Sunday, September 26, 2010

Work: Caging the beast

At this time last week I suddenly felt myself swallowed whole by a rapidly mounting workload, and I didn't respond well.  I would say I acted like a real baby, but actually the regression was more primitive than that.

As folders of ungraded papers piled up on my desk and vast empty space stared plaintively at me from my lesson plan book, I lost hold of my rational brain and acted on my basest instincts.  I maintained calm at work but went feral at home, lashing out at my family for a rising panic in which they had no role.  My behavior was not unlike that of our semi-vicious Boston Terrier, except that she saves her attack for the outside world.  And we have a cage for her.

I have dedicated this year to balance, and the moment that it felt as if my workload might be toppling me, like a frightened animal, I went into attack mode.  With my husband,  I picked fights over minutiae --arguing both sides, if necessary-- and revisited years old grievances.  With the children, I struggled to maintain a thin veneer of reasonable humanity; of course, they were witness to all of the spousal sniping, the slammed doors and drawers and low-throated growling.  All this while I took care to present as perfectly serene at work.

I am so sorry about all of it and I know I need to fix this or we'll all be miserable. I will reconsider how I manage my workload, but, more importantly, when I feel backed into a corner, I will restrain myself.  Or buy a bigger cage. 

1 comment:

  1. Sigh. This sounds too familiar. Were we separated at birth?