I woke in the middle of the night with tears pouring from my eyes. It was one of those dreams where the emotions and actions poured into reality. I was at a party of extended family and made an insensitive comment – one that I didn’t even believe in myself, but I was trying to “be cool” and do that witty cutting insulting banter thing, and I took it too far and used some kind of slur (which afaik, isn’t actually a slur in the real world, but it was in the dream, and I kind of knew it in the dream too. anyway, dream logic, y’know) and really hurt someone’s feelings.

I got a talking to – but actually a really lovely compassionate talking to about why what I’d said was hurtful and uninformed and that just made me feel even worse. So I got overwhelmed and cry-y and then another cousin asked (very kindly) if I’d maybe gotten a bit “tired and emotional” from drinking too much at the party and it all segued into my explaining that not only was I not drinking that night, but I wasn’t drinking at all. And that was a whole bunch of other heightened emotions.

It’s worth noting that (after a pretty cranky and irritable lead up that seemed crankier for longer than usual) I’m finally experiencing the mood-lift of menstruation, and – as documented here – I generally get a burst of crying on Day -1 to Day 1. And it always feels so good to have done it! I got a bit emotional at a movie last night, but I guess it wasn’t enough and maybe it’s even physical, that need, to purge out the emotional toxins that have built up to a pressure over the course of the month. It’s a bit like a welcome release valve.

So, anyway, I’m back from Kerry and back in my home and thus back to thinking about a “To Do” list and at this date, it’s twelve days until return to school. I’ve been pretty good at not wishing away the last month of holidays and at not thinking that “it’s all gone!” prematurely. But 12 days probably means it’s time to start making some plans for materials and classes and how the whole thing is going to go.

It’s going to be a bit stressful in some parts next year as I’m teaching a couple of modules in TY that I’ve never taught before – but I asked for them! I need to detach a little though. It’s not about me. I can’t pour my life blood and soul into these things and make them go well by dint of love. It actually behoves me to step back into more of a facilitator role. The more “back” I am, the better teacher I actually am. It’s up to the students. But facilitating requires some preparation. It’s the whole “work smarter, not harder” adage.

I’m feeling excited though. By the time the end of Summer rolls around, I’m generally finding myself actually looking forward to the restrictions and direction that come with the routine of a school year. By about 4 weeks in though, I’m totally over that. Maybe it will be different this year! I’ve not thrown everything to the wind over the Summer. I’ve maintained more discipline in running that I previously have on holidays. I’m actually going back with a modicum of weight loss as opposed to the usual weight-gain that Summer has tended to bring. I’ve got more stress-handling tools in my belt than ever before.

Speaking of stress-handling tools, I’ve been thinking that my stomach pains and migraines and all the other low-level illnesses I’ve been carrying really might be down to stress. At least, I think a high level of stress knocks the existing issues over a line from “tolerable” to “not”. Entering into August, I am having some low-level IBS symptoms, but despite now drinking coffee every day, they are much less notable than ever before. And with their curtailment comes the curtailment of the agonising period pains. Well, I hope. Let’s see over the next day or so. I will know pretty quickly!

I guess it’s going to take a long time to gather more data on this and draw more conclusions. I’ve a theory that there’s a sleep factor playing into the whole thing too. I only have one of me, so it’s not exactly easy to do a decent scientific test.

But in the meantime, today I’m feeling good, optimistic, indulgent and not irritable. The day is rainy, but the future is bright.