The last Wednesday of my Summer holidays. I was so tired yesterday that I completely blanked on caring about how much I have to squeeze into my last few days of the holidays, but it’s kind of kicking in today after a decent night’s sleep.

So, husband returned and I’ve been inundating him with updates on stuff I’d like to change in our household management. I’ve long believed in “bulk” cleaning – just let the clutter pile and then clean it in one mad dash. Probably it is more efficient in terms of total time spent on household tasks, but in terms of environment and quality of life, if we do a little more daily pick-up and putting things straight into the dishwasher and keeping the counterspace in the kitchen clear, well, I think my life and mood with improve measurably with those changes. (And yes, I know he reads this, so this is serving as a brain sorter and yet another reminder to him 😉

It remains to be seen how much it will hold together once I start back at school. Next week is not a “proper” teaching week, it’s mostly meetings and preparation and that’s really good – even though they’re a little tiring, and then from Sept. 4th it’s going to be full throttle. I’m already feeling nervous, but there’s no point in running around pointlessly preparing stuff that I don’t even know about just yet.

It’s hard to stop it all running through my head though. There are two “biggies” that I haven’t ever taught in a classroom situation before, although I do know some stuff about them – VEX robotics and Young Scientist. So, I’m nervous. I asked for them and I’m looking forward to them, and it will be fun to teach something a little different and it’s great to actually be timetabled for stuff that would otherwise have been extra-curricular, but …

Anyway, now I’m just getting drawn into the whirl of panic and emotion about it. Here’s my plan:

  • I will physically get myself ready over the next few days. This involves ensuring clean clothes, make-up top up, stationary hunt, clean out my bag, etc.
  • I will mentally get myself ready during the following week of meetings.
  • I will buy a new notebook for the year and start adding tasks as they occur to me, and then transfer them to my Open Loops document.
  • One hour after each day to prepare for the next. No more.
  • Once back into regular teaching days then two hours each day to prepare for the others. No more.

Seriously no more. I think it’s enough. Because there are actually days where I won’t have a lot on and I can use those to catch up on stuff that overflowed from previous days. And there are also free-periods in school time that can and will be used to catch up on overflow.

But I also have some stuff that’s really important to me to keep active in my life:

  • I want to keep writing most every day.
  • I want to go running approximately five times a week.
  • need to get back into a drawing swing.
  • I need for the house not to fall back into disarray and as much as possible, I want for us to eat our meals together as a family.
  • Date-night is sacrosanct. Myself and G. became separate ships last year, I really felt. I don’t want that to become our norm – even if it’s “just” for 9 months of the year, it’s too much. I like being together with the person I married. It’s not all just about household management and parenting partnership.

These bulleted lists feel calming and reassuring to me. In actuality the future can’t really be planned for. At least not to this granular level of detail. I can’t say for certain that I’ll spend exactly one hour doing school prep and then 43 minutes planning and eating dinner, and 6.5 minutes for a poo or whatever. The truth is that some days I’ll be exhausted and the right call to make will be to rest. Sometimes I’ll get a flow going on and the right thing to do will be to continue with the task in hand.

But! I think it’s useful to have the bigger picture in mind. Maybe I’ve got workflow going on, but it’s 12:30 at night. The right choice is sleep, not pushing through. Maybe I’m really tired, or a bit depressed and it’s 6:30 and I just want to sleep or veg out with tv. Maybe the right call is to take a 15 minute nap and then say I’ll just take 25 minutes to write out the next day’s tasks and make lunches.

I need to reclaim my perspective and just having the intent of a plan for how much time different things get allocated will help.

I think.

I hope.

Well, you know I’ll let you know how it goes!