Several Shades of Black

What's in my bag? - School

What’s in my bag? – School (Photo credit: Brandy Shaul)

School re-opened one week ago.  That means that this blog is about what happened two weeks ago.  You see, every time school is about to open, I go through certain stages.

First come the nightmares.  This has been happening to me for years.  I would dream of reaching to work late on the first day or not being prepared or not remembering that I had to do assembly.  This time was no different except for the fact that I only had one nightmare.  Good news?  Not so much.  You see, with only one, puny nightmare, my brain didn’t get enough time to purge itself of the fear or rather the dread of returning to school.  So, there were some roll-over points in the next stage.

The obsessive behaviour:  I would clean everything.  Every tile must be bleached, every item of clothing washed, every cupboard packed.  Even my pencil case gets a spring cleaning.  I would buy new stuff that would help me to organize – new water bottles for the boys, new bowls to pack food in the freezer.  I would count the number of white vests to make sure that the boys had enough, count rags, pack pencil cases.   The problem here was that the boys didn’t need new bottles, I didn’t get to go shopping for new bowls, and vests and rags were in order.  That meant that I had more nervous energy to expend than was necessary.  I’m not OCD really, I just can’t function without order and organization.  So, instead of calming me it became more roll-over points.

Since my central nervous system wasn’t getting the chance to let it all out through nightmares and obsessive-compulsive behaviour, a strange thing took over.  Veggie-state.  I lacked luster.  I lacked zeal.  I lacked energy.  I simply couldn’t do anything at all.  I couldn’t plan work (which I do during my vacation – yes)  I just couldn’t.  I could not prepare for school!

Then it happened.  The socks!  Yes!  I was going to get to be all OCD after all.  There is a little basket in my boys’ room called “The socks basket.”  It contains socks, all single sides in all different shades of black.  Really, it’s true.  I took that basket and added to it all the black socks from my husband’s drawer and the obsession and the nightmare became one.  I was in the living room, surrounded by fifty shades of black.  I matched and sorted and paired together.  I threw away some and tied others together that refused to be paired.  For all I know I probably threw away one side and kept the other thinking that the next side would turn up one day.  It probably took an hour but I sorted black socks.  I felt… a tiny bit better.

I knew that the ensuing weeks would be better.  I knew that when I began teaching, I would be better but with only one little nightmare, and one obsessive behaviour, I still ended up in a mood that was the darkest shade of all the blacks.

School re-opened one week ago…

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One thought on “Several Shades of Black

  1. Lisa, you should turn this into a short story or piece of flash fiction. This is excellent! No, no. . .not the fact that you actually go through such a thing every year. . .but the fact that you understand it and can articulate it so well. This is the kind of writing that NEEDS to be read.

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