Educators have a bad habit of never taking a break. Breaks are naturally built into our days and weeks and months, but are rarely taken. Lunches are eaten while grading, evenings are spent searching for fabulous ways to engage students, weekends are spent grading, holidays are spent searching for fabulous ways to engage students, and on and on. Mr. Weiss still talks about how much time he gained when I left the classroom because I wasn’t handing him things to grade every night.
Educators out of the classroom don’t lose their bad habit of never taking a break, and sometimes I wonder if guilt for not being in the classroom drives us to take on even more. I’m guilty of never taking a break, so much so that I tried to force myself to take a work-free lunch every day by making it one of my professional goals, and have only done it twice. I always feel behind and want to get caught up.
Right before the break it became clear that a break was needed. I had planned to dive deeper into my new blogging venture, and to get caught up on a bunch of work that needed to be done, but a few poignant interactions with people I work with and people I live with made me rethink those plans.
Instead of the regular to-do list that grows and grows and will still be waiting for me in January, I have a different to-do list.
- Prioritize. List the things I do, the things I want to do, and the things I do that I don’t want to do (at home and work) and see if I can streamline to work smarter.
- Reflect, reflect, reflect. Where am I spinning my wheels, where am I gaining traction, what is bringing me joy?
- Play games with my girls.
- Cook, and bake, and eat all. the. things.
- Relax and talk to friends and family.
- Be thankful for a break!
I’ve given myself permission to take a break. I’ll sign your permission slip as well! How will you spend your vacation?