Ladies and Gentlemen, I know I've been away for a long time. Work devours my time like a lion devours wildebeests, birthday boys devour cake, and Oprah devours small children.* However, lately, work has been giving me anxiety attacks and gastritis, which is kinda like baby ulcers that one day grow up to be real ulcers. So what do I do? I panic. I freak out. I talk to myself. And then, like Big Oprah, I turn to a higher power and ask for help. And do you know what He does? He helps me.
Oh yes, on Sunday night, I was having awful anxiety. I was stressed beyond all reason, chanting to myself to keep myself doing lesson plans. And I begged the universe for something to happen to keep me from having to go in and take that abuse from 7:30 to 4:30. Do you know what the universe did? You do if you read ahead. If you didn't, however, I'll go ahead and tell you and let you in on what the other readers have already looked at.
The universe, kind and loving, gave me debilitating, stress-induced stomach pains. I woke in so much glorious pain. I couldn't help but smile as I slumped my way to the phone. "Thank you, universe, for making it hurt so much!" And I called in. And no sooner did I call in then all that stress related pain started to fade away. A little. But the universe, kind and loving as it is, continued to keep my best interests at heart. That cold front last week that promised to close schools for snow but fell through? It came back and froze pipes all over the city, busting water mains, sending water gushing into the streets, water that would turn to ice in those freezing predawn temperatures. Schools closed early Monday and are still closed today.
Thank you, All Mighty Power. You've given me a gift. You gave me awful stomach pains, that I would not have to deal with emotional pains. You took out an entire city's water supply and made the roads slick and dangerous so that I wouldn't have to go to work today. You gave me time off from work that I wouldn't need to spend a sick day on. AMP, I know you care about me because you're willing to put everyone else in danger with those icy roads and boil water notices all so I can avoid being disrespected by a handful of children for eight to nine hours. That's the nicest, sweetest thing anyone's ever done for me.
I could do something nice for you, AMP, but I've decided instead to pay it forward and do nice things for others. I was thinking this morning about how maligned air conditioners are sometimes. During the summers, the toil ceaselessly to keep a home at a cozy sixty-five degrees when it's thirty degrees or more hotter outside. But when those same people you keep cool overburden an electrical outlet and accidentally set the house on fire through negligent abuse of electricity, do they ever stop and say, "Hey, that poor, hard-working air conditioner is killing itself trying to keep us cool. I should turn it off before I leave this burning building so its last moments of mechanical life aren't spent killing itself trying to keep a five hundred degree inferno a cozy sixty-five degrees." No, it's all "family albums" this, and "get the pets and children" that. But not me. I'm paying it forward, AC. I'm going to shut you off when one of my many overburdened electrical sockets catches fire. Because I'm a nice guy like that.
You have been informed.
*Seriously. With her weight fluctuations, when her weight is up, she's all about self control and self-improvement, but when she's down, she's always hanging around some kids who need help. Who's to say she isn't eating one or two of those poor starving children every time she builds a school in a third world nation? Next thing you know, she's Big Oprah again and it's all about loving yourself for who you are and changing yourself into who you want to be.