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Day 12 Balancing Life

Day 12 blog post. It’s actually Day 21 of the challenge, and I’m not actually writing to Day 12 prompt.  Life sure is interesting sometimes. As I tempted some of my colleagues with the 30-day challenge, there was a concern in my mind as I looked at the dates. How would I write a post every single day of September? The concern didn’t arise from the fact school started on September 2, and I would be busy teaching. No, the concern came because of my personal life. September is a busy month. An anniversary, birthdays, the girls’ school events, and those last few precious summer-like days occur. One of the first pieces of advice I share with pre-service teachers observing in my classroom is, “A teacher’s to-do list never ends. You have to decide when to stop.”

My family is a blessing when it comes to helping me balance life and work. I know I’d be a workaholic if it weren’t for them. When I start to put in too many hours, it negatively affects my family. I first noticed this when my eldest daughter was about four.   She has special needs, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t positives. (Check out my post about traveling with her.) Another of those positives is her need to be with me.

When she was young, the need would manifest itself through her “meltdowns.” Her behavior would require me to sit on the couch holding her closely, sometimes for 20 or more minutes. At first I was angry because I just had to get other work done. Her behavior was taking me away from my work. I don’t exactly remember when, but at some point I began to reframe her behavior. I realized her behavior of this type occurred when I was extremely busy and had been away from home for meetings, etc. in the evenings.   When I finally noticed the pattern, I took it as a sign from God that I needed to refocus my attention to what really mattered—my family.

Now, at least 12 years since, Amy still has some moments, but they are fewer and farther apart. It isn’t necessarily that my life has gotten less busy; it’s just that I’ve learned to read the signs much sooner. Learning the lesson to not push my family aside too often, sometimes causes me to not do everything I want to accomplish, but that’s okay. I’ve also learned to not feel guilty about saying no to a request or not posting for Days 12-21. It’s going to be okay. I can always write more than one post a day to catch up, or maybe I’ll still be posting in October

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