Best time to be at school this year? When no one else is there. Never thought I’d say that. Never thought I’d feel that. Never thought it would be true either. But it is. When I go in on weekends or stay late when others are gone, I can breathe and focus.
It’s been a hard year for empath school teachers. Teaching during Covid with schools open. Everyone’s emotions running rampant and running high. My friend calls us “sitting ducks.” So much anxiety in the building. Fear too. Anger too. Sadness too. Discord too. People taking sides. Emotions in flux. Finding new work friends and allies. Losing old friends and colleagues. Social dynamics in disarray and dysfunction.
Yet, empaths feel it all. Piles onto our own anxiety. My chest hurts, my heart hurts by the end of the day. And I just have to get out of the building.
And I am usually not a complainer. I am not an “I’m an empath; woe is me.” I typically celebrate being an empath. But this year has been completely different. I don’t want to be the “woe is me,” but I find it’s time to acknowledge the heartache and to pause.To just say it’s been a rough year and a rough school year.
That’s why I took a hiatus. It’s been 7 months since my last post. The anxiety took a toll on my health. So I needed to pause, reflect, realign, work on getting healthy. Turn inward as empaths need to do. Because everyone’s heightened emotions day after day take a toll on us.
And now there are vaccines. And now we can get them. Relief is at hand. I can feel one huge sigh in the school building as we line up for our turns. We can breathe. We can hope for better days. We can be filled with gratitude rather than anxiety. But we will remember this year and the toll it has taken. And we can reach out with compassion for those teachers and students and families for whom the vaccine did not come soon enough. And there are too many.