To say that this week has been tough would be an understatement. I received potentially bad news about my little friend earlier in the week, the kids at work were a nightmare, a set of external moderators have requested work early and to add the proverbial icing to the cake we were informed that the dreaded OFSTED would be present next week, this news reaching us just two weeks after we had very successfully undergone a similar inspection with a different group of people. At one point, my whole body felt like it was buzzing and my brain was on the verge of exploding. Those of you that follow my blog regularly will know that I don’t deal with stress very well and I feel like I’m performing a balancing act to get everything done.
However, I decided that the best thing would be to tackle the workload head on and went into work yesterday and today. Despite having to work all weekend I am pleased that even though I am nowhere near finished I have certainly made decent progress. So, for the next couple of hours I am going to make a little bit of time for me.
When I initially qualified and started teaching at my very first school I remember being amazed at how tired and cynical a lot of the older staff were and I often heard them loudly complain about the various objections that they had with the British Education System. Unfortunately, eight years down the line I find that not only am I tired, but I understand their cynicism.
Teaching is a rewarding, inspiring and mentally challenging profession. It is also stressful, fast-paced and at times can be utterly soul destroying. The idea of a work/life balance simply doesn’t exist – I know that I could work for 24 hours a day / 7 days a week and I still would have a million things that need to be done and it isn’t uncommon for me to receive emails at 11.00pm most evenings and the over the weekends. With marking, data, reports, external moderators, filing, and planning I have now reached the stage where I lie awake in the middle of the night worrying about things I have or haven’t completed. I thought that going part-time would change the situation, and it did for a little while, but the feeling of anxiety has started to creep back in and I have started to find myself working on my day off.
So, I have decided that the end of this week is the time where I need to start taking my life back and working to live. This doesn’t mean shirking my responsibilities within my professional life, just creating more of a balance, just like Scout here. In the same way that I prioritise my workload and follow a timetable in my professional life, I am going to start scheduling in time to do things that make me feel good – having ‘date nights’ with The Bloke, blogging, reading the books I bought at Christmas, watching the films I have yet to see, spending some quality time with my friends and family, and most importantly, giving myself the opportunity to relax.
Why? Because life is short (the loss of people close to me over the last few years has taught me that) and I owe it to myself and those around me to live it.
What about you? Do you find that work is taking over your life?
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