At the end of this school year, I felt mentally and physically exhausted. I had one of the best years in my teaching profession, but I had worked really really hard. I missed my family, I missed my reading, I missed having free time. I was so busy working last year, that I “missed” many things. My French tribe decided that we should take a beach vacation. I was very pleased at the thought of a beach getaway, but I was overweight and wanted to wear a bikini this summer. How could I shed this excess weight before we left? I was running out of time.
Because we are educator’s, we meet many people each year, and we get personal pretty fast. We meet new staff members and their children, we have new students and their siblings, and we meet new families each year. When I teach, I want to show that I care about people, so I ask those that I encounter questions like, “How are you doing today,” “What did you have for supper last?” Sometimes the answers are pleasant and easy, but other times you get responses that are disturbing, or sad. What if someone did not eat last night because there is no food in the house? (This is the difficult part of education.) Teachers care about people. Teachers listen, and try to help guide people in a positive direction, otherwise these people would be in a different profession. I consume what people say to me. I think about students, teachers, and peers long after they have left the conversation. Last year, I consumed too much, and I was overweight at the start of summer vacation.
Be mindful about what you consume, or it will consume you.
Once vacation time began, I was burned-out. I had consumed too much: joy, grief, love, hate, work and exhaustion, for my mind and body to handle. I was fat. I was unhappy and exhausted. I knew that I had to make a change, and began to think about the Educator’s Balanced Diet.
As in all good meal plans, the key to managing weight is moderation. I realized that I was consuming things that were not healthy for me, too much junk food was in my diet, from too many people. I had not had enough spiritual food in my last few months, and I was feeling sluggish. I did not love my neighbors as I loved myself. I had not honored my son and husband the way they needed to be honored. I had a problem and I realized I needed to fix it!
Consume more love, peace, happiness, laughter, and light; allow those positives to consume you.
I needed a better diet, so I became a picky eater this summer, and let me tell you, I have lost a significant amount of weight. I chose activities this summer that helped me unplug from my profession. I did not spend countless hours at my school working on curriculum, but precious hours with those that I love. I cat-napped. I laughed a bunch. I danced and sang under stars. I realized that I possessed the power to accept, or decline consumption, and it felt great!
So, educators and advocates for education, here we find ourselves at the start of a new year. I am making beginning of school resolutions (you are my witnesses!), and I hope that you will help me keep them, I resolve: to consume a balanced diet, spend more time with those that I love instead of working at school all the time, I resolve to laugh more and share my joy, more purposefully with others. I resolve to keep the weight off, physically and metaphorically. It’s going to be a tough battle, but a balanced diet is important to keep us teachers healthy.
Be mindful about what you consume, because later, it WILL consume you.
Friends, how can you find your peace this year? Consider doing things that bring you the most joy in life. Love your family, and focus on the positives that they bring you. Read books that are enjoyable, not just informational. Eat your veggies, but have apple pie with, or without ice cream. Leave school before 6:00 PM!
Let’s welcome our new group of people in August with a warm hug, and a happy heart. Welcome little hands, and squeaky new shoes. When we see our students, remember that they want YOU to adore them, teach them, praise them. We must take care of ourselves as much as we care for our students. I ask you, what will you resolve to do, or be this year to positively impact your life? It’s time to get healthy, and we can make this journey together. Let’s resolve together, let’s consume a balanced diet…
Have a fantastic 2015-2016 school year!