Empty Mugs & Full Hearts

About a month ago, I published a post declaring it was going to be the best school year ever. I decided then that I was going to be positive and happy and encouraging at all times and focus on all the little things that I loved about my job.

But that was a month ago, when I still had plans to publish a full West-Michigan review of every Frozen Yogurt joint in the area. I was going to critique each fro-yo chain in detail and try to start my life as a part-time ice cream and frozen yogurt blogger.

I need more time for this; there is more to be eaten. (Also, if you own a fro-yo place, please get in touch with me. I would love to work with you.)

I got married in June and as it turns out, I like being a stay at home wife with little to no responsibilities. When I felt like organizing, I organized. When I felt like watching 7 episodes of MTV’s Catfish, I did.

What a dream.

But people, I’m struggling a little.

Usually, the night before school begins is a lot like Christmas Eve for me. Even as a kid, I lived for the first day of school.

I loved school and adored my teachers. I dreamt about the smell of brand new supplies and fantasized about the potential layout of the seating chart..

It shocked no one that I became a teacher.

Special shout out to my mom for refusing to let me grow out my bangs until 8th grade.

All through school as a student and my career as a teacher, the first day was something I looked forward to and embraced with arms wide open. Especially as a teacher; I mean, they give me a stage (classroom) and a microphone..#dreamjob.

But if I am going to be honest here, I don’t have the same  jittery excitement for our first day tomorrow as I usually do. Even after writing an entire blog post about why this year is going to be the best year of teaching, I am still fighting a sense of dread. #positivityfail

I feel guilty about this. I love to teach and I love the students, but man, it was a good summer and I am a little sad.

And you know what? Sad is okay.

I think sometimes one of the best things a teacher can be is human. Instead of beating myself up because I am not jumping up and down with excitement for tomorrow, I will sit in my sadness for a little while and let myself say goodbye to the summer.

I will sit in my quiet house in the air conditioning knowing full well tomorrow at this time I will be sweating through my clothes.

I will sip my coffee at the temperature it’s supposed to be: not warm iced coffee or cold brewed coffee.

I will put myself down for a nap because I feel like it.

And then I will say goodbye for now to this season and give myself an attitude makeover for the next.

I will love the next season, too. I will love the students and the routine and the hilarious things they say. I will love the “aha” moments and discoveries and learnings that happen within my 4 walls. I will be more sleep-deprived and WAY less fun socially, but I will be doing what I love. Change is hard, and I might not love it right away. But I will. I always do.

Seasons come and seasons go; life is simply how we choose to embrace or reject them.

This is the season we are in. It’s back to school time. Whether I’m jumping with excitement or kicking and screaming, this is where we are. I might wallow for a bit about what I am saying goodbye to, but then I am going to pick myself up, dust myself off and pack my lunch for tomorrow.

It’s  a new season.

I am saying goodbye to a lot of things, but will be gaining more than I can imagine (literally…my calendar is already so full.)

It will have more nose-picking, shoe-tying, deep breaths and hugs.

It will have more lunch dates with 9 year olds.

It will have more crying, but a LOT more laughter.

It will bring empty coffee mugs and full hearts.

It will be a season of growth, adversity, and fulfillment.

Maybe you’re like me and feeling a mixed bag of emotions about starting school, or maybe you are so excited you’re grabbing your sleeping bag and camping out in your classroom tonight, but either way, tomorrow is coming.

A new season is starting and whether I choose to embrace or reject it will say a lot about my emotional health this fall.

Today I hang up my summer uniform (workout shorts and a dirty t-shirt) and lay out my knee length dress with comfortable flats.

Today I will pack my lunch for the next day, arrange my teacher bag that could easily transport 3 young children and get into bed at 9pm, and promptly fall asleep at 11:48pm.

Today I will rest, and tomorrow, I will teach.

Get the coffee mugs ready; it’s back to school!

How are you feeling about back to school season as a teacher, parent, or student?













4 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Praying for a GREAT First Day of School tomorrow. Those kiddo’s are BLESSED to have you, Jenna! ❤


    1. Sandy Politowicz says:

      I will be thinking of you tomorrow. Wishing you a great school year. Now that I am retired I miss the excitement of the first day of school.


  2. Anonymous says:

    I enjoyed 36 years of 1st. day ‘Teacher Excitement!! I still think about the fun times and experiences, even though I’ve been retired for 15 years!! I so enjoyed my teaching career, that I went back after retiring and subbed for 12 years!! Loved being with kids!! Not doing that any more, but still have lots of great memories!! 🙂 Have a FANTASTIC year Mrs. Maxwell!! 🙂


  3. Karen Cutshall says:

    My 36 years of “First Days” carry great memories!! Teaching was a fantastic career!! After retiring 15 years ago, I chose to sub for 12 years. I got to enjoy kids without being a “REAL” teacher! Just completed the plans left, enjoyed the kids, and went home with nothing in my school work bag!! 🙂 Have a FANTASTIC year Mrs. Maxwell!! 🙂 Love those kids to death!!


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