Monday, January 2, 2017

Ready for Reentry

A few years back, my friend Donna gave me a little journal called "One Line A Day." It is a five year memory book with just enough room for a sentence or two for each day, although I like to write small and squish in three or four. It's now full of almost three years of memories, and I love to look back on prior entries to see what was happening on the same date one and two years ago.  This type of journal helps me notice the patterns and cycles in my life. Good days follow bad days. Good to know.

One trend I noticed is that the first day back to "reality" after winter break seems to be particularly challenging. In 2015, I wrote, First day back. Started with a local screening meeting and ended with diagnosis of flu. Sitting by the fire with Tamiflu and hoping I feel better soon. Snow tomorrow? Then in 2016, I wrote, First day back--made it through feeling unprepared. R worried about high blood pressure. I'm worried about S making good choices. Paul sick with cough. I go to bed at 8:00.

The perspective of noticing patterns is helpful because I take comfort in the knowledge that history repeats itself. I can look through the pages and remember that I do survive those first few days back and slowly get back into the groove. However, I'd like to take it one step further this year and break the pattern. Instead of lamenting the end of my winter break, and dwelling on all the things I won't have time to do, I'm going to try making a conscious shift in my attitude about that first day back.

I'll take it easy on my expectations--lesson plans may be a little loose and dinner might be a pot of spaghetti and that's OK. I'll consider how great it is to be back in a routine instead of home with so many cookies. I'll think about the people I haven't seen in almost three weeks--my teammates and my students. I'm going to remember that they may be feeling a bit shell-shocked too, and to try to smile extra often tomorrow.  I may still go to bed at 8:00 pm tomorrow night, but before I do, I'll write in my little journal, First day back... and I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next.
Looking forward to seeing my teammates...what should we wear tomorrow, ladies?