How is it August?
Ten weeks of break are over, and this week, I am back at school.
As I was telling someone at church today, I know I’m still in the right profession because I’m excited to take new risks with how I teach. My head is swimming with ideas and now I need to start corralling some of those ideas.
I’ve spent a lot of time this summer thinking about how I might be able to function this year not in triage mode. I feel like from the first day of school, I’m in a constant battle for my sanity, and I may have discovered a reason why: compartmentalization.
As in, I don’t do it enough.
I allow school to permeate every moment of my life, rather than allowing myself to have a life. And since I’m not pulling down a six-figure salary, I shouldn’t feel obligated to allow school any kind of dominion over me. I remember last year, I allowed a hysterical parent, who on a Sunday night was bombarding me with emails, to take precedence over time with my family. That’s not okay. Feeling like I’m in a constant state of panic is not okay. Sacrificing even the smallest workout is not okay. Giving up $5 movies is not okay.
I’ve been teaching for 15 years, and the pressures have not eased one bit–if anything, they’ve increased. So it’s no wonder I spend most of the school year with my head barely above water.
At the beginning of the summer, I picked a theme for myself: discipline. I needed that constant reminder so I wouldn’t fall behind on what I’d committed to. And except for one area (fitness), I met all the goals I set for myself. So perhaps selecting a theme for school is a good idea.
My theme for first semester will be “nourish.” I looked up the definition, and was struck by what I found: “to supply what is necessary for life, health, growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, promote.”
I am not nourishing myself during the school year. A quick scan of the antonyms of nourish unequivocally proved that my life has been anything but nourished in recent years.
At least, until summer rolls around.
But feeling nourished 10 weeks out of 52 just isn’t good enough.
So beginning tomorrow, each day I will pay attention to how I am nourishing all elements of my life. I do need a little more compartmentalization, but that will require some baby steps to be truly effective. I’m hopeful that for the next 19 weeks, my theme of “nourish” is a baby step that will yield less triage and more peace.