The last few weeks have been busy. Super busy. Super crazy, I can’t sleep, am up all night doing work, busy. And it has caused me to reflect on the concept of balance. Or lack of balance. In my case, a serious case of imbalance.
One of the many reasons I choose a teaching career was that it seemed to value what I value – family. There is not a lot of travel, your hours and holidays line up with those of your children, and you spend your days caring for the needs of children, so you would expect those values to be the values of any school you work in.
Then there’s reality. I am the first person to say that during the school season, teachers work long hours. When we’re on, we’re on. That’s why we get the number of holidays too – you cannot sustain that level of commitment and time and giving without burning out. Teachers need the breaks as much as students do. But what happens when the hours needed to do the job exceed the number of hours available? How to you stop it from impacting your family life?
Our world is working faster now. I get around 100 emails a day. If you average that on 1 minute per email just to read it, let alone do anything about it or respond, you’re looking at an hour and forty minutes just reading, everyday. And then there are all the meetings you go to that require follow up action that you don’t get to because you go straight into another meeting.
How did we work before the digital age? I know I went to school and received an education that allowed me to be a successful adults. But I’m willing to bet the principals of those days didn’t receive 100 memos a day.
And what happens when we get overtired and over stressed? Who pays the price? We do, our kids do, our colleagues do. We are more irritable, less able to deal with frustration, less able to plan, and our memory suffers too.
I guess the point I’m getting to is, I’m tired. I miss my kids. The only time I see my husband seems to be in meetings. My life is out of balance and I don’t know how to make people listen to me when I say there must be a better way of doing things. It’s time to call an audible.
I need to unplug and the world is going to just have to get along without me for a little while.
How many more sleeps until the break?