I’m in that funny place where the fogginess that pervades the week between Christmas and New Year has faded and we are well into January, with a few weeks of holidays ahead of me and the dawning realisation that my break will be over before I know it. This usually means a time of intense reflection for me; a quick flick through my Instagram will show that last January I did just that - lots of reflection and goal setting for the year ahead. When on form, I also tend to cram as much into my holiday breaks as I can. I always say that I’ll take some time out to chill, yet before I know it, I’ve scheduled something for nearly every single day.
This holidays, I haven’t really done any of it though - no goal setting, no resolutions, no daily schedule that has to be kept. Not because I don’t want to, because I do and often find myself pondering those very things. I haven’t written them down though and I haven’t yet made any attempt to start navigating the ‘what if’s’ and ‘imagine that’s’ to come from those ponderings. Instead, I’ve been pottering about my house, deep into my annual summer clean out and making all the choices about what I want to keep and what can go (I have been an avid Marie Kondo fan since I read her book last summer and her Netflix program is totally my jam!) I generally miss the spring cleaning run, as teacher life when you teach VCE is far too hectic during the Spring holidays to even attempt any kind of deep cleaning, but last year I also had to smash out my Masters before the deadline so NOTHING got done at my house but for my writing (I’m still processing that doozy of an experience, so I’ll come back to that in another post).
I’m always so grateful for term breaks when they come around, as teaching really does consume your life each and every term, and summer breaks are the ones that I am desperately longing for by the time they actually arrive. Yet instead of resting, I usually end up flat out, with appointments and plans back to back, work scheduled in between and around the demands of the gremlin who wants so desperately to be in amongst everything and ‘working’ too (kid, you’re only four - don’t grow up too quickly). Consequently, this also puts me firmly in the camp of teachers who would happily go back to work a week or two sooner if it meant I had that uninterrupted time at my desk, dedicated to getting my preparation done for the new school year.
Yet the point I’m trying to make here is that instead of lining myself up another round of challenges to tackle, I’ve for once managed to do the thing I always say I’ll do. I’ve actually had a break! I’ve read plenty, spent a lot of quality time with my gremlin, relaxed at home (around the necessary summer clean out), and am just now beginning to really think about what needs to be done before I officially go back to work again in three weeks.
What I’m learning here is that I don’t really know how to handle ‘free time’ - hence why I usually schedule so much in, and probably how I ended up making the crazy choice to go back to University to study my Masters when my baby was only 8 months old… This time around though, no crazy choices have been made (at least not at the time of publishing this blog!) Plus, my home office is sparkling, so I’m calling the win.
Keep everything crossed that I don’t do something drastic in the next few weeks before school starts for 2019!