((This started as me just typing until I had worked it all out. I didn’t know if I would publish the mess or not. I may as well, more for elucidation of my current non-social state than anything else. It’s a rant. They happen around here.))
I haven’t bothered to light my altar candles in a few days- maybe longer- and I’m not sure why. I also stopped the daily efforts at meditating- again- and I’m not sure why.
I wake up just barely with enough time to take care of the goats- much less take care of the shelves and everything they hold. The goats take more time now that I’ve got all the little ones to check and the second buck to feed. I’m still working and most days it’s only tolerable. Some days I wonder how I managed to get through without losing my job or getting arrested. It’s the worst group of kids I’ve ever seen in that age group. (I’ve not taught in Detroit, urban New Jersey, or DC but I am familiar with Baltimore and PG County.) We just sent a couple more to the unaffectionately named Alphabet School, due to the ridiculously long acronym that essentially means “These kids are one more screw-up away from juvie” and a few to actual juvie. Plus the ones walking around with ankle trackers. In middle school. At the moment at least there aren’t any pregnant. That was last year.
I can not wait for the day that I don’t have to keep coming here.
By the same token, I suspect that I am being put here in their way and in their awareness for a reason. If that reason is to test me, it’s a joke in poor taste. If, as is more likely, the reason is less self-centered, then I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with any of them when I can’t walk into a room without getting hit with a barrage of personal insults and accidentally flicked pens. We were never like this.
I don’t want to hear any ‘but they’re so disadvantaged and you should feel bad and want to help them’ comments either. I will probably lose my temper. Arguments about their home lives (which are, more than most of the oh so self righteous sjw comment machines think, hellacious. I know. I’ve seen them.) only go so far when you have an idea of just how many third, fourth, fifteenth chances are being given to them. They are literally being told that they can not fail. If you don’t pass (never use the word ‘fail’) then they do recovery work later to fix it. Take the test as many times as you need to figure out which answers to guess. I have some eighth grade kids who can’t read. At all. They can’t do basic math functions (we’re talking basic subtraction here, which is still the same no matter how it’s taught) or tell you that Earth only has one moon. Forget reading maps or following instruction sets. It’s pretty damned discouraging.
I know, intellectually, that it’s not all of them. Most are actually decent kids who missed something important in second or third grade and are trying to make up for lost time. Some managed to avoid that and are doing surprisingly well. Many really are learning to care about things outside their own selves. It’s amazing how much heavier the bad kids are when you put them on that scale in your head that tries to decide whether a situation is ‘good’ or not. Just a few of them outweigh an entire room of good kids.
I’ll still be glad when I don’t have to do this anymore, supposed to be here or not. Partly because I won’t have to deal with these kids or this administration (one of the new admins might prove to be worth something, the rest… not so much.) but also in large part because it will mean that my land and my herd and my flock and my (planned) orchard and my gardens…. are thriving. I want my land to thrive. I want to work it and coax it and nurture it and probably cuss it too- I certainly cuss the goats and chickens sometimes.
At present, the frustration is immense. I’m looking at the list of things that need to be done, like finally finishing the interior insulation and paneling in the cabin, or rebuilding the grape arbor, or building the next raised bed in the garden, or putting the garden boxes to bed for the winter, or getting a premise ID for the farm, or setting the farm up as a legit business instead of an under-the-table cash only op, or cutting and splitting a LOT more firewood, or getting my fat ass into better physical shape (something I suspect might happen if I were to be able to do all of the things on this list) And that’s only what I *need* to do. That doesn’t count the stuff I *want* to do, like teaching the new buck to pull a wagon or setting up solar panels so I don’t have to go up to the main house to charge my dumbphone. There is just so much to do that as long as I’m trying to work around the work schedule I’m not likely to ever get ahead of the list. Some things take priority for obvious reasons. Getting the premise ID must precede setting up the business, but can’t be done until the Deed is settled. (any day now would be nice…) Insulation and paneling have to wait for the money to buy them but most of the next paycheck is dedicated to the auto insurance which is due at the end of the year. One piece at a time is all I can manage right now, and those pieces have to come in specific order. I can’t even go get a goat halter right now because the only people that would have them are the local Mennonites and they’re cash only. I don’t have cash until Friday. This is life, right now.
I think I DO know why I haven’t done anything at the shelves for a while. I’m too stressed and upset to sit for that long while there is work to be done. I’ve been able to give myself permission to go to bed at a positively unsociable hour, since it’s the only way I get enough sleep during this part of the year. I’d do a lot for just one part of this logjam to break free. It feels like everything is hinged on that Deed right now.
Perhaps, even if it is over one selfish thing, that could be enough to get me to sit still and light a candle?