During most of the year, my time is spent mostly in my classroom. It is a place I love to be. Early mornings and late afternoons offer me peace and quiet. A large space to think and create, all mine. No one asking me what’s for dinner. No one asks me to help them find something. No chores to do, bills to pay, appointments to schedule. I crawl into a cocoon of sorts. Well, sometimes it feels like a crawl.
I am not so sure this is a good thing.
Having spent the past week mostly in my home, I have found myself appreciating it in ways I never have before. The peace I have found here is healthy and reinvigorating. Getting reaquainted with my husband is nice too. Just sitting outside, soaking in fresh air, breathing, looking at hills and trees, smelling grass, hearing bird songs and hummingbird wings– amazingly wonderful.
I am asking myself why, why the newfound wonder? Well, it was a TOUGH year. And to be honest, my classroom has become less of a creative workspace and more of a work workspace. As the union chapter chair of my school, I was responsible for lots of work this year as we hired a new principal. Then we waited for her to arrive as two interims took turns keeping the ship moving forward, with varying degrees of sucess. And when she arrived, I was adjusting to new leadership, and helping everyone adust… And then there was the tiny issue of negotiating, organizing and working hard for a contract with a district that didn’t see fit to offer us a decent raise after eight years of no raises and three years of furlough days. Plus, day to day talks with teachers who all have good questions and want my advice – sometimes. By the time I got to my classroom in the morning, I usually had had two or three significant conversations that had nothing to do with my agenda for the day!
That doesn’t sound like a creative, peaceful, private workspace to me. It wasn’t.
Perhaps it is normal to feel like this after a year such as the one I had. Perhaps it is those twenty-seven years talking to me. My OLW for the year was balance. I don’t think I have been very good at it. Maybe it should be OLP for one little phrase and then I could make mine “The pendulum will swing wildly back and forth” because here I am, sitting in my backyard, chilling. Thinking about how much I want to stretch this time out.
Thank you Ruth for the celebration space. There are lots more to read here.
I’m off for a long walk and then I might take a nap. Celebrate me home!