Upon Time #sol16

So. I’m new to this whole blogging thing.

slice of lifeMy wonderful colleagues, fellow English teachers and writers, have roped me in to participating in something called the Slice of Life Story Challenge. The idea here is to write a “slice” of your life every day for the entire month of March.

Normally, writing every day wouldn’t be such an enormous challenge. But that was before I had K, my wonderful, wild, bubbly, bright 21-month-old son. Now, most of my writing happens in snatches before bed, or upon waking when I fumble by the light of my iPhone for the pen and journal I keep bedside, or in the 10 minutes at the beginning of my Creative Writing class (when I’m not taking attendance, shushing kids, making sure they’re all writing…)

And, of course, in totally “stressed out me” fashion, I missed the actual first day of the challenge. SIGH.

But I’m here, I’m doing it, and I’m hoping it’s going to be great.

So why “The Hyphenated Life”? Because I feel as though I live in compartments now, small blocks of my day in which I wear different hats. It’s been hard to learn how to juggle.

From 5:30-5:35 am, I’m a bleary-eyed monstrous mess. Often, if I’m awake at this time, it’s only because K’s crying has woken me.

From wake-up time to daycare drop-off at 7:45, I’m Mama.

From 7:45-2:45, I’m Ms. M.

From 2:45-7:30, I’m Mama again. Sometimes in there, I manage to get in a run. Today, I did a 30-minute yoga DVD while K alternated between playing with his toys and using my downward-facing dog like a jungle gym. (Core strength activated!)

From 7:30-10:00, I feel like I get to be me again. My husband J and I cuddle in our bed. We read (I am obsessed with YA lit, or enjoy reading about politics or short form nonfiction on my phone), talk, watch TV (lately we’ve been enjoying BlackishFresh Off the Boat, and This Old House — can’t wait for Game of Thrones to come back!).

And then, the next day, I get to wake up and do it all again.

It’s hectic, and sometimes I hate it even as I’m simultaneously loving it.Some days, like today, when my 4th period class full of non-readers so easily analyzed the metaphors in Langston Hughes’ poem “Harlem” as we prepared to begin reading A Raisin in the Sun, and I feel so damn proud. Some nights, like tonight, I watch K dance around the kitchen singing “Hoo-way!” when I tell him dinner is ready, and my heart clenches with a love that is so intense it hurts. I sit down at my computer and I’m so completely ready to pour out my heart to anonymous readers on the Internet. (Which is a totally new audience for me.)

Other days, as I rush to prep the lessons for my classes and make photocopies and teach kids who love school and kids who don’t want to be there and rush home and skip my planned 5K because we have only spoiled milk and no fresh fruit in the fridge and no dinner planned and J has a meeting and I have to go to the grocery store and while I’m making dinner I turn my back and K hits the dogs—

Well, we’ll see how writing every day goes. Cheers.


5 thoughts on “Upon Time #sol16

  1. welcome to SOL16! I can so relate to living a hyphenated life—but have never thought of it in just that way before. I’m a high school librarian, a wife, and mama of 2 girls. I often find myself telling my children (because I think it is important for THEM they learn this now)–I’m still a person, still ME with all the various roles I play, girls. Sounds like you are doing a great job juggling it all.


  2. Welcome to Slice of Life!! I think you write quite compellingly about this being pushed and pulled in so many different directions. It’s brutal. Try to breathe and do some self-care, even if it’s for a moment. You’re doing such a great job. Don’t lose yourself along the way, friend.


  3. YES, pour your heart out to readers on the internet! It’s awesome. The pace and rhythm of your penultimate paragraph NAILS it. We have to talk Fresh Off The Boat. Constance Wu, tho. ❤


  4. Yes, welcome! You write, “And then, the next day, I get to wake up and do it all again.” Your piece captures the complexity of our feelings as we juggle all our responsibilities as moms and teachers. Thank you for your piece. I loves K’s “Hoo-way!” for dinner. “Hoo-way” for you and all that you do!


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