Happy Sunday Friends.
Wow! I can’t believe it’s been a month since I last posted anything. Last month my favorite oldest son came down and visited for a little more than a week (not to be confused with my favorite youngest son). Shortly thereafter I went on a vacation of a lifetime to celebrate my 30th anniversary–a cruise to Alaska, via Vancouver. This was our first vacation without our 2 amazing sons. I was off-line for close to 10 days and in an internet-free zone. There wasn’t even wi-fi for most of our trip and I didn’t really open my computer for more than a week.
Today I want to talk about the importance of taking breaks. Often times I dive into things that I love and enjoy it so much that I can’t, or won’t, pull myself away from my activities. When summer arrives, I am usually able change up my routine and spend my days working in my yard, visiting with family and friends, and literally running around from place to place doing miscellaneous errands. For me, this is a break from my usual school-year routine. I try to set aside school for a few months and let my mind get re-energized.
This summer was significant different. Knowing that I was going on this fabulous vacation I spent my summer doing just the opposite. You see, last year I injured my foot. If you recall, I even took 5 weeks off in January. Then… I reinjured my foot in May. Since I knew I would be doing a lot of walking throughout Canada and Alaska, I spent the first part of my summer sitting. Just sitting. Not going anywhere it my rediculously heavy walking boot. It was crazy. I blogged, I created a lot of materials for next year’s class, and I worked on my website. I was having so much fun being able to work non-stop without any interruptions.
It was nothing but school. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely loved it! I learned how to do so many new things: rounding corners on documents, updating the look of my blog, and so on. I was able to get digital projects completed, as well as update and fix past materials. Since I was sitting for hours on end, I whiled away my time “working” on my computer–it was so much fun!
Then my forced break came–my vacation. Great news: my foot was healed and gave me very little problems. I had so much fun kayaking, ziplining, watching the salmon run, and even bear watching. Oh my gosh! Glaciers. New friends. Visiting new places. It was amazing!
I want to share a secret with you–I was worried about leaving my computer, and my creating, behind. That would be a hundred hours of work time lost. But just the opposite happened. Just as my vacation approached, I’d had about a dozen stressors come crashing down upon me. Stressors that I didn’t realize were wearing me down. Without knowing it, I needed to step away from it all–even the things I love to do. And I came back completely renewed. It has even taken me almost a week to come back to my blog–gasp!
We all KNOW that we need breaks from our day to day routines, but we rarely put that into practice. I think some of it is the culture of our country, as I learned from two new friends who we met on the ship (they’re from Canada). We are work-aholics. And as teachers, I think we spend so much time taking care of others that we think we can do it all. We’ve heard that we need to take breaks, but we think we’re the exception and that we’ll be just fine. But we aren’t, and we won’t.
So as you begin the new school year, you will read a lot about taking time for yourself. Going to the gym. Working in your yard. Doing something unrelated to school. I’m asking you to join me in trying to do that at least once a week. We should do it daily, but I’m all about setting yourself up for success. So even if I don’t get to the gym every day (and I won’t as I still have to “babysit” my foot somewhat), I’ll try and hop on my stationary bike for 10 minutes a day, or at least once a week. In fact, I see it beckoning to me right now.
What 1 thin will you do for yourself that will take you out o your normal routine and give your brain a break? And cleaning out the garage doesn’t count!