A few days ago I wrote a post about being too busy.  A few hours after I published that post, I recognized something familiar.  Back in 2009, after the ER visit, I went to my immediate supervisor, told her how my health was suffering from job related stress, and I asked to have some things taken off my plate.  She agreed.  A year later, the plate was loaded back up.  Well, by then, I had lost the first 40 pounds and was determined to stick to my program.  So instead of being a “team player”, I got mad.  I established some new boundaries.  I became what I used to dislike – a contract hours teacher.  They paid me for 35 hours.  I used to work 60-70 hours a week.  No more.  I would  work 40.  That’s it.  I had to take my life back.

Any job will run you as far into the ground as you let it.  I was done with it.  I worked my ass off for 15 years, paid for my own additional training, did my own research, implemented new practices – did way more than was expected.  And still more was loaded on.  But I let that happen.  I mistakenly thought that when it was too much, I could give some things up.  I realized that no matter how hard I worked, I would never be caught up, would never save every kid, and would never be able to change the system to work the way I thought it should.   I needed to put the brakes on the fast track to an early grave.

I withdrew.  I stayed in my room and taught.  I didn’t get involved.  I didn’t stay late.  Instead of being the last car out of parking lot every evening, I was the first.  Gym time became an appointment with myself that I kept everyday.  Being at home more, while always a priority, moved up to the first spot.  Changing the world – not so important anymore.

Now, three years later, some things have changed at work and I decided to poke my head up and try to get involved.  Wanted to be a team player this year.  Turns out that is not a healthy decision at all.   The sense of frustration I’ve been feeling is really just a huge caution sign to be careful.  Probably not a healthy decision.  Good to trust the gut.  I need to fall back and focus on teaching again.  There is a lot of negativity around there – best plan for me is to avoid it.

So the blessing disguised as a trial is that I don’t need to worry about work.  No need to feel frustrated.   I will teach.  Period.  I have amazing students and their energy feeds mine.  When I’m not at work, I’m not going to work.  I have big  plans that don’t have anything to do with my job because I’ve already achieved every goal I’ve set for myself there.  I have new goals now.  The decision I made in 2009 still stands.

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