Thursday, August 16, 2012

Making Commitments to Myself as a New School Year Begins

My summer was glorious.

The 20 previous summers have been filled with taking care of my four children, running here and there to baseball, swimming lessons, hockey and basketball camps, volleyball leagues and summer sports tournaments.  When that stopped, I started my Masters and took classes in the summer.  Well, those kids are full grown now and the extra classes are finished.  This summer, I finally spent time on me.  Yes.  Me.  Myself.  Alone.

Never done that before.

Yes, there was guilt.  But, I was forced by my soul.  A hurricane of sweet delicious clarity swept through by being.   I am now at this powerful sense of peace and wellness.

But, here's the rub.  (There's always a rub.)

It's mid August.  If you are an educator, you know the hovering feelings that arise in mid August .  You are aware of "mid July feelings" as well (a summer half over).  But, it's this particular time of year when anxieties start to creep into a newly found sense of a peaceful being.  We know it well.

Teachers at our school are feeling additionally anxious this year as our school was being gutted this summer for an installment of a new heating/cooling system along with some remodeling.  So, teachers can not ENTER the building until August 27th.  Those little kiddos are will be bursting through those front doors on September 4th.  Many rooms had to be totally packed up and have all supplies and furniture hauled to the gym.  Entire rooms need to be put back together and ready for the first day in  one week.  Yes, one week superpowered week.  And, that's workshop week, mind you.  We all know what those bring. Although, our administrators have carved out tons of time for "work time" at our school. They know.

We will all be praying for miracles and calmness.

I, myself, am one to work in my room until dark getting everything ready and helping nervous new teachers arrange rooms and plan for those first few days, along with a multitude of daunting to-do lists.  Many committed and passionate teachers at our school work daunting hours.  We could just bring our sleeping bags, along with a new change of clothes and our make up and sleep there.

However, this year. . .

I am vowing not to live at school.  

I have felt like I have finally learned how to live "without working" this summer.  Once school starts, I tend to be consumed with work.  I arrive there early, I work late, I bring it home.  I am passionate about my job and doing a job well.  However, when you work in this manner, there is no room in a school day left for writing, creating, reading, exercise, and eat right, let alone spend time with family.

That is changing this year.

I took drastic measures.

This literacy coach now has her own coach.

She knows my weaknesses and my goals and she is helping me write a plan, because I know that I can't hold myself accountable on my own.  It's too much.  Even to sort out areas that are causing me the stress and dissatisfaction required an abundance of writing, talking and reflecting.

I, along with my coaches' help,  have narrowed down my new commitments to: 

The Three Commitments to Myself

1.  Physical exercise

Duh.  I know I need this.  I just wasn't doing it.

I am requiring myself to be out of the building by 4:30 each day to exercise.  I'm starting TurboFire from Beachbody, which is a 90 day workout program.  I'm going to complete it from start to finish and then, I will begin a new program called Bodypump.  She's helping me map out my year for physical activity so I can make goals and see where I'm going. We do this as teachers!  We make year long maps for our teaching year.  We need to do this for our physical beings as well.  This is huge for me.

2.  Eating right

I am almost finished with the  3-week Beachbody Ultimate Reset, which has transformed my eating habits and cleansed my internal self.  I am refraining from coffee and switching over to Teecceno, an all natural herbal caffiene free coffee.  It is delicious!  I have devoted my diet to clean eating with no preservatives, added Shakology to my day along with eating every 3-4 hours to keep my blood sugars level and energy consistant.  My coach is helping me to plan out meals for my week to help me be successful.  No excuses.

3.  Create every day.

Whether it's writing, painting, sketching, art journaling, collaging or sewing, I need to create every day. This feeds my soul and is being true to who I am.  I find that when I am depleted and then I spend time creating, I am renewed.  I am NOT a morning person, yet, I am going to train myself to be up at 5:00 and put an hour to 90 minutes in writing every day.  It will be hard and I think this be my most difficult challenge.  This summer, I completed Jeff Goin's writing challenge of conquering the 15 Habit of Great Writers.  Even though, I will never consider myself a great writer, through his course, I was able to break through some fears and get my blogs up and running and create the discipline to write every day so that it feels natural.  Like breathing.  I can't lose this.  I'm not sure where it will take me and that's the joy of it.

I also took some online art courses that got me painting and art journaling and I am going to keep that going in the evenings and weekends that allow me time (ok, I will schedule it). I even have worked up the courage to create a second blog to share some of my art and I created a facebook group called Islands of My Soul for creative souls to support and share their creations and ideas.

Big Changes.  Yes.  Commitment and Discipline it will take.

But. . . this is why I have a coach.

I am believing in myself.  My coach is, too. 

This is my time.

What new commitments are you making to yourself this year as a new school year begins?

Shari :-)

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