The New Normal

I used to get up at 6am everyday and get ready for work. I would arrive around 7am and prepare for my day of teaching my students English and World Geography. I would leave work around 4pm and then get home and relax. I would have dinner with my live-in boyfriend and my son. We would each participate in our nightly routines of homework and video games, with the occasional TV thrown in. My boyfriend and I watched Maverick’s Games and occasional enjoyed a weekend to ourselves when my son visited his father on his scheduled weekends. My daughter was living with my mom and attending her first year of college. We all had things that were important to us and we were all busy at least some of the time.

Now our partially empty nest has become full again.  My daughter is back home and my son has visited his dad since spring break was over. We celebrated my son’s 17th birthday with takeout and only the four of us. It was the first time my ex-husband hasn’t seen his son on his birthday. I get up at 8 or 8:30 now depending on my work schedule which now consists of hangouts meetings and grading my students work in Google Classroom. The only time we leave the house is to walk the dogs or go to the grocery store. My car has literally been in our garage since the week after spring break. It is strange because I spend my time playing games, listening to audiobooks, and reading physical books but I never really feel fulfilled. I am restless and bored. I miss the routine and chaos that the classroom brings. I miss the crazy antics of some of my students. Our administration wants us to start thinking about next year which seems so strange because technically this year isn’t really over. We aren’t giving our students real grades right now, but we have to constantly contact parents of students not completing lessons. The decisions are set to be made this week regarding how we are grading our students and when/if we are going back to school this year. I worry everyday that the Engineering Camp my son was accepted in for the summer will be canceled. I am thankful that my son is only a junior because I would hate for him to have to finish his senior year this way. I worry because he will have to take all his AP tests this year from home. He has been so successful the last couple of years with this AP test and I just hope that the format change won’t impact his performance. He was supposed to take the SAT this month at school. Now I am not sure he’s even going to take it. He needs to start applying for college as soon as the applications open so I don’t really want to worry about having to schedule it once the world goes back to normal. I think my biggest issue is the isolation I feel. My boyfriend is wonderful but the being home doesn’t bother him the way it does me. Normally I am fine spending time at home but now that I am being told I can’t go out I feel like I’m in a cage. I know that this will all be over eventually but I wish it was over now. At least we have had some great family game nights over the last few weeks and I am thankful that we all get along well. The one thing we haven’t had in our house is arguing and fighting even between my children. We have all been peaceful even if we are tired of being at home. Technology has made it possible for my children to keep up with their friends with video chats and extended phone calls while they play online games through Steam. I am lucky in so many ways because I am getting paid and still able to do my job. It is just hard to be content at home all the time!!

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