I admit it — I believe in New Year’s resolutions. I don’t really set them in the traditional way, though. It’s more like I give myself certain goals, and they’re not always concrete. Just things I want to accomplish over the next 365 days. One year, my only goal was to say no. It was going to be The Year of Saying No, because I was tired of always being the one who said yes to all these things and problems and etc that I really didn’t need in my life. The year after that was The Year of Not Saying Sorry. I was only going to say sorry if A) I really meant it or B) I had a true reason to apologize. This year, my resolutions look like the world’s most vague to-do list and I’m totally okay with that. There are more on my list, but I’d say these are the most important.
Goal #1: Work Less, Play More
This is the most terrifying and challenging goal on my list. (“DID SOMEBODY SAY CHALLENGE???” – Mari, every day of her life) Those who know me will agree that I am the world’s worst workaholic; actually, through the last few months of 2015, I took this to entirely new heights and I’m still regretting it right now.
Honestly, I worked too hard and too much. I would come home from well over 9 hours at school and then find myself actually struggling to NOT work. I was even dreaming of work. There was no way to tell where work ended and I began, these things were just one and the same. I felt like I was working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I put my writing aside because I had too much on my plate, and that was by no means the only thing I had to give up in order to stay sane between October and December. When I somehow survived to see the first day of Winter Break, I decided I wasn’t going to work for the next two weeks. I’m really glad I did.
I love work. I love my job. I derive such deep satisfaction from knowing that I work hard and succeed at what I do, but I also know my own limits. It’s pretty stupid to know your own limits but then push them too far anyway. I acknowledge this. So, in 2016 I am making an effort to work less. To draw a clearer line between my classroom and my home. This means lots of coloring (I got three coloring books for Christmas; the page in the photo above took me, no joke, a full hour to finish) and guilt-free Korean drama time. I say guilt-free, but I still feel guilt, you know? I just allow myself to ignore it.
… It’s sad that I have to work at not working hahahahahahahaha bYE
P.S. The coloring book pictured above is The Time Garden by Daria Song and I highly recommend it~
Goal #2: Write More Letters
Last summer, one of my favorite people in this universe moved away to Spain. We had been inseparable since the day we met just a little over a year and a half previously, and suddenly I was without that one special person who would sit in Starbucks with me for no reason or have One Direction dance parties in the middle of the night when our Air Force husbands were deployed/working odd schedules. Ever since she left, we’ve kept in touch sporadically, battling an insane time difference and wildly different schedules, but I want to be better at keeping in touch this year. Part of this has been inspired by the post office I started at school for running letters back and forth between classrooms — the joy of sending and receiving letters is, I think, something that a lot of people miss out on. Kids especially don’t even experience this anymore most of the time. Oh, and also, I am that crazy person who owns more stationery than your local Hallmark store. Really, I need an intervention. So I organized all my cards and envelopes and now I am making a conscious effort to send more snail mail.
Goal #3: Scrapbooking
I have never in my life been much of a scrapbooker. I mean, I’ve certainly attempted to be. This year, I’m trying again. I haven’t set myself any huge goals here because I wanted to be realistic about it. Ain’t nobody got time for scrapbooking, not when they work full time and then collapse on their couch at the end of the day like I do. So I’m just going to try and make a page or two for every month this year as a way to get my memories out of my computer and the camera on my phone. I get a lot of inspiration from A Beautiful Mess for this particular goal. They have tons of ideas for how to turn scrapbooking into something that feels clean, new, and modern instead of a giant disaster. Ah, and this blog is a glorified scrapbook, so I’m meeting my goal in more than one way. Work smarter, not harder. Wait, no, I wasn’t supposed to turn yet another hobby into a form of work…
Goal #4: Take More Pictures
Yes, yes, I take a lot of pictures as it is. What I mean by this goal is that I really need to take more pictures for ME, with that fancy camera that I haul around to thither and yon every fall and winter during Christmas Card Season. I take so many pictures of other people and their families (which was one reason why I was overworked, I won’t lie) and yet there’s really only one day a year that I do this for myself, and that’s when I wrangle my husband and dog into OUR annual Christmas card photo. Quite frankly, this is ridiculous. I should be more self serving. I should use my amazing camera for me, myself, and I.
And also I should use it to snap pictures of David doing DIY projects around the house because it makes him super grouchy. See accompanying photo.
Goal #5: Grade Papers With Minimal Whining
No teacher on this earthly plane will tell you that they derive great joy from grading papers. Grading papers is the very antithesis of joy. I can’t be motivated to do it, and yet I have to do it or I can’t get an accurate read on whether my kids are learning anything or not. Teaching is pointless without assessment, and assessment means grading the things I assessed them on. This vicious cycle is further compounded by the exhaustion of doing the actual teaching, plus the 10 billion other things I’m responsible for at work.
Oh, then there’s the part where I sit down to grade the papers and then find myself wanting to jump off the nearest cliff because children write down crazy answers like I TAUGHT THEM NOTHING AT ALL. LOL.
But I have to be less whiny about grading papers. Really. I can’t constantly have this avalanche of things to grade because it interferes with my other 2016 goal of NOT working too much. Having a giant backlog of paperwork to go through = me working too much. So I’ve started developing a system of grading some of it at school during the day (difficult with the group I have this year, they’re extremely clingy and always need me COME ON HUFFLES PLS) and grading some of it at least two evenings a week and on Sunday afternoons. We’ll see how that goes o__O