I grew up Catholic, and so I'm accustomed to the concept of confession. When I pulled up my Blogger account today for the first time in nearly a month, I was reminded of going to confession as a kid as the words "forgive me Father for I have sinned; it has been 1 month since my last blog post..." came to mind. Maybe that's a little irreverent...
At any rate, I confess: I'm terrible at managing time this year. I can't believe October ends in two weeks. The bags and grayish-purple rings beneath my eyes are indicators that the quarter ended today. It's been a rat-race lately. Tomorrow the kids have the day off and the teachers "get to" learn about vocabulary strategies all day. So I left all school stuff at school tonight. No school work for me. Instead, I'm drinking a beer and listening to a Bob Dylan and The Band compilation cassette tape. Yes...a cassette tape. I just ordered Chinese take out. I'll be curling up on the couch tonight to settle in for a few hours of TV. Go ahead, call me lazy.
I think this is the first school free night I've had all year. Not kidding. It's been a ROUGH one. Here's what's left me struggling this year: I don't have a classroom because the building is under construction, so I travel to a different room each period. I'm teaching all new courses which means I am living period by period, planning as I go (luckily I teach with amazing people who have helped me more than they realize). Gretna has a strict accountability policy where kids have to do their work. They cannot not do the work...and they have to complete the work to a passing level. This equates to spending time every day with kids before and after school which is (sometimes) a good bonding experience, but I've had to adjust in the sense that I can't work before or after school because I'm helping kids. I'm teaching a dual credit Comp course which means grading LOTS of essays...however, this is one my favorite classes to teach. I'm facilitating a grad class for teachers this year through the Nebraska Writing Project. We meet for three hours twice a month...it takes a lot of time and planning. I'm a co-director of NeWP this year, too...so, with that comes more responsibility. I hope you don't mistake this for complaining. Though I'm so tired, seriously...so tired...I do love it. It's just at times I feel suffocated with all the responsibility. It's a blessing, I think, that we had a failed adoption in August.
I've been terrible about balancing this, though. My dear husband has truly received the short end of the stick. He gets what is leftover at the end of a day, which honestly is not much. He often gets a frazzled wife in sweat pants or nasty running clothes. Sometimes he has to put up with a sobbing wife who can barely choke out a sentence about how stressed she is. I've neglected almost all of my friendships, and we've only made time for a few social outings.
When I got home tonight, all I wanted to do was write and play guitar. I know I should be grading, reading, lesson planning, cleaning my messy apartment, cooking dinner, or running, but I just can't. I've stretched myself too thin. It's easy to stretch yourself thin when you love what you do (even if it stresses you to the point of tears).
My vow is to get better at this balancing act as the year progresses. I had a meeting with my principal last week to talk about my job targets. One of my goals this year was achieving a balance between work and a personal life. He asked how I was doing with that goal, and I admitted my epic failure as I held back tears (he probably thinks I'm an unstable nut-job). He gently scolded me and instructed me to take care of myself so I could be the best teacher possible. In an attempt, I spontaneously abandoned my cheapskate personality and splurged on Bob Dylan concert tickets (hence the Dylan cassette tonight). A dear friend from high school and her sister will be joining me, and I can't wait until November 2nd. I even bought a polka-dot sweater vest for the occasion (stop laughing).
I don't know if anyone even reads this crappy chronicle any more, but if you do...sorry for the hiatus. Here's to hoping to achieve a better balance...