Wednesday, November 29, 2017

And So it Begins

kraphix via Freepik
Last night and early this morning, as I was thinking about this post (that I hoped I would have had time to post already), I had my topic all worked out -- learning to set boundaries for tasks that have oozed out of their allotted time slots and into leisure time. It went something like this:

'Tis the season to grade papers -- it's one set after another -- and I'm working on keeping things on an even keel. I could spend large chunks of days doing nothing but grading and, in the end, I probably will. But it's also the season for other things, and I would like to have a life.

I've been at this long enough that I'm slowly learning how to find balance, though admittedly, it has been an uphill battle. 

I was so excited when I first got this job that I threw myself into it completely. I willingly gave it all of my free time, assuming that at some point, with experience, it would get better. Unfortunately, the schedule I set stuck and, before I knew it, every day was a work day, at least in part.

Now I'm emerging and loosening. I'm realizing that not every paper has to be given back at the next class meeting. And, more important, it's better for both my students and me if I don't do that. Taking time to grade papers means that I grade them more thoughtfully and patiently and the feedback I give is better and more useful. Not responding to emails at all hours of the night means that I'm more prepared to start fresh the next day. Rediscovering weekends means I'm less grumpy when I'm doing all of this.

That was yesterday.

Today, one class and three meetings stayed (mostly) neatly within their allotted time slots, but e-mails of desperation flooded my inbox, joining their comrades that appeared between 11pm and midnight last night, necessitating quick, if not immediate responses.

Tonight, I turn off my phone (and its nagging email chime) at a reasonable hour.

It's a balancing act and...say it with me...

It's a process.

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