I was asked today about coming into school one day a week for a couple of hours – maybe more but hopefully just that.

She told me to think about it. To see whether it is something I can do. I said I didn’t see a choice if the dr says it’s medically okay (I’d have to ask my GP). She told me of course it’s a choice. She has to ask me because as her job she was told to. I should discuss it with whoever I need to and let her know. She said she knows she wouldn’t handle the anxiety of going in. I hadn’t even thought about that.

It was just, interesting. She said to remember that my family and I come first, the children in school second.

I appreciate her telling me that. I didn’t think of it. I don’t know if it is even possible for me to think that way. To me it was a no brainer. I’m being asked to come in. I’m employed by the school. The children need a teacher. If my GP thinks there’s no health risks then regardless of what I want (I do not want to go to school!) I’ve got to go. And here she tells me that i come first… that others have refused to, or couldn’t come in (not teachers – they hadn’t been asked yet).

I don’t honestly believe I come first. It’s really hard for me to think that way and I definitely don’t instinctively think so. Which is why it was so nice – and important- of her to say so. If I ask my GP I imagine he’ll say it’s safe. I’d I ask my rabbi I imagine he’d say not to.

Re the anxiety of going in, I have no way of knowing what will be. Before schools were all closed I took off some mornings work because I was freaking and panicking. Afternoons were somehow okay. I don’t know, can’t think, what it will be like. I really have no idea. Of course, if I go in, and then panic, it’s a no brainer that I wouldn’t go back. Well, now it’s a no brainer. I think.

Do I come first? I don’t honestly believe so. But I’m going to try and act as if it’s so.

Do you believe you come first?

Remember, you, and the people who depend on you (family et al) come first!

Love, light, and glitter

Edit: I’m trying to breathe slowly and stem the panic. I am okay. Telling myself that, and it’s the truth. The panic can come from both – who comes first, or anxiety about going back. Not sure if I am anxious about it. It makes no difference what from just what I do about it.

52 thoughts on “Working. Do I come first???

  1. I recently started doing 60 seconds of breathing exercises… inhale, exhale, repeat… for 5-6 times. Anyhow, it is a different sort of animal believing that we (and our loved ones) come first. But, we do. If you can’t take care of the ones you love (including yourself) before anyone else, what good will you be to everyone else?

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  2. Dear Eliza, your feelings and anxieties are very much the same as millions of others the world over. You ask who comes first. And then you give the correct answer:
    “Remember, you, and the people who depend on you (family et al) come first!”
    The school does not come first. Your co-workers do not come first. Children you teach, do not come first. You do. The only way to protect your family is to NOT put yourself in harm’s way. If you do, then you put your family in harm’s way.
    If you “must” go back to work, do so with a proper face mask and hand sanitizer and maintain “social distance.” Why your GP thinks there might not be any health risks is beyond me. We are in the middle of a pandemic. There are health risks. Please take care of yourself.
    If you are a twenty-something or in your thirties and have no physical issues, then I would say okay, but go back fully protected, mentally, and physically. Otherwise, if you can work things out, stay at home.
    The pandemic is going to get much worse. It’s not going away as some would have you believe.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Paul! I haven’t yet spoken to my GP about it. I’m young and healthy, the question is about others I’m in contact with. There’ll definitely be all the precautions in place either way…
      Thank you for taking the time to read and reply so thoroughly… I appreciate it!
      I really hope it doesn’t get much worse…
      Love, light and glitter

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I totally agree. And might i add that this applies even if there is no pandemic? As a former teacher myself, I have, with my own life, gone through what it means to not put yourself first in a profession that is supposed to be self-giving.

      In one word: Burnout.
      In three words: Burnout and depression.
      In five words: I now understand feeling suicidal.

      It’s okay to not care. The education sector NEEDS idealists, but idealists don’t survive in there. To do the most good, requires one to learn to cut off what is not necessary, as necessary. And to care again for what is important, when it has become important.

      It’s an ongoing thing.

      Good luck!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I understand both of your positions. I taught 8 years and a principal for 15. Had a head injury not cut my career shorter at 23 years, I probably would’ve knocked my own self out with insanity. You have support!πŸ’š

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thanks Hale!
          You’ve left me intrigued… how are you doing now? I’m assuming this was a long while ago…
          I have two managers kinda. The first one was great, the one I spoke to yesterday not so. But just is….
          Love, light and glitter

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m doing fantastic. Thank you! Life is different. I never imagined not being in a school. Special education is my background. I’ll always be a teacher at heart. Being a principal was challenging ~there were many times I just couldn’t β€œcheerlead” all decisions made from the β€œtop”. We’re losing good people because of the bureaucracy. Granted, I’ve seen good things come and go. But the amount of paperwork and assessment required is overwhelming! Don’t get me started lol. Simply, kids want to be loved and resisted. I’ll tell you the best statistics I know ~I watched kids thrive from those who simply loved them and taught basics including problem-solving and cooperation. You can’t test a child to success! We have to meet them where they are….they all have their own trajectory, even if the goal is the same. Being around children was a dream. And I’ll forever cherish the memories. πŸ’š

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I work with mostly children in the SEN department. In high school (where are you from – country) I work one on one. Primary i teach reading groups. One group are really bright the other 3 are challenging. You can see real change from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
              Lol, I do my own thing mostly. I can’t do anything I completely disagree with… being a principle is really hard too because you have to do things you disagree with. Though I’ve zero experience!
              Could you still be around children in a voluntary capacity?
              Love, light and glitter

