This is the time of year when calendars are full. We do the best we can to juggle but oftentimes something gets dropped. More often than not, what gets dropped or neglected is self-care.
Yes, we went to the holiday concerts.
Yes, we managed to get everything graded.
Yes, observations are written and next year’s budget is completed.
We now have very little left for ourselves and our loved ones. Some might say that what we need to focus on is maintaining balance.
But what does that even mean or look like? I recently caught up with Sarah Johnson, co-author of Balance Like a Pirate. She not only opened up about a time in her life when she lost her balance, she talked about how she was able to regain it and then some.
Not that many years ago, Sarah was at a crossroads. Sarah wasn’t sleeping well and she lost an unhealthy amount of weight. Her laptop was always open on Sundays and she would get irritated with her husband and children if they interrupted her work.
She realized that the people that were the most important in her life weren’t getting the best of her. It was about that time that an opportunity presented itself that she thought would lead to better balance and eventually more time with her family.
Sarah had the chance to apply for an administrative position that would reduce her daily commute from 35 miles to 6. The decision to switch schools is never an easy one and it wasn’t until 11:58 pm, on the last day the application was due, that Sarah decided to push send.
She got the job!
But to her surprise. Things didn’t improve.
It wasn’t about the 6 miles. The solution was about much more than distance. Sarah realized that she had to start taking better care of herself. She had to find balance.
And she did!
On July 11th, 2014, Sarah began a running streak that, to this day, she has maintained. Sarah has run every day since. Uhhh…..what? Every day?!? Yes.
She said it is not about the distance or the pace more so than it is about the daily habit. Sarah was able to connect with fellow educators (Adam Welcome, Jessica Johnson, Jessica Cabeen, and Eric Ewald) on Voxer that helped her through this difficult time period. They were like her Balance PLN, if you will. Two of the folks in her Balance PLN, Jessica Johnson & Jessica Cabeen, were also the co-author of Balance Like a Pirate.
Sarah’s parting advice for listeners was to “take some time to figure out what you’re lacking.” It sounds simple, but how often do we actually do it? We analyze student data, scrutinize school test scores and read about current trends in education. But how often do we stop and give ourselves the time and the space needed to determine what we need?
While the episode of My Bad with Sarah was just released about a week ago, I have had the audio for almost a month. And for the past month, I have told myself that I needed to write this piece to accompany the podcast. But for some reason, I couldn’t sit down and knock out the words.
And every day that passed that I hadn’t written the piece was a day that I felt worse about myself. Why couldn’t I just sit down and get it done? I had the time. I love the topic. Sarah was awesome in the interview.
It finally hit me last night.
I didn’t need to write the piece. I had been spending more time exercising, reading and working on other projects. It was time for me to stop feeling guilty for not writing a freakin’ blog piece.
But then, guess what happened?
I wrote it.
Balance my friends.
It is all about balance.
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