I’ve been working at my job for fourteen years. Fourteen years, guys. I feel almost as at home in that building as I do… well, at home. I know my coworkers’ rhythms, I know the routines, the programs, and the schedules — even the off-season ones. I’ve been working Extended School Year itself for a decade, missing only the year when I was halfway through my pregnancy and (literally) couldn’t stand the heat. I’ve worked every grade level, every skill level, every permutation.
All this to say, I know my job, okay? So then why, for the love of Christ, did I spend an hour this morning freaking out over the absolute most basic aspects of my assignment?
And this happens every goddamned year, too. Always, without fail. First, I have a shitty night’s sleep the previous night, because I’m wound up and anxious about the start of something “new” (every iteration of a “first day” elicits this reaction in me — transitioning is hard). Then, I get through the night, get up, get ready, and go, and spend the entire ride to work checking and double checking my bag, convinced I’ve forgotten something (this at least has precedence, because I forget something roughly, oh, every other day or so. What’s awful is that once I’ve checked for and found said item, I’ll still stop and check for it at least three more times. Lest it be summoned into the ether, for Christ’s sake).
Then I get to work — super early, too, because I have to carpool, and I only have the one ride. You’d think that getting there early would be relaxing, right? No rushing, just sit down, settle in, maybe bring a book? And it gets to be; after the first day jitters are over and done with, it’s nice getting there more than an hour early and just sort of chilling. But that first day?
Today I spent literally an hour doing laps and growing increasingly anxious that:
- I was in the wrong building. The wrong building, people. It’s always been this building. It’s only ever been this building.
- That I had the date wrong. You know, the same date it’s been forever and always into perpetuity (the Monday after the 4th)? The date that was in my planner, on Google calendar, and in the three separate emails I got over the last few weeks reminding me about ESY??
And it’s gonna happen again tomorrow!! You know how I know? Because it’s already started. I’m already second guessing where I’m supposed to be (this is a separate program conducted off-site), even though this program has always had me meet at the same place, and I confirmed twice with the lead that the schedule and routine was the same as last year. Twice. A program that I, again, have worked before (though granted not as long term, this is only (“only“) my fourth year).
But logic isn’t going to shake this anxiety. Logic never does. I am going to feel antsy and slightly panicky literally until I see my lead walk up to the building tomorrow morning, and that kind of sucks, but I don’t know what else to do about it.
After tomorrow? Ah, the rest of the summer should be smooth sailing. I’m honestly really looking forward to it! But these first two days, man. These first two days, my brain just short-circuits and it’s non-stop panic mode.
Hopefully I can get a decent night’s sleep, and find quick respite in the morning.
Fuck Anxiety Brain.