You’ve heard it before — you know you should, but are you taking time for yourself? Balance is so important, especially as a teacher. It’s easy to get sucked into work. It’s never done.
Debbie Diller (one of my favorite educational gurus) started “peace partners” on her blog. It is about inspiring teachers to find peace in this hectic job that leaves little time for ourselves. Check it out!
Here are some ideas that will have you leaving those ungraded papers in the basket and racing out of your classroom to have a little fun:
- Seasonal mani/pedi: I made a pact with some of my teacher friends to pamper us once a season. During fall break, winter break, spring break, and summer break we schedule a day to get our nails done together. Four times a year doesn’t feel excessive (for our schedule or our bank account), and those breaks are perfect timing for a little self-indulgence. By going with a friend or 2, you’re more likely to remember to do it, and having a friend makes it twice as fun!
- Take a hike: or a jog, or just a walk. It really is worth it. Some of my coworkers get up at a ridiculous hour to squeeze in a workout before school starts (which is not for me –I’m not a morning person). Some of my coworkers go for a walk around the track at lunchtime. I squeeze in a walk on the treadmill right before I go to bed. Whenever you can squeeze a little exercise or fresh air into your day, do it. The buddy system works the best.
- Join a book club: How often do you read for fun? Do you remember what reading for “fun” is like? Some of the retired teachers I used to work with started a book club as a way of staying connected to everyone. We meet about once a month, and we’ve never had more fun together! It’s amazing how much a change of atmosphere and a change of topic can transform your relationship with your coworkers.
- ABC Dating: Stuck in a rut? Feel like you’re going from work, to bed, back to work again? Spice up your relationship with something new. A coworker told me about ABC dating – go on a date that begins with the letter A, then B, etc. My husband and I have had so much fun with this, when we get to Z we’re going right back to A!
A is for Art class— We went to a 2-hour “Corkscrew and Clay” art class at a local art studio. The artist provided appetizers, clay, and lessons on how to make something out of clay. We brought a bottle of wine a group of friends, and A LOT of laughs! At the end of our class I got to bring home my handmade vase, and my husband brought home his wine chiller. We had so much fun that we are planning on going back soon!
B is for Butterfly Pavilion—It’s not just for the kids! The Butterfly Pavilion really is a beautiful, magical, and romantic place where colorful creatures flutter all around you. They host special ‘date nights’ for adults only with dinner and a walk through their butterfly garden.
C is for Cave of the Winds
E is for Ethiopian food—It was our first time trying Ethiopian food. I was a fan of the spicy flavors, the drops of puréed food, and eating with pancake-like bread instead of silverware (though my husband probably won’t try that experience again). To get started, I checked out 5280 Magazine’s Top of the Town Restaurant picks for Ethiopian food.
F is for Fondue—The Melting Pot is our favorite fondue restaurant! 5280 magazine has a deal a couple times a year where you get a 4 course meal for 2 (cheese fondue, salad, a variety of meats – I highly recommend the mojo dipping oil— and a chocolate dessert) and a bottle of wine for $52.80. A fantastic deal!
I is for Independent Film—My husband and I both read the book The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo right before the film came out. We couldn’t wait to see it!
K is for King Tut—The Denver Art Museum had a special King Tut exhibit we couldn’t miss!
L is for Las Vegas!
M is for MGM Grand Hotel— Vegas is an expensive trip, and since we stayed at the MGM, we thought it deserved to be 2 letters!
N if for New Mexico—We saw the sand dunes, went spelunking through the Carlsbad Caverns, and we even got to see a bat flight!
O is for Orchestra– Boys II Men had a concert, and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra was their band! It was incredible! It brought back a lot of memories from Junior High and High School. They said the next step in their career is to tour the US like this. If they come your way, I highly recommend it! They are incredible!
P is for painting— We had a Paint-N-Sip class with Joan Fullerton. She is an amazing artist who also happens to be the grandmother of one of my students last year! We had a 3 hour class with wine, a group of our friends, and she taught us how to paint poppies! It was SO much fun! Even the guys were surprised at how much fun it was to let out those creative juices. Everyone’s paintings were unique and amazing! We ALL can’t wait to do it again! Next time we’re going to try collage I think . . .
Q is for Quandary Peak–In July my friend, Gina, will take us to her parents cabin in the mountains and be our guide to the top of Quandary Peak! It is supposed to be one of the easiest 14ers to climb in Colorado; I’ll let you know! (For my non-native Colorado friends, a 14er is a mountain that is at least 14,000 feet high.) It’s practically required that all Coloradans climb a 14er, but my husband (originally from Texas) has never done it, so we’re really looking forward to this adventure!
Not only have my husband and I had a blast with ABC dating, but our friends and family also love hearing about the next letter adventure we’re undertaking. Whenever we see them, they have a new idea to add to our list. I keep a list of all the date ideas on my phone, so when the time comes, we have a few things to choose from. I’ll keep you posted on our next letter adventure . . .