That holiday glow soon leaves but maybe the teachings leave an indelible print.
Six weeks off. Teachers. Holidays! Pah! Yes, the age old argument of how unfair it is that the teaching profession has ridiculous amounts of holidays. And before you say (those of you who are at the chalk face) ‘well no one knows what we do term time…’ I’m going to put forward a more resilient argument. True, terms are PACKED with ridiculous amounts of red tape and planning. I’m not asking for any sympathy and certainly don’t court it. However, I know what it does to the brain psychologically. Staying on top of your game; 12 hour day by long working week, puts a massive strain on teachers mentally. I could list the workload but no one needs to know that. It’s the holidays after all and we don’t need reminding…instead I think it’s more important to explore the importance of R and R.
Psychologically, high pressured jobs drain you. There is no argument there. Physical jobs also drain but afford an opportunity for the body to fully recoup and rest. Unfortunately mental strain does not help you sleep and when mixed with anxiety and worry (which becomes magnified by long days and tiredness) can keep you wide awake at night. This is why I train so much – it prompts sleep. So, as exhausted as I am by work, it doesn’t necessarily mean I am able to have a super refreshing sleep. The cycle is one of tiredness and hard work is they only way out: mental and physical. For example: if I don’t mark a set of books ‘that night’ it’s on my mind. Therefore have to do them.
Consequence is: I’ve not done anything to unwind. Therefore 10.30pm dog walk it is (lucky Rosie dog). Right, that’s enough of the problem. As I said, this isn’t here to remind…
Six glorious weeks always stretch out like a annual golden chalice which we are lucky enough to hold. Colleagues count the number of days (from September) to the next holiday, Christmas and even the hallowed six weeks! Are we greedy? Some would say yes but what if say is the following ‘it means I can be me’. The six weeks means I can go on holiday and not worry about workload when I get back (I go away at the beginning). It means I can be a mum without any distractions. The middle one says ‘we can tell when mum goes back to work as we get rubbish teas’. She’s got s point. I recently had a discussion with my head where I expressed the point that ‘these kids in this school are my kids’. I then told her that unfortunately, as is the nature of my job, that they get more of my time and attention than my own children.
The holidays also allow me to relax, enjoy life and actually sleep (It can take me two weeks to begin sleeping properly. That means for the other 48 weeks of the year I’m living on a sleeping knife edge). Additionally, my inability to sit and watch a programme on the telly box has been (temporarily I’d suggest) conquered by my feeling of calm and tranquility. I don’t sit there worrying about my to do list. I lay there and think about nothing. This is a rarity for me and as guilty as it could make me, I know, deep down, that it’ll all soon end; even when I start the new year with the best of intentions.
What frustrates me is we don’t value our time enough (this extends to others valuing your time too). We ask so much of each other and want things done instantly. The pressure to perform instantly can become unbearable – I blame technology for this. So much so I think my family think I’m a walking talking Martini sponsored Google search engine, who is available for questioning: any time, any place, anywhere. Evidence is: during a recent migraine, I had taken myself off to bed to try and sleep it off. However, I was found by every family member wanting something of me. I just needed a sleep but they couldn’t possibly wait to have their questions answered. But, when work is on the back burner and the email can be turned off, I can breath cleaner air. Time off allows me to think and you can’t put a price on that. It opens up new opportunities. My head is clearer and this enables me to sort things out. We don’t think and reflect enough as the fast pace (and family) of modern life doesn’t allow it.
So, two weeks to go and although I’m entrenched in domesticity, I’m doing alright. The Greek glow might be fading (my goodness already planning next year as it’s ‘what I go to school for’), but also my family is well fed and in order. The Rosie dog is loving all the walks and the house is super tidy. All good. Mostly, I feel rested. When I think back to the last term I see one fraught with a busy packed to do list and endless deadlines. I didn’t celebrate my big birthday. I stopped blogging. I I felt very low and lonely. I was just too exhausted to think straight and no one can tell when you just need looking after. Therefore, to lead a life I’m content and proud of, I need to take comfort of the teachings of these summer holidays: rest and relaxation is an under promoted and precious thing, I have, and will continue to, cherish my happy summer memories made and hold them tight in my heart. I will endeavour to cook good food for my beauties; keep the house homely; get back blogging; and I shall continue (as hard as it will be) to sit for at least half an hour a day, to watch the telly!
Fingers crossed for a sunny last fortnight!!