end of rope

the end of the rope

frayed and fraying

cliff approach

When one actually uses the expression: I’m at the end of my rope, it’s definitely a sign of something. A sign of lack of energy, lack of interest, lack of that hit of excitement that renders even the smallest event a part of the great and marvelous whole.

the wink of a student, the grateful focus of a moment, the zing of tuning in – all things that in the past would make a teacher’s heart smile and skip a double-dutch run.

But ‘end-of-ropeness’ means that those kind of situations fall flat. The heart stays barely beating, the adrenaline rushes off towards someone else’s party.

It’s May. It’s May of 17 straight teaching years. Two of those years were spent “half-time” but more like 3/4 time while I was studying. One and a half of those years were spent over full-time while I was studying. Listening to this, it sounds to me like I’ve been working hard. But hell, it was fine.  It’s only now, today, these past months that I dare to admit to my rope attitude. End of rope blues.

When I really need a feel-good hit, I say: I’m going to quit.  That works for me. I feel so much better. Well enough, in fact, to keep teaching for a week or two without aching to walk away permanently.

But temporary fixes aren’t the answer.

I think my rope endeth. My store of giving and offering is about to close down.

I’m waiting. waiting for a sign. waiting for a new door. watching the scenery for a new opportunity.


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