I've had my coffee and breakfast is over. It's been a quiet, contemplative morning. It will be followed by a busy day and busier evening. I treasure these quiet alone times when my body and mind can relax for a bit. But contemplation is a two-edged sword.
On a positive note, I was reminded today just how thankful I should be that I teach what I teach and, even more significantly, to whom I teach it. I give my AP seniors a hard time once in a while for being irresponsible and forgetful, but I got a dose of harsh reality this week when I gave our state's beloved high-stakes test (please read that ironically--all parts of it) to a group of freshmen. By the end of the afternoon, I felt like I'd just spent three hours in an ape enclosure at the zoo. The next morning, all I wanted to do was hug every single one of my kids. I complained bitterly about having to give this test the week before the AP exam, but, as usual, God has a plan and I came out both admonished and grateful.
On the other hand, this week marks the beginning of a process that will forever change who I am and, I believe, how many people will view me. A handful of family and friends know what this is and, without exception, the people I love have been nothing but supportive and caring through the many months that have led up to the decision that my wife and I have, with great pain, made.
It is at quiet times like these that the impact of our decision is the greatest. I am reminded of how utterly inadequate and self-centered I am and I wonder if I've made the wrong decision. Can I take it back? Can I miraculously somehow instantly become a better person? Yes, there is a way that could happen, but it seems that, by this point, God would have worked that miracle if He were going to. I've waited and prayed for it for almost a year now and it's time that we move on with our lives. While not discounting the possibility that a miracle may still happen someday, we aren't going to put everything on hold until it does.
One thing that I have definitely learned is that I have amazing loved ones in my life. People who do whatever it takes to support me and make me know I'm valued. For that I am deeply thankful. Another thing I've learned is that I deal best with stressful situations in exactly this way--by writing. I don't know how I coped in the years before I took this up. Poorly, I think. Writing is breathing. Writing is thinking. Writing is growing.Writing is praying. Without it, I am convinced I would wither and die, at least spiritually and intellectually.