I begin another year of teaching this week, full of ideas and goals and…fears. Last night I dreamed I was being beaten by someone I did not know, and the dream was so vivid, I finally forced myself awake so I could slow my heartbeat and feel safe again. This post is not about dream analysis, though–it’s about something I learned this summer that I hope to carry through my school year:
I have lots of time, and I don’t always use it well.
I realized that on the days I get home at 4 p.m., I have six or seven hours to use. Too many times, I fall into the social media wormhole and I emerge, bleary-eyed and despondent, six or seven hours later with literally nothing to show for it. This summer, I learned that there is time enough for all the things I want to do, if I make time for them to happen.
So today after meetings, I went to the library and checked out some books for this challenge. I came home and started to read one of those books and felt sleepy. So I laid down and rested for 20 minutes. I checked in on social media for 10 minutes, then I made dinner, did dishes, made lunch and breakfast for tomorrow. I watched a movie. Now I am writing with the Olympics on in the background, and I will exercise for a bit and probably read for a bit longer.
I have read contradicting pieces about work-life balance. Some argue that it’s imperative to establish rigid work-life balance practices. Some argue that life is just life, and trying to achieve balance is pointless. I know there will be days I have to work a bit longer hours than I did today. I know I will have days when the pull of my couch and Netflix is just a bit too strong. But I also know that with a bit more focus, more of my time after school can be spent purposefully enjoying things I value.
I’m guessing it will also help me sleep a bit better, too, knowing my time is well spent, rather than beating myself up over time wasted.