Friends and family – and random blog enthusiasts,
Today I will give you an accuraate picture of what one day as a teacher might look like.
In short, it’s a long one. (Teacher joke)
The purpose is not to whine or complain or tell you why I deserve summers off, but to make a larger point that applies to people outside of education as well.
6:00 am – Alarm. Snooze.
6:15 am – Alarm. Decide to skip shower, since you had one after workout last night. Snooze.
6:30 am – Alarm. Get up, start looking for games for my students to practice capitalization.
6:45 am – Find games. Post flipped lesson on Edmodo and add foraged capitalization practice games for when they’re done.
7:00 am – Feed dogs, cook egg whites for self, try to find something decent to wear.
7:20 am – Leave house.
7:25 am – Return to house after dramatic U-turn, pack lunch, leave again.
7:45 am – Arrive at school, sign in, drop lunch in fridge, and briefly chat with coworkers.
8:10 am – Children released to go to 1st period, you are swarmed in the hallway by the craziest of crazies who all want to say hi. Aren’t you lucky?
8:15 am – 1st period – precious baby children who fall over themselves for your approval.
9:13 am – 2nd period – mostly-boy class also looking for your approval, but in a totally different way. Simmer them.
10:06 am – off period. Spend 10 minutes ordering Star Wars-themed apparel for your dogs, feel psyched by your nerdiness, brave the office.
10:18 am – Bathroom break!
10:20 am – The office was a mistake. Find 19 folders from processing you need to review and file. Do this.
10:45 am – Deliver other folders to your coworkers, chat about students, rush back to the comp lab.
10:59 am – 4th period – mostly-girl class that manages to have minimal drama today.
11:53 – Department meeting time. Analyze data from this week’s checkpoint. Get severely depressed about America’s future.
12:13 pm – Have a spinach and chicken sausage salad for lunch while looking at more data.
12:43 pm – 6th period = yearbook. Do double-duty tutoring two students while also helping your kids figure out how to make their own Crash Bandicoot. (Hint: you give up and pick a different game to spoof)
1:38 pm – 7th period. Counsel sweetest student ever who somehow got written up 1st period and has been crying all day.
2:34 pm – 8th period – tell kids to stop talking about what happened two days ago and focus on passing class.
3:25 pm – Race down to use teacher bathroom.
3:28 pm – Tutor student for an hour after school while also helping another teacher use Google docs and consulting with two other teachers on two different students.
4:48 pm – Finally leave, later than intended.
4:55 pm – Pick up father’s awesome camera to take photos at Volleyball game.
5:05 pm – Brave dogs’ judgemental/guilting faces to let them out and grab an apple.
5:25 pm – At the high school for a volleyball game. Take photos. Wave at everyone. Be supportive and cheery and shit.
6:15 pm – Leave volleyball game and rush home to throw on your workout clothes.
6:30 pm – Day #3 of Week 5 of Couch 2 5K. Cut your cool down short because you’re late to your apptmt.
7:00 pm – Skype appointment, even though you’re a sweaty, hot mess.
8:15 pm – End apptmt and realize that you’ve eaten 6 out of 29 points for the day and try to figure out what the hell you can put in your stomach.
8:25 pm – Eat, in this order, chicken pesto pasta, chips and salsa, applesauce, raspberries, skim milk and a mini banana moon pie, all while watching an episode of Breaking Bad.
9:15 pm – Remember that you don’t actually enjoy Breaking Bad and watch an episode of 30 Rock. Much better.
9:45 pm – Decide to write a blog about your crazy-ass day.
10:30 pm – Call it a night and vow to finish it when you wake up the next AM.
11:35 pm – Actually go to bed, after finishing a Lone Star book.
Like I said, I don’t put this out there to complain. I put it out there to make a point:
Maybe the reason that we’re all unfulfilled and unhealthy has more to do with what we’re expected to do by both ourselves and society and less to do with us being lazy, no-account bums looking for hand-outs.
I’ve seen more articles surfacing in the past few months than I care to admit about two topics: Why millenials are unsatisfied and entitled OR Why women should accept that they can’t have it all.
You know what I think of both those topics?
Screw you guys.
As a millenial woman, I can honestly say that I cannot remember a time I felt entitled to a single thing that I didn’t earn (Liska should be proud that I deleted the forbidden word out of that sentence).
And you know what makes me angrier than almost anything else? People telling me that I’m being inconsiderate, self-absorbed, or assuming. Seriousy. Ask any of my friends – or, better yet, my former friends. It’ll earn you a one-way ticket out of my life.
Let’s add on to that the fact that I’m not, in any way, shape or form, attempting to “have it all.” Allow me to be painfully clear: I don’t have even half of it. If we go by the traditional definition of “having it all” as we know it in our society, I’ve only got a third. Yes, I have a job. But no, I don’t have a husband – I don’t even have a boyfriend, bitches. And I sure as hell don’t have progeny that I’m raising with said non-existent husband.
Nor do I want all of that. A husband might be an acceptable experiment in a bit, but children are not, nor have they ever been, a part of my ultimate plan.
So if I’m just trying to have a third of “it,” then why the hell am I so tired and stressed out all the freaking time?
Because our lives here are so go-go-go all the time that we never have a chance to relax. And for me, the fact that I can’t say “no” just feeds into that crazy schedule.
What can we do about it? The hardest thing in the world for me – we have to realize that we deserve more time for ourselves and take it.
Last weekend, an old college friend of mine made a killer viral video in order to say adios to her job in Taiwan. And while I totally understood the message she was putting out there, a lot of people have criticized her in a number of ways. Which, with anything in the interwebs, is pretty much par for the course.
When I told my students that I knew the ‘I Quit’ girl, they had one immediate question:
“So, then, why aren’t you quitting like her?”
I told them it was because I liked having a job.
There’s a lot more to it than just that. You see, my job is different from the lovely Marina’s.
Yes, I’ve given up friendships and my own personal health and sanity and whatever else over my job. I don’t go out to happy hour in Dallas with my non-work friends very often because I have to be up the next morning. Or because I’m at a game. Or because I didn’t get to leave tutoring until 5pm that day. Or because I have four effing preps and I have nothing ready for any of them tomorrow. Let’s not even talk about the paperwork today.
In the end, though, I’m not making videos that will get hits no matter what they’re about. I’m teaching kids how to read and write, not to mention how to be awesome. I’m doing something that I’m passionate about, and it shows.
So yeah, maybe there are days when I don’t take care of myself as well as I should. And maybe there are days when I feel like I can’t handle exercising or eating healthy or anything else…but when I step back to look at the big picture, I have to admit that I’m happy with the way it’s turning out. I just need to get the mix right. And that might mean looking for a different way to impact and educate teenagers, I don’t know…it’s not a crystal ball I’m looking into here.
But for now, I want to point out that we shouldn’t be wearing ourselves out so much. We need to take time for ourselves, because if we don’t make time for us, no one else will either.
So take a minute, suck in a deep breath, and let it out in a laugh as you watch the fantabulous Marina Shifrin make the right decision for herself. And it’s okay if you want to daydream about pulling this yourself. Just glance on over at your bank statement before you do anything rash.