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Sleep Races & Fellowship

To me, the best part of the week if Friday.  Even the school day part of Friday is filled with anticipation of what could be.  Once 4 o'clock rolls around - IT IS ON!  The funny thing is, I don't do much that could be considered epic, noteworthy or even all that exciting on the weekends and holidays.  But I love knowing that I will have some time to slow down, be with the people I love and engage in pursuits that I choose.  Having this time allows me to return to school on Mondays with a fresh perspective, improved attitude and invigorated sense of purpose.

Two of the simple weekend activities I like best are:

  • Having a Sleep Race.  The person who wakes up last in the winner.  I live with my two teenage sons, so this is an incredibly hard race to win.  In fact, I have one exactly once and I think it was because I had the flu.  Even the loser of the sleep race wins (usually me), because that person gets some time alone with her coffee and the paper - outside if the weather is nice.  Heaven!  Extra sleep helps me to be less tired and potentially grouchy during the week.  Time alone allows me to reflect on school, world events, kids, coffee, the grocery list...  Good stuff.

  • Seeing Family. I have six siblings and nine nieces and nephews.  Most of them live in other states.  Fortunately, a short drive up or down I-95 will get me in close proximity to a larger group.  Seeing my parents helps me remember the love and many sacrifices that sustained a large group of unruly children over the decades.  If I ever think, "this situation is impossible," seeing them will help me realize that it is not.  My brothers and sisters are a hilarious group of people.  I can always expect to laugh when we are together.  That kind of unmitigated joy goes a really long way.  My nieces and nephews are clever, funny, and kind.  Being with them keeps me up on timely issues pertinent to preschoolers, teenagers and young adults.  I always feel energized by their company.  The icing on this particular cake is seeing my own children interact with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in lively and meaningful ways.  My oldest son calls this "fellowship" which has become the generally recognized term for being together as Ironsides.  "Love is a force more formidable than any other."
It is important for all teachers to remember that life should be lived both in and out of the classroom.  I was not always good at making my free time free.  But enjoying the time we have with others, pursuing our own interests and resting up for the hard (but joyful) work we face each week, makes for a better, happier, more balanced teacher.