Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Requiem for Summer Break

It's the last week of my summer vacation.  I have two week days left, and I'm trying to live in each moment as if they were days long.  

I'm convinced I can figure this out, and savor what little time I have left.

Am I ready to go back to work?  Well, more or less. There's not a lot of prepping I can do, and I don't intend to spend what hours I have left actually working.  There will be time enough for that when I'm back on the clock.  If you don't keep your home life separate from your professional life, your job will consume everything.  

This year with a change in my curriculum, I'll be flying by the seat of my pants for at least the first quarter, trying new things, tweaking lesson plan, searching for better things to do.  Some things will be eliminated, and a little of the old will stay, but I'm trying to instill fresh ideas this year without a lot of resources.  

And yes, I'm trying to make it fun.  That's always the goal of teachers, but if I brought in cupcakes and we had a class party in the name of fun, there'd be about a quarter of the class complaining that they don't want cupcakes.  Because that's just how kids are. Lol. Fun is relative to a lot of things.

We shall see how they respond to the Brownie Points Reward System.  I'll be trying out new brownie recipes on them when they earn the reward.  I have discovered that Betty Crocker mixes aren't great, but Pillsbury mixes are yummy.  However, using purchased mixes would be costly, so I'll just make them from scratch.

Am I excited about going back to work?  Really?  Even though these six weeks off were unpaid, I much more enjoy my days off than my stressed-out days.  Which is nearly every work day.  It's just the nature of the beast.  I'm working to become type B instead of type A, just for the sake of my health.  If I could have flipped a switch and been instantly mellowed out, I would have done it years ago and probably been happier for it.
From makingitteacher.com

Honestly, I was too afraid to be unworried.  Work politics, money, family, natural disasters, terrorism, relationships... (Especially that one who was so awful to me) I have never felt safe enough to mentally relax.

I haven't had a migraine since the week before I disastrously injured my foot and ankle.  I am absolutely thrilled.  I don't know for sure what the cause of them might be, but I've noticed a few things.  This summer, while my stress was low, I was able to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  While I have had headaches every few days, they didn't turn into migraines and ibuprofen stopped them within three doses.  (Often just one dose, though.)  Another thing I've done is that I've had green juice just about every day.  

I've been juicing to lose weight, but for sooooome reason I can't get through most days without ending up at a restaurant. :(.  So I've lost six pounds and now I'm stuck.  

The point is that sometimes migraines are caused by a sodium deficiency, which does not get resolved with table salt.  Celery, on the other hand, has plenty of the right kind of sodium, and what do you know?  My green juice is always heavy on the celery.  My fridge tends to freeze and rubberize celery in about one day, so I usually put in the whole bundle of celery for my Mean Green.  

A couple of times, I felt a headache coming on, drank Mean Green, and my headache vanished. Yep, it did.  I would honestly rather drink green veggie juice (and veggies are not my love) than take Imitrex and Toradol.  I firmly believe that God provided us with plants that heal and when we shy away from them in favor of fast food, then we start having issues.   I might start keeping celery sticks in my fridge at work, to munch on in case of a headache.  

I made myself a cute yardstick box for file folders on my typically sloppy desk.  (Nobody has yet complained about that but me, but it bugs me.) I love my new workbench.  That box only took me about an hour to make, and the clamps made it so much simpler.  Add in my jigsaw and drill, plus a little hammering, and I was set.  I really want to build some more things for my room, but I just don't know what yet.  Maybe a rolling shelving unit for the microwave and mini fridge. It wouldn't be that difficult to design and build.  I'd learn how to attach casters.  

I learn several new skills with each new project, so they're all useful in several ways.  On the tomato cages I built, I learned that Thompson's Water Seal becomes sticky if you overlap coats, but it really does work.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to seal them all completely before I needed them.  

I still need to build a couple more underbed drawers for my bedroom.  I'd like a couple of crate-style shelves too.  Some gallery ledges for the living room. Pegboard in the storage room on the carport.  More pegboard in my studio.  A kitchen tray. A therapy ramp for stretching my plantar fascia, which is in a state of over tightening itself and making every step tearful for me.  

And I lose most of my creative time when I go back to work, so I'll be a bit depressed, I'm sure.  

However, I would like to know why I develop a headache after I've been in my classroom for a couple hours.  Is it environmental?  Am I straining my neck?  Is it stress causing a hormone imbalance?  Hm. 

On the brighter side, I've found a wonderful recipe for instant Chai Tea Latte Mix that I'll be enjoying at work and home.  It's delicious, and I can just about placebo-effect myself into calming down whenever I drink it.  So, cheers!  (I have to thank my eldest nephew, the barista, for turning me on to them.  He's a genius and usually knows what I will like.)  They have lots fewer calories, than say, a Dirty Snowman Frappe.  Lol 

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