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?

6 thoughts on “Time Away Makes Us Better

  1. Good luck this weekend, Sue! I love how you’re sharing a bit more of your personal self here. While it’s important that we take this time for ourselves, I wonder if it’s also important that we share about these other things that matter to us. It makes us more human, and I wonder if this also helps us connect with others (from parents to educators) on a different level.

    As for me, I’m eager to use this weekend as a time to read some great books (I have many on my shelf that are not school-related, but wonderful mysteries/suspense novels that I love) and connect with friends (that I don’t often get to spend as much time with because of our different work schedules). Happy Easter, Sue!

    Aviva

    P.S. Keep up this wonderful blogging! I’m enjoying the commenting part! 🙂

  2. I needed this today. Thanks for sharing. What resonated particularly for me in the article was this idea that we need protection from ourselves. I really enjoy so many facets of what I do. The puzzles that people present. The problems that need innovative solutions. When what you do and what you love doing overlap the lines can blur between the “me” time and the “work” time.

    I know I will never completely balance these two things. I don’t think I would be happy if I did; but the boundary idea is an important one, that requires conscientious effort. So I’m turning off my laptop now to bask in the long weekend for a time. Maybe I’ll pick up my guitar and sing a few bars.

      1. My comments don’t get moderated regardless of the settings on individual blogs. It’s one of the perks of being a SuperAdmin. That and the fancy cape.

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