You know that commercial for, at least I think it’s where the mom has made her family into robotic doers, simultaneously spreading a condiment onto their bread? Where it looks like everything is running smoothly and her life is swell and  put together? I think she says something like her family can’t afford to get off schedule, or at least that is the general impression that I get.

I hate that commercial. 

I couldn’t figure out why I have so much disdain for that commercial until I thought about my weekly schedule.

Tuesday: Up at 4:50, write until 6:00, get ready and be at work at 7:40 (I commute 30 minutes), 7:40-9:20 get ready to teach (this involves planning for the day, grading, emailing parents, meeting with other teachers and facilitators, and occasionally meeting with learners), 9:20-3:25 teach (this time includes a 30 minute lunch break that isn’t really 30 minutes because I’m still answering questions and doing other things), 3:30-4:30 help those who are moving on to National History Day competition on Saturday (this involves previewing presentations, giving feedback, helping research, etc.), 4:30-5:30 go to the gym, 5:30- until bedtime I clean house, grade more, watch The Office, spend time with Nathan, read, cook dinner, etc.

And that was just Tuesday. This is what my life has looked like for the past several weeks, and I’m on the verge of a breakdown. I cannot live with this much of my time prescheduled and preplanned. I have always required downtime. Time that I spend in solitude, in the quiet. Right now, I’m always thinking about the next thing that I need to accomplish on my list, the next thing that HAS to get done or else. You know those hamsters on the wheel? That’s me, all the time. My brain never slows down, and even my writing time (obviously) is being encroached upon.

I know, that sounds like an excuse for not writing. I promise, it isn’t. I’m still pounding out the words, but they aren’t coming as quickly, and they aren’t as good as they would be if I could focus better. I know that next week things will slow down because round 2 of National History Day will be done. After that, our learners that move forward in the competition will do more revision, then there is Spring Break which sweet heavens I’m looking forward to.

I was going to say something about the calm after the storm, but I honestly can’t say that life has been stormy. I enjoy what I’m doing. I love watching my learners thrive in this competitive environment. I love seeing so much change in who they are and what they are capable of doing. That stuff, man that stuff makes it worth it. But, I do realize that if I’m going to keep my sanity, I’m going to have to slow down, take some time for myself, and breathe. I just need to breathe. Might be a perfect time to add yoga back into my schedule (sadly, my ankle injury isn’t quite recovered enough for a difficult yoga session).

Anyways, all this was to say, that though I’m busy, I’m happy. And to say that I respect myself enough to realize that I have to stop scheduling my life away.

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