End of Day

I have just survived one grueling week, in this grueling month which saw me report to work 17 out of 18 days thus far. Screw Saturdays and Sundays, this month said—you are going to finish what you started and not let go until you’re done.

The most difficult thing about juggling two jobs, each with huge responsibilities, is that you can’t really make people understand just how tired you are already. I think neither of my workplaces grasp just how much stuff I deal with in the other workplace, how many deadlines, how many bullet points in my unreal to-do-list. What’s more, I can’t really complain because admittedly, I brought this all on myself.

For most of recent months, I’ve spent my mornings waking up terribly early, terribly tired, and often with a grueling crawl to the bathroom as I get ready to start the day. Nonetheless, I rushed to come on time for my classes, and I’m proud to say I well did, even if I had to cut my sleep shorter than 3 hours a night. Coffee became my lifeline. My every waking moment was occupied by alternating to-do-list items from each job, wishing I were dead instead of having to wade through a pile of paperwork, and the occasional mini-heart attack from having realized I have totally forgotten to take care of something urgent.

Now that there’s only a week remaining of this utter madness, I look back and try to see what has kept me going, what has kept me from gutting myself, and what has kept me from stabbing someone with a fork when things got even more difficult than they already were.

And the answer, it seems, lies at end of day.

endofday

shot after work, end of day

This phrase has kept popping up in my head of late, as I trudge through long walks or bear with long rides on the way back home. See, no matter how difficult or draining or bloody the day has been, I realize that at the end of it, I feel a sense of fulfillment from the work that I do. Whether I see it happen through a moment in the classroom, or in the eyes of a child; whether I feel it through a student’s words, or a kid’s random hug—every such experience is something no one can ever erase as having touched my soul, something that I may someday look back on when I am on my deathbed and allow me to say, I was here and it wasn’t for naught.

And when the day ends like such, I feel reeled back in whole, after being unspooled into a disordered mess by the hitches of day. I regain my footing and I keep going, because I know I have work to do.

And this work needs to be done. ♣

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