| Angie Counios

Time's up

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
— Mark Twain

It took me a while to get started again but I think I'm ready.

It seems that teaching really did take its toll on me. By the time the school year was done and all the exams were completed and marked and the students got the credits they needed to move to the next grade or graduate, I (the professional) was D-O-N-E (and on the verge of alcoholism. Joking!).

"Giving" to people can be draining. I’m not sure I ever had anything to gauge how much of a toll my job can take on me but once this year of school was finished, all I wanted to do was lay in my hammock, one foot dangling, and stare at the trees in a vegetative state. My brain was not interested in being engaged.

I rarely openly complain about what I do at work. I say teaching is a pretty good way to spend a day and that most of the them are pretty good ones. I say that if I can go to work and be happy seven out of ten times, I'm doing well. I think that’s a pretty good ratio for most jobs—for most things actually: seven delicious meals and three so-so; seven good days with a partner and a few waking hours that you could take or leave. No, it's not 100%, but it's pretty good.[1]

But this year I noticed something different. All the other Julys of my career, I probably reacted the same way—pooped and burned out and craving Mojitos.

However, this time I had that writer’s voice in the back of my head saying, "Come on, Ang...Get writing...Read that section...Make those edits...Make a post on the blog...." The thoughts made me hyper-aware of how much I wanted to work but just couldn't. So I gave myself a little time from the blog and a couple of Mojitos (not joking).

I have to thank Dave for continuing to post while I rested (the blessing of a partnership and collaboration). I gave myself time to be in a semi-comatose state, trying to recuperate from the giving of education and now that time is up.

I wasn't completely wasteful with my time. I still read sections of the book I was supposed to and did reflections, comments, and edits. I did write down ideas for other blog posts. It wasn't a complete shut-down, a void of nothingness. It just wasn't the full throttle feeling of working and writing that occurred throughout the school year.

I balanced the teaching gig with the writing gig over the school year, and once one thing is removed, everything goes off-kilter. Some shifting and adjusting must occur before equilibrium is regained. So I guess this downtime was my period of shifting back and forth, getting my metaphorical legs steady to carrying on.

I feel like pauses can be dangerous if motivation is lacking; a short pause can turn into a long one and that can be detrimental to the flow of producing work.

But time is up. I'm rested and I'm ready to go again.

  1. I just wanted to add that 7/10 is alright but it's not great. It's just good enough and maybe the overachiever/evaluator in me would like better ratings in my day-to-day. Just a thought. ↩︎

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