Yesterday, I squeezed in a mile with Mr. B before heading out of town to stay the night with my older boys. The one that has been struggling had a really rough day and I needed to be there for him. Today, Mr. B and I took a long, leisurely jog through the cemetery after school. It was a great opportunity to reminisce about the last year of running and working together. I know I wouldn’t have enjoyed my job nearly as much without his friendship. I look forward to continuing our friendship even though it will look different without seeing each other at work every day. Unfortunately, work was tough today. I have missed quite a few days as one of my older boys has struggled with some health issues. Since he had such a rough day yesterday, I set up a doctor’s appointment for him this morning. I knew I had finals for the afternoon so I scheduled the appointment early so I could make it back to facilitate my finals. Dispite my forethought and planning, my principal was not supportive today. I have kept him in the loop as I’ve needed to take time off for my son and he has generally been understanding but today was different for whatever reason. It was really upsetting for me. It’s been a rough term living 1.5 hours away from my boys and having one of them struggling so much. I’ve felt constantly torn between my work obligations and my son’s medical needs. I’ve tried very hard to make sure my absences haven’t impacted my students. I’ve left very detailed sub plans every time and tried to stay sensitive to my students’ needs. It’s hard to not feel like those efforts are appreciated. If it wasn’t for Mr. B and the cross country season, I would feel like my efforts to fulfill my work obligations this term were for nothing. I’m glad I have those positive experiences to shine light onto what has become a dark ending to this job. I’m sad that it’s ending this way but really, really glad that it’s almost over. Tomorrow is my last day. I will walk away with my head held high knowing that I did my best in a very difficult situation. I’ll miss my runs with Mr. B and I’ll miss many of my students. However, I won’t miss the planning, the grading, the extra duties, and the stress of managing 20 students for roughly 6 hours a day. My new job will likely feel boring by comparison and less meaningful but this introvert is ready to step out of the classroom. The run with Mr. B was cathartic. He patiently listened to me whine about my hurt feelings and his presence reminded me of what has been good about my time at this school. It was a comforting end to an emotionally draining day.