Simplifying · Stray Thoughts Sunday · Teaching Moments

Stray Thoughts Sunday: Planning for a REAL Break

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 0 Flares ×

It is unbelievable to me that in one week I will be on Spring Break.

And this year, I’m going to work really, really hard THIS week in an attempt to not work at all next week.  I have a lot to do.  I have a lot to do for work, at my house, and for speech and debate.  But, I really feel like if I push myself to get things done this week, I can take a real week off next week.  My plan is to check email once a day during break and that is it.  No grading.  No class prep.  No dealing with crises.  Just having it all done and relaxing, reading a lot, watching some movies, binge watching some TV, taking my DD in for her annual biopsy with a fun night in the hotel and swimming in the pool, etc. and a fun trip with friends to Turtle Bay (not the resort, just a small park with recovering wild animals and open space and some educational things).  That’s it.  But, that is going to mean I have to push myself this week.  I have to be productive and focused and probably skip some sleep.  But, it will be so worth it.  I have not taken a real Spring Break in quite a while.  I am so ready for one this year.

And here is where the stray thoughts come in this Sunday:

I am also contemplating where I am going with my life right now.  I really feel like I’m tugged in about 50 different directions and need to figure out what I want to spend my time doing.  I am considering taking a year off of coaching (if I can shift my job to just teaching for a year) to focus on other things and allow me a little (perhaps a lot) more flexibility.  I feel like I’ve been doing Forensics for some 20 years plus now and I haven’t taken a year to just be in all that time.  There are always tournaments happening and research to be done and paperwork to be finished and preparation and travel planning.  It really is a year around activity.  And I think a year off would allow me some perspective.  But, I’m afraid I will take a year off and never want to go back.  It is not an easy job and I think being away from it for a year may just give me a taste of freedom.  A taste I would want to continue to savor.  We’ll see what the remainder of this year brings and what some of my options are for moving forward in a more sane way.  I just feel like I’ve reached a point where what I’m doing is no longer sustainable for me.  I want options.

I also realize that I need to tame my grading monster.  I am going to really look at what I need to be grading and what I can make more automated and what doesn’t need to have a grade attached to it.  Right now, I just have too much that requires my attention each week.  I need some automation.  I need some systems.  I need routines.  And I need to minimize my teaching like I need to minimize my possessions.  I need to figure out what really matters, what really helps the students and what should and should not have points attached.  And then look at it even more closely and get rid of some more.  Minimalism should work with teaching like it works with managing the household.  I need to prioritize, purge and focus on what matters.  In class and at home.

So, yeah.  Mid-life crisis perhaps?  What do I really want to be when I grow up?  Or grow old, as the case may be.  I love so many aspects of my job, but it is also really hard to do and takes so much time away from family and my teaching and living life.  I just am not sure what to do at this point.  But, the REAL Spring Break should be helpful in my being able to sort some things out.  And if I am honest with myself, being more organized and on top of my stuff would make my job much easier, even with all the travel and planning and time away.  So, in part, I could fix the problem without having to take the year off.  But, a year of weekends at home sound really, really good to me right now.  Perhaps that is a Mid-Spring semester crisis?