Since my last blog entry, I’ve survived a hectic month of deadlines, IEP meetings, and paperwork – not to mention completing another graduate school class. With just 10 more work days before our winter break, life finally feels reasonable again! I believe everyone looks forward to breaks this time of year. For me, it’s relief from mid-year worries about raising test scores and squeezing in all the standards before benchmarks.
Yesterday my seventh-grade team had a Taco Day, and each teacher contributed a dish to our 20-minute lunch feast. In between bites of spicy salsa and chips, I felt a certain level of solidarity. We were all exhausted. Not only was it Wednesday, the dreaded middle of the week, but it was the middle of our school year. We sat and ate and laughed and bonded over food in the teachers’ lounge. It was perfect timing for a get-together, but it also symbolized our need to support each other. We sat together—with different backgrounds, different personalities, and different interests—and shared our own “Thanksgiving” meal.
It’s getting cold and windy, and I sure am tempted to curl up with a good book and hot chocolate. But I’ve decided that instead of taking another grad class this winter, I’m joining a Masters Adult Swim Team. Working full-time while going to school wasn’t so bad my first year, but this year I’ve found myself feeling very fatigued by it all. At one point last month, I became so discouraged that I took the Myers-Briggs personality test to see if I was in the right profession! Funny . . . right?
Well, it turns out that as an Introvert Intuitive Feeling Judging type, I am in the right field (phew!). But as an idealist, I become discouraged when my creativity is suppressed or when I feel over-pressured to conform. Reading about my personality traits gave me great insight into how to deal with stress, and so I made the choice to hold off on my next class and meditate in the serenity of water three days a week.
So I’ve ordered my goggles, cap, and suit and look forward to starting next Monday. It may be snowing by then, but the swimming will be a much-needed personal routine, allowing me to release the stress of the workweek and get back into a regular practice schedule. I’m not looking forward to running from the pool to my car with wet hair, but I do look forward to a healthier, happier, stress-free me!