If you can read this, you won the life lottery.
Jesus Lord God, I know that sounds pretentious, but it’s so true.
After the last week of a total disaster at work that started with me missing the memo that they were taking down the network at school to change out switches (88-page deadline, senior ads due, grades due, Christmas break in T minus 5 days, I can’t imagine how I missed that memo) meaning no after-school work on one day, then losing the server, which led to another day and a half lost, I really, really need to remember that first sentence.
We don’t miss big deadlines. If we miss big deadlines, I feel like everything in the newsroom falls apart. The newsroom is like running the gauntlet. Not the awful gauntlet in one of those historical movies where you watch with one eye shut and the other barely open, cringing while you wait for doom to strike. Nope. Not that. The newsroom is the fun, funny, entertaining gauntlet like the one on Wipeout. One wrong step and you’re on the edge of the shaving cream covered bellyflop of disaster where no one gets hurt, but you lose your chance of winning the prize.
Missing a big deadline isn’t going to kill anyone. But winning the prize is a long shot. The prize is the semblance of calm that comes with second semester…at least until March.
We bellyflopped. And it wasn’t our fault.
There’s a sizzle to deadlines. That’s the only way I can explain it. This tension just under the surface that pushes you and crashes through your bloodstream in an adrenaline-fueled amazingness.
When the network was down and then the server crashed and we lost two and a half days of work, the sizzle fizzled.
Kids still came in and worked, but the hours weren’t there.
They were, but they would come at a price I wasn’t willing to pay.
Honestly, I think the kids were. They wanted to work late Thursday, and God knows, once upon a time, I would have canceled my anniversary plans and spent the evening in the newsroom with teenagers and the yearbook instead of my husband. I did. Several times over the years. Those days are over.
Some asked if we were working tomorrow. Once upon a time, I would have said YES! Let’s get this done. But no. No. Not now. Not on Christmas Break. Just no.
So we’re missing a major deadline. And even though it’s the Wipeout kind of miss, the fun, funny, eensy-bittsiest, teeny-tiniest, minuscule of problems, it feels like losing a freaking nuclear war.
So here it is. I’m laying it all out on this space that’s been my sounding board for years. And I’m letting it go.
Earlier this week when my kids hadn’t been able to work for the biggest two after school deadline days I was griping a lot on Facebook. My friend reminded me about a story we heard at inservice. This CPS worker was involved in a family violence situation where there was a gun and a baby involved and she had to extract the child without getting the baby killed or killed herself…I don’t remember the exact story. The point of the whole thing was afterwards she went to Braum’s and the freezers were out, so all the ice cream was melting and everyone in the store was running around like it was the end of the world, and the woman just said, “you know what, it’s just ice cream.”
Thank God for that story because it got me through the rest of this week. It’s just ice cream. No one died. We didn’t have a San Bernadino or Colorado Springs moment. Yes, we’re missing deadline, but it’s not life and death. It’s not pass this thing or forget about graduation. It’s not a health battle. It’s not a catastrophic weather event like a tornado or flood or fire.
It’s Wipeout. It’s Ice Cream.
In January when we come back rested and ready, the yearbook will be there.
And I’m going to let this go. While I do, I’m going to remember what I started this blog with. There’s a lot to hold on to. I’m going to focus on my blessings.