Monthly Archives: October 2012

Moving on…

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I’ve lived most of my life if not all of it on a schedule.

My number 13 reason why I can’t wait for my sabbatical is that I will be able to live life off schedule for a length of time that will be long enough to actually really test what life is like for me off schedule. I mean I always have summers…but they go by so fast in a flurry of vacations and home projects and family visits. 15 months off the grid will seem like an incredible length of time for me. Channeling a bit of Jason Bourne there, I admit it:).

I’m just curious to see who I am when I’m not ruled by a schedule.

Hand in hand with that reason is number 14…the ability to take vacations off season during non peak times. I’m really hoping to take advantage of that the year I’m off school. I would love to take a fall trip and a spring trip rather than a Christmas and summer trip. I would love to see what it’s like to go to places when it’s not the busy time of the year.

Number 15…while I’m on the vacation thought of line. I’m hoping that my year off will allow for me to almost finish the 50 state goal I set for my girls to visit every state before they graduate. We’re close. We might be able to do it, well except for Hawaii…

I’ve decided it’s good for me to document the reasons why I’m looking forward to my sabbatical because it shows me clearly what is important to me, gives me a way of measuring if I actually do/feel/act  the way I’m hoping to. It might not make for exciting reading for you…but it’s ground work for me. My mind needs to go down every alley and think through why I’m doing this and what is important about it.

Ten, Eleven and Twelve

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Number 10 reason why I’m looking forward to my coming sabbatical is a big one.

I’m looking forward to spending unhurried, unstressed, unplanned, un holidayed time with my family. For over a decade now we’ve only seen my family and Mark’s family at holidays, over school breaks, a visit in the summer, shared vacations occasionally but not really any normal kinds of visits. You know, the kind of visits where there are no gifts, or birthdays to celebrate or expectations of what we will do, just unhurried, hang out, talk about anything visits instead. Those are rare when you live 10 hours away from home.

We’re used to it so honestly, it will be a switch for us to try and pursue a deeper connection with family. You all know how it is. Family time can be great but it can also be awkward, uncomfortable, etc. even in the best of families. Usually five days is the max visit for a reason. Things can get a little over the top beyond that. I love my family and Mark’s family so this is no slant on them…I think as far as families go my girls and I are pretty lucky, it’s just a challenge to share that kind of space once you become an adult. And my kids are at the age where they are more uncomfortable as well.

But…I want to make sure in my year off that we take some time to go crash at my sister Mary anne’s house for a few days and at my brother Jim’s house for a few days and down to Branson to see my sister Becky and her family. We’ll see Phil and Susanna and their families out at camp:). I want to make sure we take time to go in the off season, with no holiday or expectation involved. I want to have time to just sit around and play a game or watch a movie or tell stories, or have a campfire, laugh together, look at old pictures, talk about memories, make some new memories along the way.

I am so grateful for family. We’ve taken many vacations with family so we have a whole treasure trove of memories to draw upon but it’s time to make some new ones. Generally speaking when we go home we barely see one another. They’re all busy running to their inlaws and we’re busy trying to cover two families equally. I want to have some concentrated time with my siblings…if they’ll open up their homes to us:).

Number 11 is similar. I want to have time to focus more on friendships. That whole go out for coffee thing or lunch. More time to catch up and stay involved and express genuine care and listening. It happens once in awhile now but not often. I want to be more freed up to make friendship a larger priority in my life. I’m ever aware that not too far down the road I will be alone.

Number 12 is more time to be outside. I’m an outdoors kind of girl. I mean I love to read a book or watch a movie, cuddle up on the couch or take a good nap, but I also enjoy being outside, feeling the breeze, enjoying the sunshine, taking a walk, sitting outside soaking in the air. Most days I spend a large amount of time inside four walls. I would like to spend more time outside those four walls in the year I take off. Nature woos me to God. God speaks to me clearly when I’m outside, maybe just better reception:). Not really…I’m just more aware of how awesome God is when I’m outside it seems.

Today I sat down on a break and listed out a whole bunch more reasons why I can’t wait for my sabbatical. It was easy for 35 reasons to come out of my head almost instantly. I’m clearly ready for this change in my life.

Reasons 7-9

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I’m continuing my countdown this week of the reasons why I’m so looking forward to a year off. They are in no special order, just as they hit my mind. So without further adieu…

7. No lesson plans/program music running through my mind day and night. Seriously…it’s crazy how a teacher’s mind works at least if they’re like me. I wake up in the night thinking through lessons, songs, ideas and then I spend a good part of my day trying to keep track of all of it in my head. I don’t write down much to go by…I rely on my mind being sharp and clear. Thankfully, it works…but sometimes I just want to put my mind to rest and not have to think through that kind of stuff for awhile. In summer time I completely shut it off for the month of June…I start to have random thoughts here and there by July and by August I’m fully immersed even though I’m trying to still hold on to a few days off. 15 months of no lesson plans, no music to program sounds delightful!

8. I’m hopeful that with time off…15 months to be exact I will actually remember and experience why I actually chose to be a teacher and that I’ll want to return. I’m hoping that I will miss my job in some form or fashion. If after 15 months I don’t…then I think it might be time for me to reevaluate.

9. Time to pursue new interests in my life. All of that stuff that everybody says “can wait”…I guess they mean till retirement, maybe I can try some of it while I still have energy and desire to do it. More writing, probably some crocheting, cooking, and who knows what else…gardening, landscaping. I’m open. I’m also hopeful that it will promote me helping the girls to cultivate some new skills and talents. I would love to take an art class down at Jacoby. I don’t want to feel like my life is waiting for retirement. I want to live now. I do live now but I know with putting teaching aside for a year I will free up mental, physical, emotional space in my life to try some new things. That excites me!

Believe it or not…I’m hoping that while I’m off work next year I’ll be able to do this same kind of thing with why I’m a teacher and why I chose to work outside my home. There must be good reasons. I’m sure there is. But for now…my mind is all about thinking through my hopes and dreams for this next school year off.

In the mean time I keep singing program music at school, keep getting kids to listen and follow directions, keep singing Halloween music, keep going to meetings and making plans, etc.