Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Maintenance

I have a faulty printer. It is supposed to connect to my network so I can print wirelessly. There are times when it works, but this morning it is disconnected, needs a restart and some voodoo to get going again. It's frustrating.

There are things I can do. I'll find time to investigate. I'll get it running but this will take  time and effort. Time seems in short supply and my efforts are all over the place. Still, with a little maintenance work I'll have the printer I need.

Maintenance is easy to forget. Cleaning out the dishwasher, changing the oil and rotating the tires on the cars, scooping the litter box. Small things break down to remind me. Larger things too.

I began yesterday full of vim and vigor. I rose early and wrote a good blog post. At work, a place I like less and less, I got the day's lessons set, the room organized, and even did some long-overdue filing. My first three classes went well.

Then my fourth class blew up. Two kids are completely out of control. I'm very good at working with the toughest kids, but these two are beyond all of us. They dismantled the class, most any chance other kids had of learning, and my belief in the day and myself.

Next, I drove to my other school and had more life sucked out. The place is a zoo. I closed my classroom's locked door and set a quiet tone, but by the end of the day was wrung out. I wondered why I'm making myself unhappy doing a job that isn't working.

Then a kid came off the bus and into my room. He'd had an altercation and was on the verge of tears. He talked, I listened. Fifteen minutes later we walked up the hall together. At the door I said goodnight and he thanked me. Out in the sunshine, I told myself, "that's what I'm good at, that's what I like to do."

Maintenance. I drove to the gym and lifted weights while doing fix-up thinking. I concentrated on what I like to do and ways to do more of that. At home, I hugged my family because that maintains and renews me. I took the dog for a walk in the sunshine to recharge. I recalled the day. I made plans for the evening and beyond.

Last night I applied for another job and searched the web for what to do next. I rewrote my resume. I updated a document in which I keep track of things I like to do, the work I love. I wrote there about my talk with the upset kid and how it appealed to me.

The printer works now and I'll find the real fix soon. I'm up early writing this blog post, drinking good coffee. Soon, I'll leave for school and see what I can do. I'll keep looking for work that fulfills me and apply for as many jobs as I can find. I'll clean out the dishwasher, change the oil and rotate the tires, scoop the litter, all the little maintenance this life requires. I'll push on toward happiness knowing that I'm almost always happy when I write on.