another place on a list of towns and cities known, first and foremost because a horribly deadly mass shooting had taken place there. And in Uvalde, like Sandy Hook, it would be particularly heartbreaking because it was children and educators killed.

My son was in 1st grade when the shootings happened at his cousin’s school. My daughter was not yet alive. In fact, because there are 9.25 years between them, she is in 1st grade now.

The Monday after the Sandy Hook shootings, I sent my son to an elementary school, one that, at the time, was open in the front and the back of the school. I was sad and I was afraid.

This morning, I woke up crying. I am sad and afraid. So little has changed.

This morning, I walked my daughter to an elementary school.

This morning, she ate Cheerios, with the heart shaped Cheerios interspersed with the regular round Os.

It is hat day, so she wore the raspberry beret I bought her in France and her Paris shirt, pink leggings, and a pink sweatshirt.

I asked if I could snap a picture of her before we left our house for our walk to school. I told her I wanted a picture of her all pink outfit for hat day.

But part of me wanted a picture of her, wanted to remember her breakfast, wanted to remember every detail, in case something happened.

Now, I am home.

In a few hours, I will drive across town to my son’s school where I will help celebrate the 8th & 12th graders.

A few hours after that, our family will see my daughter perform Arirang with her class and two other classes.

I have two papers to revise. Both of them are on centering humanity in the midst of dehumanizing contexts. One of them focuses on motherscholaring.

Tonight, we will have this beautiful panel of heart-centered Asian American educators. They are gifts as humans.

I do heart work.

All of it.

I live a heart-centered life.

And I’m broken. My heart is broken. I have pieced it together so many times. I have tried to fill the cracks with gold.

I have resisted in hard and soft ways, with authentic joy and sorrow, with words and actions.

But today, it is heavy, even in and with a community of grievers, today, the weight of it all is too much.

This morning, I woke up crying.

I cried after my daughter walked in the gates of her school.

I am sure I will cry many more times before the day is done, and on days to come, because that is part of my heart-centered life.

Today, the only resistance I can engage in is giving grace and holding space.

To myself and others. For myself and others.

Perhaps it’s the most important form of resistance there is.

What is the Cost of Pushing Through?

It’s my little girl’s 7th birthday.

She is amazing. She is light and laughter, love and joy. She is silly and kind, self-expressed and brilliant. She is a gift.

7 years ago, when she came into this world, I was crying. In those moments of birthing her, I felt perhaps most acutely the loss of my own mother. My mother was the one person I needed most in that moment. I wanted her to be by my side, to be one of the first people to welcome my girl into the world, like she had been one of the first people to welcome me into the world so many years before.

I wanted her to be the one to be by my side like she had been in so many of the hardest moments of my life, until one day, she wasn’t there at all.

My mother was omnipresent, then she was gone.

7 years ago, my mother was omnipresent, and she was gone.

Last night, I went to sleep crying.

On Mother’s Day.

Because sometimes when you make room for all the feelings, they show up, in expected and unexpected ways.

This morning I woke up crying.

On my little girl’s birthday.

Because sometimes when you make room for all the feelings, they show up, at expected and unexpected times.

I am a master at leaning into the feelings then pulling back when I must, pushing through when I must.

It’s her day, I thought yesterday, of my mother.

It’s her day, I thought this morning, of my daughter.

They are omnipresent, and sometimes I feel gone.

In waves of grief that consume me even though on the outside, I continue to show up.

For others.

Because I don’t know what it means or how to find a way to show up for myself, in these moments.

I am finding my way back to shore. I am swimming even though the rip tides always threaten to pull me under.

I am so tired of the struggle.

I am so tired of being so alone in this ocean.

People who see me today likely will not know.

I am likely only to share this with far away friends who follow through the lengths of the internet, instead of those who might touch me and watch the carefully crafted sand sculpture that I put up crumble, crumple, into a pile and disappear.

Omnipresent and gone.

Grief.

So another reminder to us all that we never know what those next to us are carrying, and that some of us are carrying so much, so much invisible weight that we have been carrying for so long, that we do not want to share, for fear it would crush the delicate bonds we have formed.

May we find a way to ourselves and to a community who can hold us when we cannot push through any longer.

It’s Complicated

Photo of a card with the words "you are my shero" on the front

It’s Mother’s Day.

It’s my 27th Mother’s Day without my mother.

It’s my 17th Mother’s Day as a mother, my 16th as a biological mother.

7 years ago on this day, I was on the eve of having my youngest child.

Today, there is much joy.

And I am on the edge of tears.

It’s complicated.

Life is complicated.

Motherhood is complicated.

Mothering is complicated.

Relationships with our mothers and our children can be complicated.

There can much joy alongside many tears.

Today, I’m okay, but there may be moments where I’m not, and that’s okay too.

I’m working on making space for it all.

It’s Mother’s Day.

For almost 2/3rd of my life, it has been complicated.

I am grateful for the journey as it is.

And I wish so many things had been different.

I’m working on making space for it all.

(Happy) Mother’s Day.

MamaScholar Spring

Photograph of the author wearing a Pokemon mask and a multiracial little girl holding a running medal

It’s Saturday morning and I’m stressed about a talk I’m going to give in a few hours.

My little girl has a soccer game in an hour and a half. I will miss it because timing was too tight to get there and to my talk which is close, but not quite close enough.

I’ve only been to two soccer games and two practices this entire spring season.

