Today I celebrate listening, slowing down, and stopping.
Principal: “When do you shut down?”
Maya: “I, uh, well, when I…”
Teacher Friend: (hearing this conversation–looks at me accusingly and chuckles at my attempt to respond to the boss) “You don’t…”
Maya: “Okay, I don’t…not really…not often.”
Principal: “At least for an hour or two each night, you should…”
Months later (about a week ago)…
Principal: “You should really think before you over-commit to things this summer. You need to recharge. You need to shut down. You will be better for it. I take a few weeks each summer and shut down. Schedule your down time this summer…how old are your kids…I get the idea that you actually like your family…you need to take a break, let go of all the work related stuff, and you need to spend time with them. When we get back from your break, I’m going to ask you about your plan for it.”
He went on to say something about being recharged in the fall, about positivity/energy and needing me to be a cheerleader (aargh, I hate that wording–Rah! Rah! Go team!).
Yesterday & Today…
SUMMER SHUT DOWN? I can’t wait for you. Yesterday I told my husband that my mom and I had made plans for today and asked him how he felt about going to his parents without me. Today I let the family go away without me to the in-laws, so I could take my mom shopping and grade papers. Today I spent time with Mom, and I’ve graded one class of essays. I will begin another class of papers tonight, and tomorrow I will grade one more.
I’m going to have a birthday dinner ready for my husband and family when they return tomorrow, and at that point, I am going to put away the schoolwork. NO SCHOOL WORK Monday through Thursday. Ahhhhh…no guilt. No papers that I “might” grade. No mountain of papers I carry with me to the mountains. No grading. No school work. No planning. Nothing school related. No vacation emails to the boss. No reading of school emails.
When I truly listen, I hear what I need to hear. Shut down. Rest. Make time. Schedule time. You, and everyone around you, will be better for it.
When I slow down, the swirling thoughts begin to settle. As I make sense of what is actually obvious, I know that I need to go beyond slowing down, I need to truly stop and rest.
If I actually stop for awhile, who knows what will happen? Giving rest to my swirling frenetic thoughts, my passion, my intensity, and my teacher identity will be good for me to help me truly rest and be in the moment. Not only will I reap the benefits of this time but so will others around me–my students, my coworkers, and my family.
Tomorrow at 4 PM
My hamster is going to step off the wheel for 4 days. I am going off the grid. I am going to find time, space, and a place to relax and enjoy my family.
Deliberate (One Word 2016) actions
- Staying home today to be with mom and to grade
- Getting a jump on the grading, so I’m not doing it at the end of break
- Getting a jump on grading so I’m not overwrought by guilt
- Some time away in nature with my husband and kids
- Time with Mom
- Time to my self
- A good book to read
- A written plan/commitment to do NO SCHOOLWORK.
Hey, One Word 2016, today you are mine!
While I rest sporadically and while I sometimes go several days without grading the papers I carry, I rarely schedule and plan time to do NO schoolwork. When the time is planned, I feel like I must prepare for it. Get some papers graded, make the time away doable and practical even with what I have to do. With the time scheduled, I doubt I will feel the guilt for not getting done what I feel like I need to do.