Take Time For Yourself And Be Happy
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Ever have those weeks when it seems like all of your time is spoken for? When I was teaching, I can remember many days when I would work through lunch, attend an after school meeting, rush home, take my child to some activity, fix dinner and then rush off to something else (like grad school or exercise class) followed by hours of grading papers. I used to count the hours until the weekend (unless I was taking one of those weekend grad courses) so I could have some time to breathe. I was on the fast track to burn out!
Now that I'm older and hopefully a little wiser, I look back and say to myself, "What were you thinking?" The problem was, I wasn't thinking about anything but cramming as many things as I could into a set time frame. The busier I got the worse I felt. I stopped exercising because I injured myself. I filled that time with other things and then I no longer had the time to exercise. I gained weight as a result. I had been a normal weight all my life until I started putting myself at the bottom of the list. Then I became over weight, out of shape and burned out. For what? Did working like a slave make me a better teacher? Maybe, but I became an unhappy one within five years of stopping my exercise program. My problem was that I was no longer taking time for myself. I needed to have surgery but kept putting it off until I had trouble walking. Then, when I could no longer function, I took care of it. By that time some of the damage to my knees couldn't be repaired by anything other than knee replacements. It just wasn't worth the price I paid!
Now that I've retired on a disability from teaching, I can see what I couldn't see before. Taking time for yourself daily is important. Building exercise into your daily schedule is important. Paying attention to your body's needs is important. You can't give to others without first making sure that your body is in top working condition. Build some breathing room and exercise into your schedule. Last of all, strive be happy. Take some time to dream, relax and love. You'll be a happier, more productive person if you do.