The Reflection Pool

Time Away Makes Us Better

My work schedule is full. Sometimes really full. The to-do lists grow and the calendar has less and less room. I bet yours is the same. I love my job, but it can sometimes impact my personal life. That’s not a good place to be.

Every so often, I get into a conversation with a colleague or an educator on social media about so-called work life balance. I always push back and say that it’s not about balance, it’s about boundaries. (See this excellent article for more thoughts on this.)

Photo Credit: jelloneck via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: jelloneck via Compfight cc

The #Aprilblogaday asked: what is our most important professional responsibility outside the classroom? For me, it’s simple. Set the boundaries (see above) and learn, read, do and see things that have nothing to do with work. When I take space away from my professional life, I’m happier, more rested and then can focus on my work responsibilities. In short, I do my job way better. Some people describe this as  “work hard, play hard”.

This weekend I have set aside time for one of my passions – singing. I’ve been singing for years in semi professional and church choirs, occasional solo work and even amateur opera. Singing produces fantastic endorphins, uses the whole body (when done right) and is a lot of fun!  When I’m singing I am totally in a state of flow.  Being fully immersed with a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment is a remarkable experience.

I currently sing in a church choir. Can you spot me in the photo below?DSC_7016

We have some big plans for this Easter weekend, including a performance of Bach’s “Passion According to St. John”. Singing this glorious piece of music will definitely contribute to my overall well being. I’ll return to the office and schools on Tuesday with renewed focus and energy.

That makes me better. What about you?