There are so many posts that I want to write. I want to write about how I baked and froze my sugar pumpkins and saved the seeds. I want to write about canning tomatoes. I want to write about how excited I am about the Guilford fair and my entries and my family’s farm display. I want to write about how much I like my Legal and Political Issues in Environmental Education class, which I just got back from, and how much I’m enjoying the book we’re reading. I want to write about the new reuasable cloth sandwich wrapper that I got to get away from plastic baggies. I want to do a challenge update. I want to post pictures of my gardens and of the trees starting to turn.
But I don’t have time! It seems that every day this week has been something, from a faculty meeting, to a trip to the grocery store, to my class tonight, to housework, to a wedding on Friday. It’s not bad, but it’s just busy. I’m coming off of two months off, where I worked a little and spent the rest of my days taking care of the house, cooking, gardening, reading, blogging and spending time having fun. Now, going back to work has taken some time away from all of those enjoyable activities. I still get to do them all, just not as often.
I have to say that the transition back to work has been stressful for me. There’s a lot of emphasis on preparing students for the standardized tests coming up in the spring. I, of course, want my students to do well, so I put a lot of pressure on myself to give them the best education that I possibly can. By doing that, I’m stressing myself out and I know that a lot of my colleagues are feeling the same way. The stress is exhausting and I find myself feeling really tired at the end of the school day. I realize that I shouldn’t be putting all of this pressure on myself because it’s not benefiting me or my students, so I’m going to try to lighten up a bit. I’m also going to try to do one thing each day that rejuvinates me or relaxes me.
After spending the day yesterday in the greenhouse with my students, I realized just how theraputic working with plants can be. I learned all about the calming effects of nature a few years ago when I took a course in Urban Botany, and my experience yesterday made me think more about it. Planting seeds first thing yesterday morning left me rejuvinated, happy and excited about the remainder of the school day. I want to point out that my students are really great, and although in the past I was stressed about student behavior, that’s not the case this year. I do realize how lucky I am about that.
For the next week or so I’m going to try to do more of the things that reduce my stress and make me feel better. For me, reading is really relaxing. I can read outside in the afternoon, in the tub at night, or in bed before I fall asleep. I also enjoy doing yoga and, while I’m not particularly good at it and don’t do it very often, I will find myself drawn to it when I’ve had an especially stressful experience. Gardening is also theraputic for me, as is the sense of accomplishment after pulling weeds or dead-heading my petunias. These and other activities including taking pictures, baking and spending time reading blogs can also help to alleviate the stress. Hopefully, by recognizing what I’m feeling and what will make me feel better, I will get over this back to school stress.