Thursday, December 29, 2011

Time For Change

A couple of months ago I was walking along the beach at Bodega Head in Northern California, and I had something of a revelation. It was during the week that I had taken my seventh graders to camp and, while they spent the morning hiking around the cliffs with their teacher-naturalists, I had some quiet time to just be. It's not often that a teacher gets some time to herself; time that isn't filled with papers, emails, meetings, or lesson plans.

I'll admit that it was a bit disconcerting at first. I've become, sadly, unused to having time for myself. Even when I do take a break from the work that has taken over my life, my "free time" is spent reading blogs, books, and magazines that are all about education. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. Education is something I am very passionate about, and I truly enjoy reading and learning all that I can. What I am saying, however, is that there can be more to my life.

There just doesn't seem to be.

What I realized at the beach that day was this has to change!

When I was growing up, I was incredibly passionate about three things: reading, writing, and photography. I could very easily lose myself for an entire day in any one of those three hobbies. Now, I can't seem to remember the last time I did that. Instead of losing myself in the pursuit of one of my passions, I feel as though I've just lost myself.

So, either I start wearing a t-shirt that says, "If found, please make me stop and breathe for a moment," or I start making some changes.

Well, I can't wear t-shirts to work, so...

I'm not going to sit here and write, "I vow to read for pleasure, write one poem or blog post, and take 50 pictures EVERY DAY!" That's far too much to commit to and I would last all of two days, I'm sure. What I will do is promise myself to at least remember that these are the things that make me happy, and I deserve some happiness. Right?


I know that in order to give of myself to my students, there must be something more inside me than just a feeling of emptiness. I need to fill the void with the activities I love the most. I must do the things that make me happy. And that means finding the, not "finding" the time...making the time for happiness.

This is my goal for 2012: to get back to the person I always imagined I would become.

Much work lies ahead, but I'm up to the task. I'm ready to make time for about you?

I love taking pictures of bees!
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
~Leo Tolstoy
If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living.
~Gail Sheehy
They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.


Mrs. Stanley said...

You and I have a lot in common! We both are passionate about education and technology. We both teach 7th graders. I also like to take pictures of bees. I'll share some of my East coast bee pics with you soon.

Mrs. Yollis said...

Fabulous post and beautifully written, Karen!

I can relate to your passion about learning and the dedication you give to the profession. But you are definitely correct...we have to make time for ourselves.

I've started setting boundaries and carving out more time for myself, but I know I need to make more of an effort. Thanks for this timely post!

And now, get bee-sy with your photography! :-) I'm going out to garden today!


Janet said...

This year, due to a family illness, I was forced to take time for myself and my family. I wished I had made more intentional time for personal time and family connections in previous years.

I've learned how critical it is to enjoy social moments with family and friends- and to take personal time so that I can be fully present with my students, family, and friends.

Great resolution and best of luck!
Janet |

Miss M said...

It is so easy to get swept away with teaching. I can say the same - and I have only been teaching 5 years! I think it a very positive thing your doing and wish you all the best in your pursuits!