A few days ago I wrote a post about being too busy. A few hours after I published that post, I recognized something familiar. Back in 2009, after the ER visit, I went to my immediate supervisor, told her how my health was suffering from job related stress, and I asked to have some things taken off my plate. She agreed. A year later, the plate was loaded back up. Well, by then, I had lost the first 40 pounds and was determined to stick to my program. So instead of being a “team player”, I got mad. I established some new boundaries. I became what I used to dislike – a contract hours teacher. They paid me for 35 hours. I used to work 60-70 hours a week. No more. I would work 40. That’s it. I had to take my life back.
Any job will run you as far into the ground as you let it. I was done with it. I worked my ass off for 15 years, paid for my own additional training, did my own research, implemented new practices – did way more than was expected. And still more was loaded on. But I let that happen. I mistakenly thought that when it was too much, I could give some things up. I realized that no matter how hard I worked, I would never be caught up, would never save every kid, and would never be able to change the system to work the way I thought it should. I needed to put the brakes on the fast track to an early grave.
I withdrew. I stayed in my room and taught. I didn’t get involved. I didn’t stay late. Instead of being the last car out of parking lot every evening, I was the first. Gym time became an appointment with myself that I kept everyday. Being at home more, while always a priority, moved up to the first spot. Changing the world – not so important anymore.
Now, three years later, some things have changed at work and I decided to poke my head up and try to get involved. Wanted to be a team player this year. Turns out that is not a healthy decision at all. The sense of frustration I’ve been feeling is really just a huge caution sign to be careful. Probably not a healthy decision. Good to trust the gut. I need to fall back and focus on teaching again. There is a lot of negativity around there – best plan for me is to avoid it.
So the blessing disguised as a trial is that I don’t need to worry about work. No need to feel frustrated. I will teach. Period. I have amazing students and their energy feeds mine. When I’m not at work, I’m not going to work. I have big plans that don’t have anything to do with my job because I’ve already achieved every goal I’ve set for myself there. I have new goals now. The decision I made in 2009 still stands.