I generally have no trouble getting out of bed in the morning. Most days, I wake up between five and six-thirty in the morning, rise easily, and get ready for the day in short order. It is a habit I have long cultivated, as I enjoy the earlier morning. There is something optimistic about seeing the day brighten, and the quiet of the early hours is soothing.
Over the past few days, however, I have been having trouble hauling myself out of bed. I have been groggy, and my head and neck have hurt. It does not proceed from strong drink; I have not had any for around a week. (I am not about to spend my money on such things while I am unemployed; that would be stupid.) I do not think it is allergies, either; I know that pollen counts are high, with the re-greening of The City and its surroundings, but my nose has not been running and my eyes have not been watering.
Perhaps it is simply the stress of my current circumstances. But it might also be the recurring phenomenon with which I know many who teach are familiar. The instructional term has ended, and when that happens, all of the things that get ignored or shunted aside in favor of getting done the myriad daily tasks of teaching suddenly emerge again. The body and mind finally let go and relax, and in so doing, they open the way for fatigue to rush in and sickness to take hold. (This worries me, as I cannot afford to be ill now.)
It is often remarked that teaching is a good job because of the breaks. The usual rebuttal is to note continuing education requirements and the need to prepare for the next term. Another frequently cited is the need to recuperate mentally from the work of trying to teach people who do not always want to be taught amidst administrative and uninformed political requirements. The physical toll that teaching takes does not get as much attention--but it should.