Sometimes I like to look back through my blog to remind myself of how I’ve grown and what’s been going on the past few years. It’s one of my favorite things about being a blogger, actually–I can reminisce and remember and read about my life almost anywhere, anytime. On days like today, when the roads are icy and the sky grey, and my students are as tired and out of touch as I am, I like to look back through all my Photo Walk posts so I can remind myself of what it feels like to be out in nature–what it feels like to be in tune with both myself and the beautiful world around me.
There’s something about winter that makes me want to shut myself up and be far, far away from the world. I’ve always had the tendency to get a little blue come January (doesn’t everybody?), and when that happens, I usually just need to be still and be reflective, and often the blues will pass. But, being a teacher, I don’t often get that luxury. As I came into work today, tired and listless, I thought of how, as a teacher, I have to be “on” all the time. Do you know what I mean? I can’t just hole myself up in the corner and not talk to anybody. I can’t just walk outside and enjoy the breeze rustling the trees or the birds as they hop up to my feet. There are 130 kids needing my attention–needing me to be “on” so that they can be–and so I force myself to politely explain what “using evidence” means for the millionth time and pray for my prep to come quickly so I can simply just be.
Don’t get me wrong–I enjoy being a teacher. I love the thrill of seeing a student get something for the first time, and I love to watch these kids grow up before my very eyes–I see them at their best (like when one of the boys who frequently comes to my ballroom dance class told me that for each slow song at the school dance, he made sure to ask a girl who was sitting or standing by herself to dance with him as per my suggestion), and I see them at their worst, as they reject and face rejections and make poor choices and need some guidance to get back to where they should be.And it’s all part of life–the triumphs and the tough times.
We all know this.
But this week, as I work through my grief over my grandfather’s passing and my regrets of not having recorded more memories with him, and as I’m trying to motivate my students (and myself) to kick it back into gear after the thrill of the holidays, I’ve just been feeling a little out of touch with everything, including myself.
So this weekend will find me taking advantage of the chance to be still–to admire the ice-glazed dam by our apartment, to revel in the quiet and clean of our newly-organized living room, to refresh myself through some gentle yoga stretches.
And hopefully by next week, I’ll be feeling a little more in-touch with the world around me.
How do you get back in touch with yourself?