Recalibrating As The School Year Starts

For the first time in eight months, I truly ran out of gas this past week. I was so motivated to get it all done that I literally wore myself ragged. I was getting to school between 7:30-8 and trying to squeeze every moment to its last drop. This resulted in me coming home utterly exhausted and vegetating on the couch after ordering takeout. Yes, I had the best of motives: I wanted to make sure that the teachers at my school had labeled laptops in their rooms on Day 1. I wanted to make sure that I provided the support that they needed. The only problem was in my zest to support them, I left nothing left for myself. I didn't blog, journal, or run last week at all. I managed to sneak in a few minutes to read and two strength training workouts, but I was truly running on empty.

So on Friday afternoon, I decided to make sure I left on the earlier side. For the first time that week, I didn't come home exhausted. I was able to make dinner that night and even prepare for my Saturday morning workshop, Creating with Littles. The next morning, I took a run, giving myself some time to process. My workshop went great and I even went to my Creative Connections workshop with Lindsay Titus. In the afternoon, my husband, daughter and I went to visit my father-in-law.

When I got home, it hit me. Although my habits have been serving me for the past 8 months. maybe some of them need to be recalibrated. The first one I considered was blogging. In 2021, I have been blogging every 3 days until this past week. Blogging every three days was an arbitrary decision and for now, that is not something I can maintain. Blogging weekly is something that I can do and commit to. If I get more than one blog in a week, that's great, but I am no longer holding on to something that doesn't serve me.

Another thing that I determined that was not serving me was getting to school so early that I neglected my self care. I needed to reexamine my morning routine and work backwards from the time I need to leave for school. This weekend, I did just that, If I want to leave around 7:45 AM and fit in 30 minutes of exercise, 15 min of reading, and 15 min of writing, I need to allow for an extra hour.

You might be wondering why am I sharing all of this. At first, I have to admit that it was guilt based. I felt guilty for not sending out my weekly email newsletter and "missing two scheduled blogs." But as I journaled this morning for the first time in almost a week, I read this mirror moment, "I am kicking guilt to the curb and opening up to TRUST in who I am." I realized this was not about guilt but a limiting belief that I HAD to blog every three days. I don't especially if it is not serving me.

I am sharing this because educators all over the world are either starting a new year or have started one. With the delta variant of COVID-19 a very real concern, we are once again navigating a year like no other. Give yourself grace during this time- don't neglect your self care and let relationships, not guilt, guide you.

As we discussed in Lindsay's workshop yesterday, negative feelings require a lot more energy. With so much to accomplish, we need all of our energy focused on what matters most: building relationships with our students and helping them become lifelong learners. But we can only do this if we take care of ourselves. This year, we might be back to five days a week of instruction, but this is no ordinary year. Recalibrate as your school year starts and see if it serves you better. That's my commitment to you as I do the same.