Sunday, September 26, 2010
Work: Caging the beast
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.