I've been thinking about my stress levels. They are not necessarily a good thing in my life. It's not just work, it's a lot of things. I know there's always someone who's worse off, and on the face of it I have a pretty happy life. I have a career that I (mostly) love, a happy marriage, a home, more yarn than I can poke a knitting needle at, a good income and my youth. The health thing is not so easy to define, but it's not like I can't work or can never enjoy myself, so let's say I have my health too.
What I also have is a somewhat overactive sense of responsibility. These are not my words, but the husband's. I have a tendency to collect lost souls, and feel genuinely and totally responsible for their wellbeing. You can imagine how inconvenient a trait this is as a teacher. Don't get me wrong, I care about all of my kids. But every now and then there'll be one who tugs on the old heart strings and I lose sleep over them. I'm getting better at compartmentalising with kids, and I think it's because I never have to deal with them in person outside of school. With friends it's a different matter.
The husband says the problem is not that I care, but that it is rarely reciprocal ("they aren't capable of caring the way you do"), and it upsets him to see me invest so much time and concern into people who leave when they don't need me anymore. He has this thing about me being a good person, like I'm some moral compass and everyone else is out for themselves. He watches me on the phone and kisses me when I hang up and says "you are so nice", like I just performed a magic trick.
I don't know if I'm a good person. If someone shoots at the person next to you and you jump in front of them instinctively, are you still a hero? Don't get me wrong. If there's a choice I will try to do the good/fair/kind thing. But does it really count if I keep sacrificing my mental health on reflex? Some days it feels like I'm smiling reassuringly at someone and telling them they really can stab me in the back if they try hard enough, "here, try again". If it was survival of the fittest time, there's no way those genes would get passed on.
Anyway, this was supposed to be about my new shawl. I keep writing these emo posts and then saving them as drafts and ignoring them. I'm just going to post this one so it's out of the way, and start a new one about the shawl.
Oh, and I'm fine. It's just the end of week 6, the year tens are mostly finished and it's making me a bit teary (I know, but I'm basically a person-shaped marshmallow, and this is the first group I've seen through from year 7), and I have the formal, graduation, final assessment and reports to write for 120 kids and no desire to do anything but knit and make amateurish jewellery.
Ms Spider xox
PS. Of course, I have friends who don't use me and who care, and I love them to bits. I'm just kind of bad at deciding to distance myself from people who are making life hard for me if I can see they need me...