Fear of Atrophy

I wonder when rocks begin to settle?  When do they sink far enough into the earth that a shuffling shoe or even a determined kick cannot alter this final resting point?  I recognize that rocks (probably) do not have much choice in this ultimate placement, but I do wonder if there is a moment when they just give in to their destiny.

I am not a gardener.  My husband is the one who somehow transforms corners of our yard into spots of beauty and finds a way to coax food from packages of seeds.  When we first moved into our house, I watched as he pulled rock after rock out of the soil, before finally giving up on the natural land and building raised beds that would become our gardens for years to come.  The rocks were too big.  The rocks were too stubborn.  The rocks were just too many.  But he didn’t give up; he just accepted that the rocks had a permanent space and worked around it.

I thrive on routine, but only because that routine gives me a bit of control.  I rarely try to control the uncontrollable but I hold tight to the things that I can control.  I have usually been able to tell the difference.  Until now.  Now I am missing the spontaneity and vibrancy and change and all of the things that define a middle school life.  I need to exercise my flexibility and make sure that my response muscles still work.  But without something to flex around or respond to, I am stagnant.  I didn’t know that this was missing until today…this is what my students and my “school world” always provided and now they are gone.

As much as I try to move…around the house, around the neighborhood, around my own busy mind…I worry that I have begun to settle.  Tomorrow I will till my proverbial soil and try to loosen my grip on stagnation.  I know that I am not a rock, nor am I in danger of becoming permanently embedded in the soil, but I do fear that without the energy of the unpredictable, I will begin to sink.

 

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5 thoughts on “Fear of Atrophy

  1. Thank you for the words that articulate so much of what I’ve been feeling. You nailed it here: I need to exercise my flexibility and make sure that my response muscles still work. But without something to flex around or respond to, I am stagnant. I didn’t know that this was missing until today…this is what my students and my “school world” always provided.

    The longer I’m at home, the more I fear I’ll lose “my touch.” The gardening analogy is a strong one. I like the idea of tilling things up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hang in there. I know that this is easier written than done, but I’m learning to take it day by day. As you know, I, too, thrive on routine and the excitement of teaching 70 kids each and every day (that’s while I will never be an administrator). This is a difficult time, but a time that I believe we will learn from (some on a huge stage and some on a small stage). Tomorrow morning, you’ll start raking (tilling) again, and hopefully, you won’t hit a rock (if you do, pull it out of the ground). When we make it back to the classroom, I PROMISE you that energy will return (maybe even with 10 times more energy than when you left:).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought of this post while I was out for a walk today. There was a section with rocks solidly lodged in the ground where I could no longer walk on auto-pilot but had to be present while I walked so I wouldn’t trip. I think of your writing in this way–it causes readers to notice what’s around us, be more present and aware in our lives. Sometimes a settled rock can be a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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