Incredible Busyness

I’m a very busy person. It’s something that I’m used to because I don’t cope well with boredom. Even my vacations are eventful. Either I’m with my family, spending the majority of my time playing with my nieces, or I’m packing up and driving across the country to visit a friend whom I haven’t met in person before. Having nothing to do kind of horrifies me.

The year 2012 is my first year as a full-time classroom teacher. For the previous two years, I was a waiter and a substitute teacher here in Baltimore. The two jobs frequently overlapped, and I would come home from subbing only to turn around, put on my uniform, and work the closing shift at a restaurant. Now and then, I would get fed up and take a hiatus from one of the jobs. I’d tell my manager at the restaurant to not put me on the schedule for a few weeks, or I wouldn’t pick up my phone when the secretaries from the surrounding schools went through the list of available substitutes. I was exhausted, and keep in mind that I was also taking night classes for my master’s program a few times a week. But even then, I couldn’t stay away from both jobs for too long. Finances were only a partial factor. Ultimately, I just didn’t know what to do with myself on my nights off.

I said earlier that I struggled with depression about a year ago. I think working so much helped me get over it, especially since I didn’t receive any formal counseling or treatment. (By the way, don’t be an idiot like me. If you’re struggling with depression, see a professional. I was a fool not to, and it’s only by the grace of God that things got better on their own before they gotĀ horrible.) Working brought me outside of myself. Waiting tables and substitute teaching aren’t glamorous jobs by any means, and each job has its fair share of attached horror stories, but each job can also be enjoyable. These jobs put me in contact with a wide variety of new people almost every single day, and they allowed me to reinvent myself frequently. They forced me to learn how to be charming, personable, and authoritative.

They also provided excellent personal contacts. I met several good friends by bringing them their cheap beers and appetizers. That’s also how I met the secretary of the first school I ever subbed for. She helped get me that job, and through that post, I made friends with a fellow employee who helped me get my current, permanent position.

Being busy has been good for me, and this semester will not be an exception. It’s my first year as a full-time teacher, which means I will have to create lesson plans for my students every night. Unlike experienced teachers, I don’t have a big filing cabinet full of old lessons from which to choose. It’s also my last year in graduate school, and my thesis is due in December. It’s mostly written, but the revision process is a pain. Nevertheless, I’m excited about the work I’m doing. (I’m especially excited about being done!)

Blogging might seem a strange thing to take back up in the midst of all this incredible busyness, but I recall that I was just as busy in college, when I maintained my old blog. I was one of those kids who was in every club, worked every campus job, went to every social event people invited him to, and still got As (don’t hate). I also maintained a moderately successful blog and a ton of personal contacts. I think what helped was that, unlike recently, blogging gave my “free time” a structure. Instead of mindlessly waltzing around Facebook, not realizing where the time was going, I would go online, write something, and respond to some e-mails. Then, I’d close my laptop and do the actual work I had to do.

So, even though I’m incredibly busy, I hope this blog will help keep me task-oriented throughout the rest of this year. However, if you e-mail me or leave a comment and wonder why I don’t respond right away, know that I still get to use busyness as an excuse!

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