I want to be the kind of person who has it all together, who can take on the world and navigate the daily ins and outs of life with ease and grace. But, as often happens when September ends and October rolls around, I start to feel like I am failing at balancing my professional life with my personal life. I begin to feel a little overwhelmed with myself. I go into each school year with professional and personal goals, expecting each year to get a little easier than the last, and yet it is still challenging and I struggle.
At some point, everything implodes for no particular reason and yet a million reasons at the same time, and I become a pile of messy tears, questioning every little piece of this life that I have forged. It happens. Those moments when all seems wrong in the world. Even though I can logically take a step back, look at my life, and see so much goodness, in that moment of depression, everything seems out of place. In that moment, I dream of moving away to New York City, all by myself, to work in a coffee shop. Or of living in a cabin in the woods, just me and my dog, going for daily runs and hikes and cooking simple meals. Or of going to study abroad in Paris, but ditching class every day and just wandering around the city, only stopping to sit at outdoor cafes eating crepes, baguettes, cheese, and wine. I can be quite ridiculous at times.
I read this post yesterday about cutting everything you are doing in half to see what is really important to you: "Just the act of cutting what you’re doing in half forces you to really dissect what you’ve taken on... Force yourself to really look at what you're currently doing and streamline everything down to what’s most important for you as a person who can only doing so much... Focus on what makes you the happiest and do that thing/things really well."
As a teacher, it is pretty much impossible to cut the workload in half, but this did get me thinking about what is really important to me both personally and professionally.
-be a good wife
-spend time with family
-spend time with friends
-make new friends
-go on little and big adventures
-keep a personal blog
-Advisory: make it a family
-Humanities: help kids develop as readers and writers, make learning fun, form personal relationships with students, open their eyes to the world around them and empower them to make a difference in it
-Team: make it a family, connect projects to the outside world, get students out in their community
-Peace Leadership League: make it a family, support students in their projects, host a peace conference, create a presence on campus, travel to Costa Rica with students
This was a week of highs and lows. High: So many wonderful birthday celebrations. Low: Realizing that I am at work most days for nine hours and don't really get much lesson planning or grading done during that time. High: I'm really starting to get to know some of my new students and connect with them. Low: I had to take my car into the car place six out of the seven past school days (they let me take my birthday off) just to pass a smog check. High: I have been experiencing some awesome runs lately. Low: We took our dog to the vet and paid a ridiculous amount just for an ear infection. High: I got to dress up as a ninja turtle and Napoleon the pig from Animal Farm in the same week at school. Low: Our record player is dying a slow death.
I guess the stress of life has been weighing on me and finally needed an outlet which resulted in too many tears expended yesterday. Sometimes it happens... and then life goes on, and I continue to seek out that ever elusive balance once again.