I usually make big resolutions at New Years and then forget about them. I thought it would be a good idea to check in with myself about how my goals are going. Winter and early spring are the perfect time to slow down and reflect a little. The hubbub of the holidays is long gone. Quiet nights in, home cooked meals, and not much else going on creates a peaceful time to relax.
I had talked in my New Years post about how I want to not take things so personally and let other people’s opinions bother me. It is absolutely impossible to please everyone in my life, and that’s just something I have to come to terms with, unless we completely give up all of our personal lives to making plans with people constantly every weekend. That’s not feasible or healthy for my little family and myself. I have been working hard on doing what is the best for Jim, baby and me as our number one priority. If people are mad or offended then so be it! I am trying to not let it bother me. This isn’t something that will change overnight, and it may never change. I am trying to be stronger and stand up for myself, and do the things that work for me and my family.
My other goal was to not let work get to me. Of course, now that I’m on leave this is an easy goal. But once I go back, it will be very important to work on this, since I will be balancing everything. To an outsider, teaching first grade seems like a piece of cake. You get to go hang out with 6 and 7 year olds and just play all day, right?! However, as fun as it is to be around kids all day, it is also an incredibly challenging job. The being with the kids part is why I am a teacher. I love spending my days with these little sponges who are ready to learn and work hard all day. The amount they learn in one year is astounding, and so rewarding. There are other parts of the job that aren’t so fun. Demanding parents, difficult administration, and much more, lead to teacher burnout and frustration. My one biggest change that has helped me a lot on a daily basis was deleting my work email from my phone. I used to check it at all hours of the day, and get really stressed out. Now I only check it when I am physically at work, and it has done wonders for my evenings at home with Jim. I’m not distracted and worked up and responding in the heat of the moment. I am more present and calm. I deal with work at work. And when I’m home, I’m home. Of course, I still have work to do at home like grading papers and planning, but the emails were always the stressful part. I highly suggest this to anyone who struggles with work-life balance. It was hard the first few days. I kept automatically checking my phone, and was itching to just put it back on my phone and see what was coming in. I resisted, though, and within the first few nights, I realized how nice it was to just put it all away for the evening. There is nothing that earth shattering that needed to be attended to that instant. It is always all there waiting for the morning.
My third goal was to go to church more. So far that goal has gone well. My mom and I signed up to be parishioners at a wonderful church, and I signed Jim and I up for baptismal classes for our baby. I have also been trying to make it a habit to pray/meditate or whatever people prefer to call it each day. Usually this comes in the form of savasana at the end of yoga. I use my savasana time to check in with myself. I am not an expert at meditation, and when I don’t focus on something during savasana, I start my running to-do list in my mind of what I need to do that day. Giving myself a goal of what to think about during savasana has helped me a lot.
I challenge you to think about what is making you happy, and what isn’t. What can you change to bring upon happiness? It might be a small thing, like doing a little yoga each day, or a larger thing, like re-evaluating your work-life balance. Whatever it is, this is a perfect time of year to slow down and reflect and think. You never know what might happen if you do!