Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking in the Rear View Mirror

As the end of the year approaches, I am already planning a brand-new, fresh start for the year to come. As a teacher I really get two "New Year's Days". One in August as the school year starts with new faces and routines, and one as the next calendar turns to its first page. Both are used as a renewal in all parts of my life, although I often have higher hopes than reality allows.

So today I am spending some time looking over my shoulder to reflect on the successes and positive changes I have made over the last year. I am much more organized here at home than in years past, thanks to FlyLady and the support of my Twisters. My closets are in good order with clean clothes in season and very little clutter stashed, I shop and cook from a menu more often than not and I feel in control of my day most of the time. Having daily routines means we have a home that is comfortable for my family and ready to invite guests over regularly. Having a menu and shopping list means that I can delegate the shopping and/or the cooking too. That is definitely motivation for me.

I am also drawn now to see what goals fell by the wayside, or parts of my life that were neglected or ignored over the past year. I was really doing well with fitness in the middle of June. I cannot remember what it was that got me away from eating right and exercising regularly, but I know that by the time August rolled around, I was out of the keeping healthy loop. That is a habit that fell away, but I need to make it a goal to get back to moving five or six days a week. The part of my life that has really been neglected this year is my spiritual self. Since truth comes by hearing, and hearing comes from the word of God, I feel I need to recommit to reading God's word on a regular basis. The rest of my life will fall into place when I get His Spirit back into my life every day.

My job has been very challenging over the past year and a half, but feels especially so this school year. I do know the feeling began when I became team leader for my teaching group, and many responsibilities that I used to share with other teachers have fallen completely to me. I had all new teachers on my team last year, so I think last year's challenges are understandable. This year we only had one new teacher, but the situation has really not improved. I want to be able to walk away from work with it "finished" at the end of the day. Instead, I work until 5 or 5:30 each day, go home and after the boys are in bed I do at least another hour of tasks. In the end I am not finished and need time during the weekend to catch up. My boss has told me that if I find I have a problem, I can't complain about it unless I have a possible solution. So I have proposed passing on the team leader status to two of my more experienced teammates. They can each do the extra tasks for a quarter of the school year, and I will just do my portion of the tasks. Whew. I feel better already. Now I just need to try to work on streamlining more of what I do and become more efficient with my time at school. I want to be done at 4 p.m. every day, or at least most days. Now how do I do that?

Whatever I end up resolving, I need to remember to enjoy life and the people in it. Then I need to toss that rear view mirror aside and focus on the ride ahead.

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