So, I keep thinking about Mary Lee's drowning poem on Friday. It is true--so many of us are feeling that way, and we always do-at this time of year.
Hip Mama Writer's 30 Day Challenge sounded so worthwhile to me, but I couldn't add another thing to my to-do list. Instead, about 10 weeks ago, I started my own personal program that I called "81 Days of Balance". (I realized I had 81 days between out of town trips and decided those 81 days would be dedicated to a more balanced life.) It seemed that work had taken over my life and wanted to make sure I at least spent 81 days being smarter about my time.
Well, I have about 6 days left until that 81 days is over and I can't really say that I am balanced. But I have rethought what balance means for me.
There is lots out there on balance and quality time and simplifying our life. My problem is that I like all of the parts of my life--I enjoy my family, my work, my writing, my down time, etc. My issue with balance is that sometimes it gets to be too much and I feel like I don't do anything well.
So, I was attempting to balance my days during these past 81 days. To make sure to exercise every day, spend quality time with my kids every day, visit friends and family more often, eat healthier every day, read every day, write and work every day.
Well, it didn't quite work out that way. I have discovered, that in my life, I have to balance across the year. I can no longer hold myself to balanced days and I think lots of teachers feel this same way. It seems that these first six weeks of school make us feel a bit off balance because so much of our life revolves around work in the classroom. But the school year cycle becomes part of who we are. There are times when the workload is more manageable and we have more time for our families, hobbies, etc.
So, I did not achieve 81 days of balance. But I learned what balance means for me. It means that my days won't be balanced. It probably means that my weeks won't be balanced. And I can enjoy things that way--because over the course of the year, life is balanced. I spend lots of quality time with all of the people I love, I have great friends, I love my work, I exercise most weeks and I clean my house on a regular enough basis that it isn't embarrassing. September is never a month where I feel balanced but now I see that it is part of the balance of each year.
Next September I am going to try to remember that the drowning feeling is just part of the balance of the life of a teacher. I can't expect more from myself. I am wondering that if with any work that is worthwhile, the drowning feeling is just part of it all.