Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Joy of Slowing Down

I guess it is a lifestyle quite specific to teachers, the two-speed life, where for six weeks you live in a flurry of activity, working crazy hours and forgetting what your house and spouse look like, followed by the lull, a week or two of holidays, where you change down several gears, relax and recharge ready for the next six week cycle. 

It is a unique lifestyle and it leads to quite Jekyl-and-Hyde-esque behaviours. I find myself changing, the minute the holiday starts. I turn from a result-driven person (type A), to a more process driven alternative (mellow). 

We have just had one of these mellow weeks and I am coming to Sunday, looking ahead towards a full week with fear. I so love my life when it is simple, slow and we are given the time to enjoy it. Time to smell the flowers. Walk the dogs. Cook something that takes longer than 20 minutes to prepare. 

I know we, as teachers, are privileged to have this opportunity. But I do feel like term-time is not your normal kind of 9 to 5 job. I have spoken to many people  who have come into teaching from other professions and they too recognise that teaching gives them a new-kind of tired. That includes my husband, who used to regularly work 12 hour days in a demanding banking job in the City of London and who now teaches for 8-9 hours every day and is more tired than he could ever imagine. In the same way that parenting is a new-kind of tired, I guess. 

Let's see: children are involved in both of these... high energy individuals demanding your attention every minute of the day... Only in one of the two cases, your day is only 9 hours long - then you go home and unwind (do chores, mark homework, plan assignments and update the class website). 

I have loved the extra time, the luxury of long walks with the dogs, the chance to go for a coffee with a friend. I even liked the fact that I didn't have to get up before six in order to spend quality time with my husband, or have some time to write. 

Oh the luxury of time, how I will miss you!

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