Friday, September 23, 2011

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Pleasure

There's a quote in Eat, Pray, Love (my favorite book of. all. time.) in which an Italian man tells Liz Gilbert that Americans don't know anything about the pursuit of pleasure. According to this wise sage of a European, we get burnt out working all week and then spend the weekend in our pajamas staring at the television.

Which, sadly to say, is not too far from my truth these days.

I always turned my nose up at teachers that worked all night when they went home and spent all weekend doing nothing but classroom preparation.

Now I? Am that teacher.

I leave my house at 6:30, get to school by 7, and have an hour before students strut their way into my room. And while an hour seems like a good amount of prep time, it goes by pretty quickly when you spend the majority of it sobbing next to your printer and shouting "Why? WHY WON'T YOU PRINT?"

Then there are 7 to 8 hours in which I'm responsible for the education of teenagers. I blab on incessantly, they fill out some worksheets, and it's basically all a huge blur. By this time, it's three o'clock and I haven't eaten or gone to the bathroom since before I walked out of my front door. I putz around my room, attempt to plan for the next day, and by the time I think to look at the clock, it's 5pm.

This is where the problem lies. In my post-work hours, I used to go for walks, meet up with friends, and cook beautiful dinners that I documented on The Preppy Vegan. Now it's all I can do to heat a can of soup on the stove before I glaze over and stare open-mouthed at the TV for an hour. Tonight I was so out of it that I actually resorted to watching the Rachel Zoe Project, which, if you haven't been watching, is just as boring this season as it was 3 or 4 seasons ago when it started.

Next week, I've made a promise to myself to leave by 4:30 everyday so that I can do things for myself, like exercise. Other than that, any ideas to prevent burnout other than ceasing all viewing of Rachel Zoe? How can I make time for myself and still get my work done?


Ms. C said...

my secret is make a list for that day, do it, then leave. you can start with a new list tomorrow. Make sure you are practical with that list!! have certain days for certain things to accomplish before the next week. For example I always do my lesson plans for two weeks later on Thursday, its a super rough copy but it is done. So that by the next Monday I can really make sure they are good and use tues and wed to gather stuff for the next week then start over. Make folders for each day to stay organized!! Having a set time to leave it good too!! My goal is to always leave before that time! Take NOTHING home with you!! Leave school at school, so when you finally get the energy you will do something for yourself!! Survival year!! Don't worry!! That is your to do list!!

Leigh Powell Hines said...

I can relate to this. Unfortunately, I think work is like that especially when you work with youth.

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