My 16-year old has his last orchestra concert of the year tonight. I’ll make that, but only because I’m leaving the post-conference reception early.

I’ve been away from home nearly half of the last 6 weeks, including last weekend when 6 had back-to-back soccer games and 16 was playing trombone at an all-district event.

It’s my little one’s birthday in less than two weeks, just between the last class of the semester and graduation.

Next week, we volunteered to bring birthday snacks & goodie bags for her soccer team & we’re going to host a birthday playdate for her class.

Which means this weekend I need to get invitations and prep goodie bags and figure out snacks, while also coordinating the panel and activities for my last class…while also grading lesson plans and fieldwork reflections, and giving a virtual book talk.

My partner will help with many, if not most, of these things, but I will need to organize them. And, I will have to let go of the fact that I cannot be all the places at once; I cannot do all the things; the goodie bags will be good enough; and I am doing the best I can.

My family knows that this is their mama. They are proud of the work I do. They love me unconditionally. They remind me it’s okay if I’m not at every thing. They are happy when I am at the things I can be at.

But it weighs on my mama heart to miss moments with them.

It weighs on my teacher heart to feel pulled in a million different directions and wondering if I can do more.

It weighs on my scholar heart to not have time to reflect, as I know reflection brings growth.

This is a post reminding myself and other scholar parents (particularly mama-scholars) to breathe. I can unlearn and choose differently, but I can’t really make any choices in a state of reactivity and disequilibrium.

And we are okay.

Costco & Party City are our friends.

The kids don’t care about perfection, they prefer presence, and play. They prefer play.

The people who come to hear me and engage with the ideas I share will take exactly what they are supposed to take.

Students in my courses are growing in incredible ways as teacher candidates, and I am moved by the ways they are committed to seeing and acknowledging students’ humanity & identities in their lesson plans.

I can only continue to move forward when I remember my own humanity and identity, trusting in the process, acknowledging what is, and the possibilities of what can be.

Entering a New Year, Entering a New Season

Photograph of brush painted horse tattoo

It is Lunar New Year’s Eve, and many places that celebrate Lunar New Year have already entered into the Year of the Tiger. My mother was a tiger. Tigers are brave and protective; they can be stubborn, but are also generous and intelligent. She was an earth tiger: strong-minded, determined, always ready for a challenge, honest and independent. My mother was all of these things.

I am an earth horse. Earth elements like my mom and I are about balance (fitting since I’m also a Libra). Earth horses have many friends and are always trying to help those they love. They can be indecisive and like to get involved in (far too) many things. They value freedom & independence as long as they also feel supported and encouraged. Sometimes they can be temperamental. I am all of these things.

When my mother died 27 years ago this week, I was 16. With her sudden death, I lost a large part of myself, being thrust into a world that I was unprepared for, and it took me many years of searching to find her, to find myself again.

Today, on Lunar New Year’s Eve, as I start the week of the anniversary of my mother’s death, and as I continue a journey to reclaim my own identity, learning and unlearning, growing and evolving, I got the tattoo in the photograph above. I have been thinking about this tattoo for over 10 years. Originally, I was scheduled to get it at the end of last year, but COVID delays meant that today would be the day for this tattoo to find its home.

It is even more special as my former student, a Taiwanese American woman who I’ve always shared a kinship bond with, did the tattoo for me. We spent hours catching up on years and sharing stories, like I always wished I could do with my mother. We spent an afternoon of borrowed time together. We spent hours of time unpacking shared and distinct histories.

I am so grateful.

This tattoo is me and it is for me.

The Chinese character for horse is the single radical: 馬; the Chinese character for mother adds a woman radical before the horse: 媽; the Chinese character that indicates a question marker is the mouth radical + the horse radical: 嗎.

This horse is me the earth horse, me the mother (both to my children and to myself, as I carry forth my foremothers from previous generations), me with more questions than answers, with ever more to know.

I carry me, as I have been doing for many years, but with the freedom and wisdom to know that all of me is moving forward.

I am so grateful.

新年快樂!

 

 

(W)Resting

Woman's hand holding a mug that reads "I Can't Even"

Well, we are 12 days into 2022 and clearly this is a year of letting go of what should be and accepting what is.

I am tired.

I’m partly tired because I have COVID which I got from the member of my family who has religiously worn a KN95 mask outside of our house since the beginning of the pandemic who got it from TaeKwonDo and showed symptoms the day before he was eligible for a booster.

I am also tired because I can’t taste anything and food has always been a source of joy and now it’s become something to consume without feeling, for survival.

I’m tired because just as we’re nearing the end of family isolation, my 6 year old has a sore throat and is losing her voice.

I’m tired because I wanted to do a perfect model of an assignment for my teacher candidates and I just can’t. I can only do a good enough model and even that is hurting my brain.

I’m tired because it’s hard for me to let go of perfectionism and workaholism, even after a semester of sabbatical…or maybe particularly after a period of rest.

My grip is tight on what I want to happen, even when I know intellectually that I need to both show myself grace and get some rest.

I have a whole community around me, reminding me of what I need to do even if I don’t feel like I can.

But it’s still hard.

I know I’ve got to let some of the things go.

I need to heal.

I have to accept that there are so many things out of my control at this time and gripping on to things that make me feel like I have control over anything, while it’s worked for a very long time, is not always the right answer.

I need to breathe.

I need to rest.

But it’s still hard.

So very hard.