Monday, April 13, 2020

So Emotional

Everyone experiences emotions differently.  I for one am a very emotional person.  I tend to feel and experience any/all emotions deep in my core and with every fiber of my being.  It's not an exaggeration or me being dramatic.  I am just wired to be this way and it's in no way a bad quality to have.  I've had to learn and work on keeping my reactions to those emotions in check.  It's not an excuse to let myself be out of control, although some times that does happen. 

It can be frustrating when people don't know or understand how deep rooted my emotions can be.  One of the worst things you can tell me is "calm down, don't be so emotional about this!".  While I can work to calm down in many situations, there is no way I can not be emotional about things.  I know I'm not the only person who is wired this way, a lot of people are.  And probably just as many are wired to not be an emotional person. It's one of the many things that all makes us different and I strive to accept every person's differences.

One of the main emotions that most people are experiencing right now is grief.  You usually think of grief as something that someone goes through when they've lost a loved one to death.  However,  I've read many articles that talk about the grieving process that many of us are going through right now.  You may not even realize it or be able to identify it yourself.  But our lives have all changed in the last month and we've all lost something(s) that at the very least was normal to us.  Some of us have lost more than others, but we're all at a loss for what we knew as our life.

When I left school on Wednesday, March 11 I thought I was going to be gone for a scheduled 4 day weekend.  In addition to my primary job in the classroom, we had just started track practice and the season was on the verge of getting in to full swing. 

This was not any regular track season.  Not only for me, but for the school itself.  After 4 years of being an assistant coach, I was promoted to head coach of the boys and girls Lombard track team.  I was scared, but so excited and ready to take on this role!  Not to mention this is Lombard's last year as a Jr. High.  The schools here are restructuring and after this year Lombard will be a 5-6 building with no track team.  That also means there will no longer be this historic Churchill vs. Lombard divide.  All year there has been plenty of focus on this End of an Era between the two Jr. High schools.  One that dates back for over 60 years.  I didn't grow up here, but my kids have all attended Churchill, but I've been equally loyal to the kids I coach at Lombard.  To be honest they are both great schools and a part of the larger Galesburg school district, which I love and support.  So I've never been a fan of the rivalry, but was honored to be the one to lead Lombard through it's end and final days.

In the beginning days of the quarantine and stay at home initiative I was hopeful and optimistic that we could still have a track season.  Even if it was a shortened one.  I encouraged my kids to remain active so that we wouldn't lose too much ground.  As a mom, I have a son who was hopeful in that *perfect* 4x4 team that could honestly make it to state this year.  So we tried to hold onto that hope that things could still happen and if it was not the norm, it would still be something!!  We wanted to be ready to go when all of this was lifted. 

As the days turned into weeks, my hope began to fade.  I had to begin to accept that we probably wouldn't have a track season.  I kept telling myself it was what was best and simply something we had to accept, even if we didn't like it.  Finally the silver bullet came in an email from the IESA which officially cancelled the State Track Meet.  I knew then that my track season was officially cancelled.  I was crushed.  Devastated.  I knew somewhere deep inside this would happen, yet it did nothing to lessen the pain or stop the flood of tears that engulfed me.  Was I being too emotional?  Absolutely not!  My heart and soul was being crushed.  Not only for my personal reasons and goals, but for my students who have been robbed of this track season.  For the 8th graders, my son included, who would never get this track season back.

It's been weeks since I got this news and even as I typed this out I still had to fight back the tears.  I know and understand it is what is best to keep everyone safe and protected.  It's nobody's fault.  It's the reality of what this entire nation is going through.  I know this adds to a long list of other life events that have changed for many people.  Events, moments, dates they have been robbed of.  Some things can be postponed or still held, but in drastically different ways than one imagined.  However, many will have last moments, last chances, last events that they will never get back.  My heart, my head, my body will grieve this for a long time.  I won't forget it too easily.  I never do.  Not because I can't let go of things and move on, but because of the deep emotional attachment I have to them.

Has there been anything that you are grieving for during this time?  It can be anything, big or little, if it's important to you then it's important!  Are you an emotional person?   I'd love to hear about it!

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