I shared this note with my team on our last day before Fall Break. I hope you find encouragement here, as well.
“Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now
You may have already figured this out, but Fall Break is my favorite break of the year. We’ve navigated the busyness of beginning a new school year and made some progress toward our goals. For me, this break comes at the perfect time. The weather cools, mornings begin on the back porch with a cup of coffee, and evenings end with a backyard fire. It’s not so much a break as it is a pause—the deep breath before diving into winter. I need this break. You need this break. We all need a moment away.
Blaise Pascal wrote, “All of humanity’s problems stem from our inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Most adults lead very busy lives. Teachers, arguably more so. Rarely do we have a moment during our day to call our own, even if it means we just have the chance to catch our breath.
During the break, I encourage you to find time to call your own. Amidst all the plans we make for fun and family, find some time to hide away from it all. Forget, for a few moments, the demands of the classroom, of testing, of dealing with parents, and the demands of your administration and coaches.
You need rest. Spirit, soul, and body all need a break from time to time to face this madness we call life.
The great Stoic philosopher Seneca said, “The mind must be given relaxation; it will rise improved and sharper after a good break.” Stephen Covey reminds us of the 7th habit of Highly Effective People to “sharpen your saw.” Make sure to take care of yourself. We all did this pretty well during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but I fear we may have lost some of these lessons in our return to the world of deadlines and demands.
Please take time for yourself over the break. You won’t regret it.
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