It’s Been One Week

…since I’ve done any work.

It feels really strange not working 12+ hours every day. I love my kids and they, along with their families, were extremely generous this Christmas season, but I’ve gotta be honest: it’s been really awesome sleeping in and not planning/grading/emailing/GoogleDoc-ing/working every night. I haven’t even worn my watch since last Friday, and I won’t resume “teacher time” until Monday, Janaury 6.

It’s nice slowing down and doing things I enjoy that aren’t work-related (and really, I love my job to the point where it doesn’t always feel like work). My bass is fixed and I got a banjo for Christmas, and it’s been a total blast learning something new this past week! I’ve only opened my backpack to get out my laptop for doing fun things like reading articles I’ve been waiting to read for weeks and looking at pictures of new guitars.

Side note: I won’t need to look online at pictures anymore since I made a purchase — Diana, the Taylor GS Mini will be in my apartment next week! She’s coming from Georgia and I couldn’t be more thrilled to get her in the apartment.

Digressing.

I wish there was more time to do this — to relax. I also wish I had more time as a professional to attend seminars and trainings to make me an even better professional. I started working on an application for a fellowship recently and it’s been really awesome thinking about expanding my knowledge and becoming a better teacher. It’s work-related, but it goes beyond my day-to-day planning and whatnot, which is exciting. I’m working on developing my own research project for the fellowship, and I’m loving the opportunity to be creative and think about what I’m passionate about so that I can hone in on that during the summer’s research time (that is, if I’m granted the fellowship). Fingers crossed!

It’s always a little strange coming back to Concord for a long period of time (a week is long for me). My friend base in the area has greatly dwindled in the last five years or so, and I have to say that generates a very different environment when in town. My mom got a puppy (Abby) a few weeks ago, so she’s been fun to have around during break. It was great spending the week with family from out of town, and I honestly can’t believe the week has already passed. Christmas is over and everyone is going home.

I’m excited about getting home. I got some homey stuff for Christmas, and I really enjoy making my apartment a home. Granted, I always need help hanging things (this is not something that I, a 5′ woman, am naturally skilled at on my own), but it’s fun putting things together and using the new cookware and making my living space a place where I love coming home. I’m actually extra excited to get home tomorrow since I have company coming over for dinner — I can’t wait to share the joys of the holiday season with these sweet friends!

I know Christmas is over, but I’m still feeling a bit Christmassy. The holidays are still alive and kickin’ and I don’t mean that in terms of post-Christmas sales on every street corner. Every Christmas we read Luke 2, but this Christmas I asked my dad if I could add something to that. I read John 1:1-5, as I see that as the ultimate Christmas story:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

This is why I feel Christmassy — because Christmas isn’t something to be celebrated just one day out of the year. The beauty of the Gospel is that Christ came to give us life, “the light of men.” It’s amazing that I celebrate the day that Jesus was born to die for me so that I might truly live. What an incredible God we serve! As I carry this thought from 2013 into 2014, I pray that His life continually be illuminated to me so that I can illuminate it for others.

So, my teacher friends, I say this to you: Keep sleeping in and staying in your pajamas all day — we only have a week left of break, so let’s make it count! We’ll need to be especially well-rested for the kids when they barrel through the doors ready to re-learn procedures in January! 😉

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