Monday, October 10, 2011

Priorities, perfectionism and paring down one's precious time

One of my favorite picture books to read to my students is a book entitled "Fortunately".  It's a patterned book. One page says something like "Unfortunately I fell out of a plane.  Fortunately I landed on a hay stack.  Unfortunately I landed on a pitchfork."  It continues to describe the characters fortunes and misfortunes.  I have my students write their own version of a "Fortunately" book.  It serves as a silly reminder to be thankful for what we've got, as things can easily, quickly and randomly change.

Since starting back to work full-time, I've been feeling overwhelmed, maxed out, a bit grumpy and feeling rather alone and poor-me-ish.  While getting in a time-pinched post-nine hour work day workout, I imagined my own "Fortunately" story. 

Fortunately I was able to keep my teaching job while 110 of my valued colleagues were laid off from the school district.

Unfortunately I had to increase my hours and change my position.

Fortunately I rediscovered my love for being a classroom teacher.

Unfortunately the job requires a ton of extra planning and preparation.

Fortunately I am more mentally and creatively challenged than I have been in years and get oodles of hugs and smiles all day long.

Unfortunately working 50 plus hours a week leaves little time for much else.

Fortunately I have an awesome husband who is willing and capable of picking up the slack and our children are getting to spend more quality time with him.

Unfortunately I still can't do all that I used to or want to.  I feel like I'm missing out!

Fortunately I still have time for my family and fitness.

Unfortunately I have to squeeze it in at odd times and have limited time.

Fortunately exercise lifts my spirits and keeps me fit.  Each and every workout has a purpose and is high quality.

Unfortunately my schedule no longer allows me to share workouts and gab-fests with my running/swimming partner or other momma buddies.

Fortunately I have the discipline to go solo on occasion and have met new folks with similar schedules with whom to work out here and there. 

Unfortunately I don't get as much sleep due to uber-early morning workouts and/or wee-morning/late evening teacher planning and prep.

Fortunately I'm there for my family during their waking hours and am ready with fun thoughtful lessons for my students.

Unfortunately I had to put Friday's at Four, visits with out of town family/friends, blogging and facebook on standby.

Fortunately there's enough of me left for those that are nearest and dearest in my heart.

Questions that I regularly ask myself:  What are my priorities?  Do my daily actions reflect those priorities?  What's important to me and worthy of my time and attention?  What takes up my time and attention that isn't worthy?  What am I going to do about that?

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