Saturday, April 5, 2014

Breathing Space

Life has gotten away from me the last few weeks.  Way too much work, way too little of anything else but running from one thing to the next. 

The truth is that I am struggling to find any balance at all these days, and it is wearing me out entirely.

Perhaps it is due to having just finished breast cancer treatment.  The testing, then surgery, then chemo, then radiation, all in rapid succession, took a lot out of me.  If I am being honest, I still haven't quite found my feet at this point, but I am much further along than I was at the end of chemo, so I am definitely grateful for small mercies at this point in the game.

But suddenly teaching five days a week?  You can't plan for that to just show up out of the blue.

My class is a wonderful group of kids, and I am thoroughly enjoying getting them well prepared to move forward to 6th grade next year, while at the same time trying to encourage their love of reading and learning as much as possible.

But it is a LOT of work.  Do not ever let anyone tell you differently:  teaching is a constant challenge, and requires an enormous amount of planning, with a daily need to tweak what you think you may do as the needs of your students change over time. 

There is never a time when I am not working on some plan or another in my head, whatever else may be going on around me over the course of any given day.  That is just the truth of it.

We just finished standardized testing and getting grades in for the last grading period and I feel like, at long last since the start of this sprint, that I can finally pause just for a moment and catch my breath a little this weekend. 

Somehow, I need to find a way to do that more regularly for myself.  To make breathing space a more regular habit, so that I can recharge myself before running out full tilt again.  It is not intuitive for me:  to hit the pause button instead of running flat out until I collapse, but I am trying to learn how to be better about it.

So, for at least a portion of my day today, I will be sitting with some lovely garden books and thinking about how to morph my little vegetable garden plot into a cheery, productive gardening wonderland, filled with nutritious, yummy veggies that I can spend a summer tending with care and joy.

Because right now, thinking about being able to get outside and putter in my yard just sounds fun. 

It has been a long, long winter.  The thought of ripe tomatoes bursting off the vine, and freshly picked basil to go with them is calling out to me today.  So pardon me while I indulge my need for some sunshine and warm earth.

(Photo of some lovely budding chive blossoms via D.C.)

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