Now That I'm Not Teaching

So, in case you missed it, I'm not teaching this year. There were many reasons for that, all of them legit, but now that I'm spending my days without any real excuse to talk about grammar or literature it's a little difficult to remember exactly what those reasons were and what made them so significant in the first place!

I kid, of course. This is what the Lord had for me this year and even though I miss teaching immensely, there are a few perks to being able to stay home. As I've done many times before, I thought I'd share them here as a bit of a visible reminder to myself that I am not, in fact, living a miserable existence simply because I'm no longer in the classroom. Sometimes it feels that way- after all, teaching is who I am. It's part of my personality, part of my gifts, and really part of my identity. But the opportunity to take a year off is one that I'm trying to be grateful for, so here are a few reasons why. (Also, one of my FAQ's right now is "What are you up to these days?" This- plus an unhealthy amount of online shopping- is it!)

1. I have time to read. In the past year or so, I had gotten way better about actually going to the library and checking out books because I wanted to read them, not because I was forced to for a class. (Looking at you, Silas Marner.) But when I was still at school, there just wasn't as much time (duh) and now there is. It's a huge pick-me-up to be able to go the library every couple of weeks and fill up my bag with new books. (And in case you missed it, my recent stack was discussed at length right here.) I've read over 30 books this summer and it's been glorious. As always, if you're in need of a book recommendation, head to Janssen's book index for inspiration. Or just start with The Wednesday Wars... you won't regret it!

2. Two words: sleeping in. Now, before you get the wrong idea, I'm not living an alarm-clock-free life and snoozing the day away. I do have SOME discipline (not much, but some.) But after years and years (pretty much since kindergarten) of being forced to be up early every day for nine months out of the year, it thrills my sleep-loving heart to be able to sleep until 8:00 because I can and not because I hit snooze didn't hear my alarm and am thrown into a late-for-school frenzy. Many times while I was teaching I asked myself (with great regret) why in the WORLD I had chosen a career path that forced me to be not only awake but alert and ready to impart essential information at an early hour every day. Getting a little reprieve from that schedule is no trial, I promise.

3. I've got the morning routine I've always wanted. This naturally follows the whole sleeping later thing, but there were many, many things that I've always wanted to do in the morning but, let's be honest... I wasn't going to get up at 5:30 to do. One of those is exercising. When I was teaching, I tried to exercise a few days a week, at least by walking a mile or two, but getting up before school to do it just wasn't going to happen. All that plus a shower and "getting ready" time- have you SEEN my hair? It would take me longer to blow-dry my ridiculous mop than it would to actually work out, so... no. But now I can get up and exercise before I start my day (or before I change my mind.) Also, I've always read that you should have your Bible reading/devotion time in the morning but again... the whole early thing... so since I am lazy super spiritual I'd wait until nighttime, but now I can do that in the morning too!

4. I can go to lunch! I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but for all these years I've never been able to meet a friend for lunch (or breakfast, for that matter) because of school. So, now I can meet someone in the middle of the day without getting a substitute or rushing back for study hall. A little thing, but I enjoy having the option!

5. After years of talking about it, I can start on my book. Since I was a teenager, I've wanted to write a biography about Papaw's life. And even though I'm still in the very earliest stages (aka looking through mounds of pictures and a few news articles, and mostly just thinking it over, I'm finally getting started! Papaw was SUCH an amazing person and the more I've found out about his life, the more I'm itching to tell his story. It's a pretty massive undertaking (and I'm totally intimidated after reading this!) but I think it's really important for our family and for a lot of people because he was so inspiring. And what better time than during my indefinite hiatus? So, now I'm like Cosmo Brown on Singin' in the Rain... "I can finally start suffering and write that musical!" 

So, even though I'm not nearly as busy as I'm used to being, I'm trying to enjoy this season. Soon (we hope!) we'll be traveling to different churches and before I know it it'll be time to move across the country and start a BIG new chapter, so a little downtime to read, write, and even exercise (gasp!) is something I'll look back on fondly, I'm sure. (And let's be honest... I look back on a lot of things about teaching fondly, but waking up early will NEVER be one of them. Amen and amen.) 


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