              Like

        2. Thanks for the kind words! That said, I have left the profession a couple years back… a lack of support and a lot of naivete brought me a ton of pain, and it… ended. Heh.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. Eliza, sometimes I see myself so much in what you write. But – and I speak to both of us here – if we don’t look out for ourselves who else will?! Yet we don’t think we qualify to be looked after like that do we?
    I really hope we both see things differently in time to come. But you are not alone; I know I’d feel the same way. In fact, I’ve been deemed vulnerable/shielded now, and feel quite fraudulent about it, like I have to just carry on regardless. What’s your gut instinct about this?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I know that πŸ™‚ is that invalidating to say? I mean that I see it in what you write to use your words.
      I don’t know. I think that first I have to know what my GP says if it’s relevant – my sister is vulnerable. Then, I don’t know. I don’t know if I’d freak out from fear or not. Probably can only know if try it out. If schools were open with the virus I don’t know how I’d handle it… I really just don’t know. And also like how do you weigh up how anxious you are vs the need…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yea I can see how your vulnerable sister could change the equation for you. I think GP’s often having quite differing view on it, we’re all just making it up as we go along really. But if your gut instinct is to stay away you you are allowed to do that, then maybe that’s something for now and you can always review it later. I suppose what I’m saying is, I wonder if those who are champing at the bit should be allowed out first and those with more reticence should be last?!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I’d stay home – this is such a horrible virus Eliza – young people, younger than you, and I’m talking about athletes, have ended up on ventilators once felled by the Coronavirus.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I’m working from home at the moment because the anxiety of being in the office was too much. I think having your family to consider plus your mental health would be a good case not to, but hopefully your GP will confirm that. It’s good that you’re not being forced and your employer is being considerate. I understand the sense of duty you feel.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the validation! I can always try it and say not again. I’m going to try not to think about it for the weekend and think about it on Sunday and see if I can ask my GP then… I don’t really know how I’ll react so I don’t want to say no if I’ve no grounds…
      πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•
      Love light and glitter

      Like

  6. I can’t wait to go back to work. Should be after next week… I’m getting paid to stay home and you’d have go duct tape my ass to the couch to keep me home after we’re clear. If I were 20 years older, entirely different story. At 49 and physically awesome, let me out the door!

    I hope you get your panic squared away.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m enjoying the time at home. No pressure. No rush. Time. Family time. It’s so much more relaxed and calmer… that may of course change but that’s how it is now.

      Will see what happens…

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  7. No matter what your GP says, it’s still your decision. In my 30 year career as a counselor, I very often put myself last. With an over developed sense of responsibility, I sometimes put my job before my family and my first marriage. Looking back, there were more times that I should have put myself or my family first than the other way around. However, I believe there are times when it’s okay to go the extra mile for others and give service to the community. It all depends on how you feel. Do not get overly tired. If you do not feel well physically, or feel drained mentally, or emotionally, you don’t need to add to your stress. If there are days when you feel like you have the energy and peace, maybe you could go to school. I wonder if they would allow you that kind of flexibility and if there is work you can do from home. Either way, it’s still your decision. Whatever boundaries you choose are okay and right for you and your family.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks JoAnna!
      If my GP is okay with it I think I’ll try it once. Because I can say that I’m trying it once. It’s only a couple of hours once a week (though of course it’s not really about the time.

      Hindsight as they say is always 20/20. You made the best choices you could then…

      Thanks for taking the time to really respond…

      Love light and glitter

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I guess we need to really prioritize instances when we should place ourselves first and when there are situations that demand the interests of others to be placed before that of ours.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. I’m not sure if it doesn’t feel bad. In a totally different example I feel like I have to give something to someone that I really don’t feel comfortable to. If what she’s saying is true – she definitely feels that way – I really should. Who comes first? I don’t see another choice but to if my GP okay it (I’ve now 2 questions for him and haven’t gotten through yet).

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I don’t think if this will be right answer but let me make an attempt. When we place somebody before us, place their needs before ours and we don’t have regrets and are happy doing so, our mind and heart will walk the extra mile. But if we are not comfortable, our attempt will be half-hearted, even if it were the right thing to do. In this case the right feel not right because our mind and heart will be incompletely involved. I am sure the GP will have the better answer πŸ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

            1. That makes sense.
              In this case I’m just not sure it’s the best thing for me but if she doesn’t have another option I’ll do it. I’m also, now that I’m thinking about it, unsure because it’ll likely mean again. And again. I just don’t think it’s good for our relationship.
              Re school, however much I can’t be bothered I’m happy to help my students so if my gp okays it I’ll try. My manager knows I may freak out, so I’ll say beforehand that I’m trying once and if I’m okay with it will continue. In that case I’m happy to put myself second.
              I don’t think there’s ever any one right answer. I wish there were!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I wish there were one right answer! I think you should ask your GP and also tell your manager, because it does affect you. Stay safe and don’t try and think much πŸ™‚

                Liked by 1 person

  9. Eliza, “Do I come first?” is a tougher question than it seems on the face of it. I don’t think I come first. I think others come first. But I do believe you must take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. If going in to school causes a panic attack, obviously you will not be able to help your school or the children. I don’t know where you live. All schools in our state are closed for the rest of the year. Good luck with this very tough decision. You will figure out what’s right!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. One day πŸ™‚
      I think it’s actually just constant reiteration and hearing it from others definitely helps because most the time you forget it. Or I do i mean.
      Love, light and glitter

      Liked by 1 person

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