Taking a breath

So, today I’m definitely feeling the impact of being back at work full-time. I thought I was doing pretty bada$$ until I woke up this morning (more like tried to!) Yep. But I made it!

I’m really trying not to over think and stress about all of the things that need to be juggled, at least at work. In my head, I thought I was pacing myself well. Clearly not! Since being chronically ill, I’ve tried to complete tasks early due to not knowing exactly how I might feel day to day, or sometimes, hour by hour. My goal was to leave every day planning as if I might not make it to work the next day.

While not a bad plan in theory (it’s served me well over the years), I think last year, I may have taken it too far. The added stress of teaching both in-person and online at the same time really took it’s toll, and certainly not just on me. We could never get far enough ahead in planning, building lessons for students in the learning management system, etc. Instead of letting go and accepting that nothing would work as it once did, I kept at it as though at some point, I’d be back in control (as if I ever really was), that I could complete tasks needed ahead of time, that I could prep for the next day or week in case I couldn’t make it to work.

And I stayed in this mode for this school year. Which means that every single moment at work is filled with well, work. I would maximize every single minute doing something that needed done along with teaching 5 classes. This isn’t a terrible thing to do once in awhile. I convinced myself that if I worked every moment during the school day, I wouldn’t have to bring much home. I could use home time to try and rest. This was my “pacing.”

But, I’m not sure this plan is working to my benefit anymore. Yes, it allows me to rest at home and with chronic fatigue I do need this. But it certainly isn’t a good plan for work anymore or right now. I get too focused on getting everything completed as quickly as possible, but then I have no time to really breath at work. Not good!

I need to find a better balance. I need to give myself a break on these expectations I set to try and complete everything every day. It’s a ridiculous standard and one I would never encourage my colleagues to follow because hello: burnout. The first step I’m taking is that when I’m feeling really overwhelmed or compulsive about finishing a task, that I stop and breathe. For me and maybe for you, this is harder than it sounds! I keep telling myself that it’s ok if I don’t get something done right away. I can still complete things in a timely manner. And if I can’t? It’s not the end of the world. We’ll see how this goes. Please wish me luck!

Stuff I’m grateful for today:

1. My seriously amazing and supportive admin. They’ve really helped me throughout my medical leave and as I segue back.

2. My teacher mentee. He’s great and has awesome stories to tell about teaching overseas.

3. The beautiful day we had today: sunny, breezy, and about 70 degrees. A memory for when it’s 100 in July!

Please take care! – belle

11 Comments on “Taking a breath

  1. Good luck pacing yourself! I know how hard it is when you need to get things done – when the spirit is willing and the body isn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The thing I always said about teaching is that it’s hard enough when everything else in one’s life is perfect. Throw in health issues, personal problems, ongoing stress, and a pandemic, and it gets even more challenging. Best of luck trying to manage it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing!.. “No road is too long for him who advances slowly and does not hurry, and no attainment is beyond his reach who equips himself with patience to achieve it.” ( Jean de La Bruyere )… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May your day be touched
    by a bit of Irish luck,
    Brightened by a song
    in your heart,
    And warmed by the smiles
    of people you love.
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha! No, in Texas near Houston. I’m sure you can bear us on hear though! Except we also have the mighty humidity which usually makes everything 10-12 degrees hotter. The last about 4 weeks have been great, but today it was 90 and like 90% humidity! Way too early for that mess!


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