The Top of the Stairs

What do you do when you’re having your hardest year in a very long time, when your pride as a teacher is at hazard?  You can have a cocktail.  You can have two. You can ugly cry on the commute home. Or you can gather the dogs on Sunday and climb stairs in the hilly neighborhoods around LA.    Then have a cocktail.

You huff and puff to the top and along the way, the permafrown surreptitiously lifts from your face while you’re not looking. Your husband tells you to stop right there and takes your picture and you pretend not to be annoyed. You wonder if he prefers this version of you, unburdened, eternally hopeful.

When you get home you close your eyes, put your hands together, and bring a measure of order to the chaos of the world.  This too shall pass. Make it one year, lord, not two.

One thought on “The Top of the Stairs”

  1. I don’t know the exact nature of Mrs. Upinthevalley’s unhappiness at work, but I can guess. My wife is a career teacher and I have lived through such times. It can be difficult to function in an organization and be represented by an expensive union yet realize you are virtually powerless over your work situation. While it has been said many times, it does nothing to diminish the power of the idea/fact that we only have control over how we respond to others and the situations that life hands us. This idea is critical to successfully dealing with pretty much everything in life.

    As Elinor Roosevelt famously said. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Comments are closed.