:: Grey day and reflections on work ::

rain drops and grey clouds

You know that feeling? On the verge of a great carrot peeling session, but wanting to write, telling your days, documenting and trying to grasp time before it inevitably flees. And after you finally made the decision: this morning I am going to write, you feel like you have nothing to say. Heck, you can’t even go outside to take some nice picture of what’s in my garden. Everything is grey. The flat kind of grey: no rays of light that illuminate the passing clouds. There is daylight but barely depth. A bit like how I feel right at the moment.

I am home. I have been looking forward to this, a repeat of the four months I took for my boy, but now with two kids in school. I can’t seem to find peace of mind though. Last June I was so glad it would be over for 6 months. I thoroughly enjoyed the supper holidays with my family. I decided to take September completely off and do nothing in preparation for school. And now… I feel like my job is whispering in my ears and I don’t want to hear it. I used to like taking my time to write course material and look for good articles and interesting topics. Now I’m tired just thinking about it.

My sister-in-law even suggested: maybe it’s time to find another school. Of something completely different altogether? The idea scares me. Being a teacher was the only future I really saw myself in. Right now, I just want to be home. I fill my days with reading and doing little things in the house. Trying to clear out the attic. Doing laundry. Cooking. Ironing when I feel like it, listening to an audiobook in French, to keep in touch with the language.

If I’m really honest, that’s what I want, what I’ve always wanted: books being the center of my life (along with my family of couse). They were my first true love. Building my days around reading and reflecting on what I’ve read. I used to find ways to combine that with being a teacher and it was the best. Lately I have the feeling I can not anymore: I don’t have the energy to read, let alone to implement what I’ve read in what I teach. Maybe that’s precisely where the passion was lost.

The last few years of teaching were heavy. Combining a family with small children with a fulltime teaching job was a lot harder than anticipated. I decided to declare my time at home sacred and try to avoid any school work there, or limit it to the absolute minimum. I managed, but I was a lesser teacher for it. Add my tendancy to procrastination: not the best combo. I always ended up overwhelmed with all the correction and prep work. I recycled (good) old parts of course materials without really updating. It worked, because it was good stuff to start with, but I never felt actually on top of things. I used the time at school and in between lessons not efficiently enough so I would get behind. A lot.

There are some other factors that make me doubt: the atmosphere at school was changing. We had over all more challenging groups of students. We had some good colleagues falling out and deciding to stop altogether. We had a few changes in the head master department. (The biggest one is one I have not actually ‘lived’ as it started in September). Things didn’t always change for the best. I felt pressured, along with many colleagues. My way of dealing with pressure? Stop trying to keep up at all. Not feeling good about it though. With three months of ‘no pressure’ paternal leave to go, I’m dead scared for that moment in January whan I return. That’s not a good place to be in.

I have still a few months left. I might find back some of my passion. At least enough to start with a smile and keen on making something out of it. If it gets worse, then there will have to be some heavy thinking and some tough decisions to be made. Getting this down on this little piece of the interwebs that I call mine helps in some way. The word is out, the challenge on.

And now I’m going to mindfully peel some carrots.

Author: Elvira

Woman, wife, mother. Trying to slow down and take the time to listen.

3 thoughts on “:: Grey day and reflections on work ::”

  1. pour avoir le contact avec le français, j’écris en français 🙂
    j’ai toujours aimé les livres et la musique, j’ai une mega liste pour le jour où j’aurai le temps pour les lire, mais la liste grandis plus vite que mon temps pour les lire.
    as-tu pensé à faire des traductions de livres? soit du français ou de l’anglais au neerlandais, comme ça t’allies plaisir au travail, que, en fin de compte, c’est le but.

  2. You’re so sweet. Really, you can’t believe how grateful I am that you still keep reading this with all my long pauses. Plus your comments are always so useful. Actually I enjoy translating, never considered that would be an option. (impostor syndrome anyone?)

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