Real Talk

I had a great weekend this weekend. I took a nap, I painted, I got dinner with a friend, I made pancake muffins, I had brunch with some lovely coworkers, I went to church, I watched The Office, I played guitar for HOURS (glorious), I sang some songs with my friends, and I spent a day in Greenville visiting my friend and her sweet, precious five-week old baby. I did a lot of me-things this weekend, and I had so much fun!

Now, here’s the catch: I feel guilty that I did all those things.

I’m a teacher, and my work is never done. Usually I spent a few hours on Saturday and Sunday doing work for school, but this weekend I decided not to even open my backpack.

I haven’t cracked my school laptop since Friday afternoon.

Here I sit, almost 11pm on Sunday evening, before the last Monday of school for the year 2013, and I feel guilty about my incredibly awesome and relaxing weekend.

I hate that.

I hate that this job makes me feel that way. Actually, it isn’t even the job so much as the absurd amount of extra work people have given me to do. Fortunately, I am planned through Wednesday of next week (because let’s also be honest, Thursday and Friday are going to be RIDICULOUS since everyone, students AND teachers, will be so ready for break), which is fine. Hopefully I can get to school early enough tomorrow to make some copies and type up a quick morning message and whatnot.

I just hate that I feel guilty for doing things for me. I was telling my friend earlier today that I really think a piece of me dies inside when I don’t get to touch my guitar, and the 8 HOURS I spent playing it and singing and recording music on Saturday were some of the best hours I’ve had to myself in so long.

Is it too much to ask to have time away from my job? I love my kids and truly, they aren’t the ones making my job harder. I came home from school on Friday so wiped out from meetings after meetings and mounds of paperwork that now are supposed to be done by the time I get back from break and all I could do was face plant into my couch and sleep for two hours. As my Friday went by, I didn’t even have the time to process anything that happened all day because I couldn’t sit down for more than two minutes before there was something else to be done (also the reason all I had for lunch that day was an apple — NOT COOL).

Does anyone else feel this way? Do other teachers feel this and experience this constant struggle? It’s a battle I’m always fighting — trying to maintain a personal life where I can enjoy the people I love and the things I love, all while hoping my professional life of lesson planning and email responding stays in tact.

I admit that one of the first things I identify as is a teacher. I love that I get to work with kids and help them find a love for learning — it’s the most gratifying thing I could imagine doing. Despite my passion for this, it’s important for me to realize that I do have other passions. All of my passions define me and make me the person I am, and I’m finding myself getting lost in all that this career has to offer sometimes.

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