businessman with gas mask watching TV

It is back to school time here in the valley of the sun. That means we typically would be out buying school clothes or madly collecting the last remnants of school supplies from the deep storage or the bottom shelves of our favorite store. Hoping for any brand other than RoseArt. Backpacks, shoes, binders…I love back to school stuff. I don’t like paying for it though.

This year is a bit different for me in a lot of ways. First of all, my son graduated in the spring

so it will be the first year he is left to his own devices at home. Secondly, my youngest daughter is starting kindergarten so I will get to step back into actually helping with homework and such.

The biggest reason this year is different is that I have very little idea of what is actually going to happen. With the C19 still lingering around and causing panic, we teachers (and parents) are just not sure….about anything. It can be a bit stressful.

I teach 6th grade and I absolutely love it. Teaching, being with the kids, making lesson plans, … I love all of it. If I can’t be at home with my family, I want to be at school with my students.

The last two weeks, we have been ‘back at school’ for training. We wear the masks and try to distance, but we are so craved for NORMAL that it is really wearing us all a bit thin. I love that our school is pushing to get us back in school WITH the kids. We all agree the safest, most logical place for the kids to be is at school. So many have learning struggles that parents are overwhelmed with. At my age group, there are kids that want to learn and seek out opportunities, but the majority let their brains rot when they aren’t in school. What level will they be when they get back to school?

There are so many questions floating around out there. Will the kids be able to learn with all the stress and ‘distancing’ going on? Will the teachers get sick? Will the governor keep us guessing about what is going to happen or keep giving us ridiculous checklists that we can’t possibly attain in order to stay in school? Will we have jobs? What if one of us gets sick…will we get paid?

None of these questions are new and there are many more. A person could give themself an ulcer thinking about all the variables. I preferred to drink a lot of dairy and feel like death instead.

I guess it comes down to this. Covey describes it as a circle of concern and a circle of influence. We can’t do anything about all that stuff in the circle of concern. Most of our concerns will just play out over time. The circle of influence is where we should be spending our time. What can we actually control? We can control our attitude and emotions. We can make our own choices about our own life.

The only thing I really wish I had to help me deal with that circle of concern is someone, anyone that I could rely on to tell us the truth. It seems every other day a different doctor or professional comes out with ‘new’ information about this virus. I can’t do that anymore. I have to turn to faith and trust. I know it is hard, it is really hard for me. The Lord is in charge. We were warned over a year ago that we needed to start buckling down and strengthening our faith and our family. I keep returning to that. I can control what goes on in my house (to some extent). I can try to keep a good, positive, faith-filled spirit here. I can encourage love and compassion and understanding. I can keep those lines of communication open with my kids.

I know we will get through this. As someone in history said, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” Just keep swimming….

Cause I said so.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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