The last few months have been a testament to my imbalance. The semester is over, and the story ends well, I suppose: classes finished successfully, commitments largely upheld, friendships still in tact, my family and boyfriend still love me… but the gettin’ there wasn’t much fun!
Here’s how the story goes: I was motivated in January. Blogging was keeping me accountable, I was raring to go, and I was feeling on top of things. In February, classes started. I overloaded, taking five courses instead of three or four. I had to spend 50 hours observing in a local classroom, and you can’t just log those hours whenever you want. High school students aren’t in class at 10pm! I was working at the clothing store 120+ hours a month to fill in for my boss during her maternity leave. Plus, I was spending an hour to an hour and a half in the car each day. Did I handle it with grace? Not quite. Did I take care of my body? 5-6 hours of sleep a night isn’t ideal for me, and I know too well that a Zaxby’s grilled cheese kids’ meal is $3.80 including tax.
Why dwell on last semester? Because it looks strikingly like next semester! I’ll be taking 5 classes, working a good bit (I’m thankful for the income!), and spending another 50 hours observing in a classroom. And truly, I wouldn’t change any of those factors. Overloading is allowing me to get an Endorsement in Gifted & Talented Education in addition to my teaching certificate. And overloading saves me from having to take summer classes. Yes, I’ll be working a lot, but it has been so helpful with all of the extra expenses that have come up: bridesmaid dresses here and there, application fees for my teaching certificate, hosting bridal showers for friends… all things I want or need to do and might otherwise have trouble affording. The problem wasn’t necessarily my schedule, full as it was. The problem was that I was frazzled, underprepared, and constantly feeling behind.
So, the game plan is to use this summer to work on balance. Keep working toward all the goals that I established earlier this year, keep making progress toward living more simply. This summer is looking really nice. I will be working about half-time and doing some babysitting. My boyfriend and I will go to about a wedding a month, which will provide nice chances for us to spend time together on mini vacations. I’ll spend a week at the beach with my family in July, with a dear friend’s wedding as a fun endcap to the week. One of the families that I babysit for regularly asked if I’d be willing to take their cute girls to the pool some. Yes, please!
I’m eager for the satisfaction that I find in paring down, taking care of my body, delighting in my relationships, and feeling prepared. And I’m excited to find ways and habits that help these processes keep going on the days where I’ve got a full plate, not just the ones where I’m poolside and fancy-free. Here I go!