Sunday, January 31, 2016

Living Unbalanced

Source: Elizabeth Gilbert
I'm a big fan of the One Little Word for a year, finding some word to help you focus on one thing. It's a resolution I can usually follow. Others, I'm horrid at. I have good intentions, but I never follow through. In 2014 I picked the word balance. I'm not sure I should have ever let that word go. 

I've been thinking about balance a lot lately. I think teaching is a job that it is easy to work more and more each week. You are never caught up. There is never a day that my class goes to computers and I think, "I have nothing to do." I could always do more, stay later, find work. 

When I first began teaching I'd stay late each night. We're allowed to leave around 3:30, but I'd think nothing of being there until five, six, seven... Then I had my kids and began realizing that I needed to follow that adage of working smarter. It improved.

Now I find myself once again out of balance. Now I have more than the classroom work that encompasses my job. There's teaching, but also lots of reading to recommend, writing for multiple sources, connecting with educators online, and, and, and. I've taken on too much. Adding in school and two boys' schedules, and I'm drowning. 

I wrote a few weeks ago that the way forward was looking a week at a time, getting done what needs to be done. That has helped. I also think I have to cut back. I don't think when my boys go to college I will wish I spent more time on my computer, looking back. School is important, connections online are important, traveling to conferences are important, but I want to remember the balance. I need to say no more. I need to reframe what takes up the biggest chunk of my day, of my heart. 

I adore Elizabeth Gilbert. Recently she posted this on Facebook. It was the reminder I needed. I'm sharing it here in case any of you need it as well. 

Teachers are, by nature, givers. We give until we are empty. Let's make this the year we also look for what we need, what fills us up. And maybe, by doing so, we can restore some balance.