I resigned from my teaching job, that required a drive 1 hour each way. I finished up the semester and settled into winter break for a pause.
The pause began with freakishly brutal winds and 30 below windchills that my dogs could not even stand with their little hot pink parkas on. It was the kind of cold where no one goes anywhere for a few days. My pause began with a dead stop. Scented candles, heat turned up, fire place going, dog cuddles, and quiet boredom filled the beginning days of winter break.
My pause continued with laying low for the holidays. I considered every vacation imaginable, both in the states and international. I checked on dog kennel options. I have my passport ordered. I was going to just pause until at least March, but on January 3, 2023, I woke up with my next plan. I started applying for jobs and I really want to be teaching again soon or doing something that lights me up the way teaching does. I am not at peace with leaving my dogs while I travel. They are my babies. Down the road, I will go places. My elderly dog is a little sick, and my new dog is a clingy little baby, and it does not feel right at this time. I don’t feel my soul needs a vacation as much as I just need ongoing reasons for getting up in the morning.
I am going to work on fixing the house, find a job nearby, and continue to spoil my dogs. That might not seem amazing, but just two weeks ago, I could not figure out what I was going to do with any level of decisiveness. I traveled the globe in my imagination and arrived back here in on piece with some rational decision making skills.
Trauma, grief, and overall exhaustion got me to the place where I needed to pause. It was necessary to do a reset. My former job did not serve me well because of the exhausting commute. Another job, but closer to home, should put things in better balance.
By changing jobs, I will get 10 hours of my life back a week. This can be time to eat planned meals, exercise, and maybe read or socialize. In a month, I get 40 hours back— equivalent to a whole extra work week of time. Our time is our most precious resource and I hope to use mine a little more resourcefully in the New Year. How can you find more time to take better care of yourself this year?