From the Newsletter:
It was about Day 4 in our vacation when I finally relaxed. Effortlessly buoyant in the salty waters of Bermuda, I leaned back, closed my eyes, and let the stress leach out of my body into the sea.
We got home two days ago. I’m trying to keep that vacation-feeling going one more day, so I’m pretty much avoiding all people and responsibilities. Jonah starts college and Ian starts his jobs program/community college next Wednesday, so there is shit to do. They both need help organizing — one more than the other — and maybe a haircut. But I’ll deal with it tomorrow.
There’s been much written about how the pandemic increased economic inequities and K-shaped recovery trend, but little about the stress inequities. While some people loved working from home and slower pace of work, others lost their jobs, took care of family without state support, and juggled online schooling with their regular day job.
Now, I’m neurotic on a good day, but during the pandemic, I was a mess. I worried about the college kid who loathed remote education and the teen with autism whose few social skills withered as he spent months alone in his bedroom. Because I was too busy, distracted, and semi-hysterical to write a proper article, I worried about rebuilding my career this September. I worried about my parents, who went for nearly a year without a hug. Honestly, I did not worry about getting super sick after the first few months, because we took the normal precautions, got vaccinated, and are healthy.
With those nice vacation vibes still in my bones, I’m feeling very optimistic about this fall. With schools open, my kids can recover. And I can get back to work. I have several projects that I’m thinking about. I’m open to feedback.
Possible fall projects:
- The Hero Project. Do one interview per week with a parent/caretaker of disabled child/adult to find out how they managed during the past two years. What challenges did they face? How did they keep their marbles? There’s a million different stories out there, and I want to record them before they get lost.
- Long form article about post-high school options for students with disabilities. A look at everything from $200,000 boarding schools to new programs emerging in college around the nation. Higher education for disabled students is a growth field.
- Investigative piece on how schools have used their COVID federal funds that were earmarked for special education.
- Talk with special education teachers about the challenges that they are facing this fall, as some students enter a school for the first time in 18 months.
When I’m not writing, I’m going to continue to do whatever it takes to minimize stress. I’ll continue jogging (another 5K this Sunday. Woot!), reading (currently reading The Giver of Stars), and finding new things to do with our garden tomatoes. I also set up an alert on Kayak to notify us when discount tickets to Bermuda are available.