After three intense weeks, I am now final-grades-entered-officially-done with teaching my summer session at the community college. I had a small but mighty group of students and they hung in well for the duration of the course, as did I. Well, until the second-to-last day, at least, when I totally gave one them the Stop! In! Your! Tracks! hand signal when he tried to approach me in the middle of our ten-minute break to ask a question; we had an in-class writing/research work session coming up next in which I would have ample time for answering questions and quite frankly, I needed those 10 minutes, too. I’m sure it could have been conveyed as a #signsyourteacherisDONE moment, but I think it was also a moment for setting boundaries and understanding limits.
We all need breaks. No matter what fills our days and/or nights, we need time to step back, settle down, and even zone out, if need be. If we run 100 mph nonstop, something is going to give whether we like it or not, and I have found it is better to take breaks instead of waiting until I am totally broken down to rest.
That being said, based on my hand-in-the-face example and general level of whoaaaaaaaexhaustion by the end of this summer session, I have not been taking the best care of myself in recent weeks. Going straight from B’s school calendar to traveling for Memorial Day to my teaching schedule (on top of teaching yoga classes and hauling HD to various kid summer camps and my crazy quest to read 52 books before the middle of August and S3 of OITNB) has left me wiped.
Yes, I just cited books and a TV show as part of my downfall, but isn’t that just reality sometimes when we don’t make the best decisions and stay up too late to finish one more chapter or watch one more episode? That’s why books, love them as I do, could never be considered my renewal point; I get too obsessive about continuing/finishing and ultimately do not make the best choices in terms of time spent on activities that do in fact help (same goes for several original series shows from Netflix, apparently).
Now that the Welschies have all officially hit summer break (Hooray!), renewal is going to come in two forms for this mama: walking and yoga. While I doubt the likelihood of hitting my 40 or even 30 days of #yogaeverydamnday goal before Baby No.4 arrives, I am aiming for 3-4 times a week of home practice, something I’ve done next to none of for the last month+. And on the days I don’t do the yogs, I hope to walk. Around the park, through the neighborhood, to the studio – doesn’t matter, so long as it is electronic-device-(and kid)-free. I’m proud to say that hectic schedules (and books and TV shows) have not kept me from walking (including four days in a row of to the studio and back, which made me feel super accomplished), which is good because I need to keep doing these activities.
This is what it takes to keep me in balance. These are my boundaries and my limits. To know them is good and to be able to adhere to them is even better. When I make space for self-care, I am better able to navigate anything anyone in my house throws at me (that includes literally, as Linky’s got quite the left-handed arm!), not to mention anything anyone at random feels like saying to me when I am away from home. I cannot control others or what they say (as a woman, especially when pregnant, I so wish that I could), but staying committed to practices that make me feel strong, centered, and sometimes, just a teeny bit resilient? That I can, and will, return to time and time again.