The best part of school breaks is calling my time my own. I can sew, knit, garden, cook, and nap until my heart is content. Now that school is back in session, I find my personal time dwindling.
This is particularly true at the moment. We are working on a project at school, in the Adolescent program that we call “March Madness.” It has nothing to do with basketball and everything to do with getting a bunch of vacation brain-addled students motivated and excited about the Middle School program that is still in its infancy. This means a doubled class size and special activities for the whole week. Today was an editing and revising lab and quiz game. Thursday, I will be simulating a cattle drive on the Goodnight-Loving Trail in Texas. It means a lot of additional work on the back end, in addition to my normal lessons and activities.
As I’m staring down an utterly exhausting week of work, I have to cultivate a plan to maintain my sanity and preserve my mental and physical well-being. In addition to my healthy lunch program, which completed Day Six today, I am trying to ensure that I carve out “Us Time” for the Fella and me; last year he felt like school ate his wife for the second semester. Additionally…I’m carving out non-school related “Me Time.” One hour of my day to be creative and do something that inspires me. It might be twenty minutes of gardening, twenty minutes of guitar practice, and twenty minutes of knitting. I just have to use it for myself.
We have a push for selflessness and many professions lionize it as a virtue. But complete selflessness, to the point of disregarding one’s own importance is a quick route to burn-out. “I was bad, I bought myself new shoes…or I had that piece of chocolate cake,” is a commonly heard narrative and it transforms doing things for oneself into a weakness.
We need to get to a point when there is not merely permissiveness to be a bit selfish, but rather encouragement. Taking time for yourself allows you to keep your luster; the little spark that makes you unique. There is nothing wrong with a bit of polish. When you maintain the things that are important, they last longer. What is more important than our sense of self?