Wednesday, March 9, 2022

My blog post title today might seem a bit dramatic…

Let me explain…

I am piggybacking off of The Lazy Genius podcast and Modern Mrs. Darcy blog. Both of these ladies, Kendra and Anne, have taken this question from author Barbara Brown Taylor. They periodically update their audiences with answers to this question. Brown Taylor says that is the more positive side of the question, “What’s killing you right now?”, which people seem ready to answer at the drop of a hat; we as humans do really like to complain, no? This resonated with me each time I read or heard the responses and it prompted me to name my things that are saving me right now. Forgive me if I am a broken record, because I probably am in some of my responses. I do a version of this each Friday with Friday Favorites, but today I will go a bit deeper.

  1. Meal Prep

I choose to take a bit of time on the weekend to make my life easier during the week. Last weekend I did a breakfast casserole and the weekend before I did breakfast burritos, boiled some eggs, and baked some potatoes, along with cooking up some cauliflower rice. I usually watch a show while I cook and I just really enjoy this time and consider it a gift to my future self – or my self of a few days later – ha! I use this throughout the week and I do vary what I prep each week.

In addition to that, I also make two-three lunches for myself and my work meal prep partner.

This week I made chicken sausage, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, and potatoes:

and turkey meatballs, fake pasta (made from hearts of palm), and broccoli.

I am a reflective person and when I reflect on this school year, one of the highlights will be our lunches. That may sound silly, but it really helped me to be healthier and to lose weight. I didn’t feel that I was sacrificing and it was nice to have someone to share in the lunch duty. We can’t easily order in or do anything but bring a lunch as teachers and we both say we have never eaten better.

So, this may be silly, but it really helped/is helping us through one of the hardest years of our teaching careers. I keep it pretty positive here on the blog, but teaching has gotten much harder and it was already crazy hard. Supporting young people during a pandemic is hard. The responsibilities placed in the hands of schools that trickle down to little ol’ me are overwhelming. The technology addiction is crazy. We have opened Pandora’s Box and I don’t think we can close it now. I could say more, but I won’t.

2. The hints of spring weather we have been having

Yeah, so it’s cold again this week, but the respite from the cold was good for me. Even though I knew it wasn’t really spring yet, it reminded me of what spring feels like and looks like. I love when the world comes to life again. Winter in a pandemic is even more depressing! So, why not move to a warmer climate? I love the four distinct-ish seasons and maybe I like to complain about winter like other old people – I don’t know. I do think the winter helps us to appreciate the spring and summer.

3. Boundaries between work and home life

I have gotten better about just not checking email after I arrive home and not checking it until I get to school the next morning. I mean…am I ever going to get good news via work email? Probably not! I am going to get a message about or an email from a student saying, “can I still make up this assignment?” and I can just tell them the next day in class or respond during my work hours. Please don’t think I don’t care, because I do. I am willing to work with kids up to an hour before school starts any day of the week or most days after school for as long as they need. But, we have got to create more of a work/life balance in this age of 24/7 availability.

I actually took work email off of my phone and can only access it by using my phone’s browser or getting out my laptop. I also got rid of Google Classroom on my phone and my school’s grading program app.

I am a much better teacher when I get the rest I need to be 100% the next day at school!

So… what’s saving you right now?


16 thoughts on “What’s Saving You Right Now?

  1. Thank you, that was so nice to read! Yes, teaching is hard, and if it hadn’t been for the breaks I don’t know if I could do it… I love the kids, and I love to plan my own work, but the pressure is immense!
    So for what’s saving me, I’m totally with you! I don’t meal prep, but I plan things so there’s food in the fridge for the late work days…
    Spring, yes! I complain a lot about the weather, but I know that I wouldn’t feel this euphoria about warmer days if it hadn’t been for the dreadful winter…!
    The boundaries – yes on that! I don’t have mail on my phone, and I don’t give out my phone number to parents and students…


    1. Thank you! The breaks are life-giving! Planning is the same concept!
      So true – I love the word euphoria. Do you have a favorite English word?
      Oh no- in the US most teachers don’t give out their numbers – at least I don’t think they do! I don’t!


  2. That’s a good question I need to ponder! I do think your meal prepping is gold, especially the lunch arrangements you and Elizabeth made. It’s a great way to help both of you. The balance between work and home life is always a struggle for a teacher so good for you – emails can wait. I always tell my co-workers to log off and not touch the computer at the end of the day and NEVER have that work email on your phone. We are not in the lifesaving business and NOTHING is that important.


    1. It’s maybe a good mental health question? Yes – the meal prep has been such a great thing for me. My lunches of past years were sad. It really is so hard to achieve that balance. That is so great that you mentor your co-workers in that way. I try to be a mentor for mine, too.


  3. This is really hard for me to answer– mostly because I don’t think anything is every killing me. LOL. I have things I enjoy but I can’t say they are saving me either. They just put a smile on my face and I work really hard to embrace all those moments and things in life so I can mostly be content.


    1. That is a good problem to have! Well, they can just be little things that make you happy – like more sunshine, a certain brand of pen – anything!
      So, you have those things like you say! You have curated a really nice life!


  4. Even though I’m not a classroom teacher anymore, I can see how much school and students have changed in the past few years. Combining covid with too much technology has been tough on everyone. I love hearing what’s saving you right now – always some great perspectives and ideas.


  5. I love listening to The Lazy Genius podcast and that is the first time I’d heard of the what’s saving me now question. I am not so sure what’s saving me now. I think the hints of spring are one and perhaps my list notepad. I’ll have to keep thinking. Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi– I just want you to know that I enjoy reading your blog! I also like coffee and cocktails, have a freshman in college, believe in and support public education, try to prepare and eat healthy meals, etc etc! Thank you for sharing (: Julie from Texas


  7. I never put my work email on my phone this year. I used to have it in Colorado. It’s NOT WORTH IT. I have Remind on my phone but that actually was more for Wells’ teacher to contact me than it was for my own class’ parents. The second my maternity leave starts, I’m deleting that ish.


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