Here I lay in the wee hours of the morning of the first day of school. Like many, I couldn’t sleep, my mind whirring away.

I should be getting up and ready for my first day of a fresh teaching year like many of my friends today.

I should be preparing myself to welcome familiar little faces full of excitement, anticipation and first day jitters. Little people ready to regale me and their classmates of their summer adventures, ready to jump into new adventures.

I should be, but I’m not.

I’ll be home for my 6th year on leave.

I miss teaching.

I have thought of returning, torn myself in two trying to make a decision one way or the other, but the decision has already been made for me really. My treatment has decided, or rather how my body reacts to it decides.

In previous years, I was so plagued by fatigue that I thought I could never make it through the day, let alone attempt any kind of job, let alone teach, so I stayed home.

Now I’m bursting with energy, I hardly know what to do with myself! My limiting factor is the edema in my hands and legs that impede me from being as spry as I was, so chasing a class of 6 year olds might be a bit tricky. My cognition isn’t so hot right now either, I’m so forgetful it drives me crazy. So returning to school is not in the cards, now or in the future.

Those are the trade offs for time.

Time. What do I do with the time?

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