Choosing Balance

I procrastinated for much of the afternoon.  Until I stopped procrastinating.

No, the project I had planned to do isn’t done.  In fact, I spread out all the pages and documents I would need, and they are still covering the couch and coffee table.  But I stopped procrastinating when I decided it was OK if I didn’t get that project done.  Instead, I ran an errand as a favor for my cousin.  Upon coming home, I pulled in the driveway the same time my neighbors were pulling into theirs.  I walked over to say hello, and as I got close, my neighbor said to his 3-year-old, “Jack, you’re going to get your wish!” To me, “He just said he wished you would come over and say hi.”  Jack came hurtling into the street (Thank goodness we live on a very quiet road!) to hug me, and my heart was full.  Then my neighbor invited me to go for a run with her, and I was terrified, because I haven’t run (or exercised at all, really) in several weeks, and I didn’t want to hold her back or have to stop.  But I said yes, and I made it almost three miles!

Last night I finished reading Beyond Measure.  The summary and implications of that book are deserving of its own blog post, but the long and short of it is: studies show there is no benefit to homework for elementary or middle school students.  For high school students, the benefits fade after two hours of homework.  Author Vicki Abeles points out that the school week (six hours a day, five days a week) of 35 hours is practically what we expect adults to work in a week, and then we add on sports, clubs, jobs, and homework–when do we expect our young people to sleep?  Socialize in unstructured settings?  Daydream, or go outside?  Abeles reminds us that if we are serious about prioritizing health and wellness in our children, we must model it ourselves.  And while I don’t have children of my own, that struck a chord in me.  How often do I tell myself I’m too busy to exercise/read/write/see friends/cook healthy meals?  And how often is this busyness I get caught in real, and how much of it do I construct?

So it’s 7:00 on Sunday, and my work project is not done.  But I exercised, and connected with friends in the process.  I think that makes me a little bit happier, a little bit healthier, and who knows?  That might help me get a good night’s sleep tonight, and be more focused at work tomorrow.  My workweek is going to be a busy one (here I go again with that busyness!), so I’ll do a bit more tonight to try to ease the way–no, I’m not going to tackle the project.  I will prep some healthy food, because I know I never come home from work with the urge to chop and cook vegetables (call Dominoes and have them chop those veggies and put them right on top of my pizza, is more like it).  I’ll pick up and put away around the house, finish folding the laundry, and pack my bags for tomorrow.  I’ll do my work during the hours I’m at work–which tomorrow will be from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm, because of a late meeting.  So I think it’s fine that I didn’t work all weekend.  It’s not an emergency, I’m not missing any deadlines or falling short on any promises.  I’m choosing balance today.

How do YOU remember to choose balance?  What do you let go of, in order to prioritize health and wellness? Please share in the comments!

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About Teacher Cait

Massachusetts educator, learner, committed to finding joy every day. @CaitAhern
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