One of my year 2 goals was to work in a way that was sustainable. I failed miserably. Year 3 took the biggest toll on my body both physically, mentally, and emotionally as I had a group of my most challenging students. (I LOVE them to death, but they drained my energy. Every. Single. Day.) So needless to say my work-life balance was…well imbalanced.
I really enjoyed my travel this past summer and did 0 teaching related work except for 2 days (and whatever I did in Utah at PCMI, but I’m not counting that as “work”). I came back to work relaxed with very little stress because I knew I didn’t do anything during the summer, so there was no point in stressing over the fact that I had done nothing.
I didn’t really have time to do anything, therefore things wouldn’t be complete, and with only 2 days to prep for students, I wouldn’t finish everything. Duh.
It’s taken 4 years to finally not feel guilty about getting an impossible amount of things done in an unrealistic stretch of time.
I haven’t overplanned like I usually do or overstress my first month of teaching–which has done wonders for my sanity. I have less expectations, so when things don’t go perfectly I have less disappointment. I’m still working my butt off, my students are still learning, but I’m no longer allowing myself to feel like I’m not good enough. I’m allowing myself to be human–with human limitations of time, energy, and physical and mental capabilities.