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Christmas – boy was I looking forward to it!
I was teaching in Dallas, and it had been a busy half year. I wanted to maximize my enjoyment of the two week Christmas break following that I would have a visit from my son.
On the last day of school before the Christmas break, I sent my eager students to the classroom designated for the Christmas celebration for my grade level. In that room they would view movies and eat snacks, and basically party all day long. I saw my moment of escape. I decided to go to the nurse’s office and see if she would let me lay down for a while. I knew she had to give students first opportunity to lie down if they were not feeling well, but I doubted that any of them would miss their party time with classmates.
Yippee! It looked like I was going to be able to take a 30 minute power nap. The nurse welcomed me, and I laid down and went right to sleep. I slept so well, that I lost all sense of time. When I woke up, I planned to sneak into the classroom and join in the celebration. I discovered that I had been there in that school nurse’s office for several hours. Party time and the school day was actually almost over.
I left at the end of the day eager to get ready for my son to visit on Christmas. I slept late for several days, and still felt super exhausted. I knew my son had only Christmas Day off from his job. He and his fiancé caught the bus right after he got off work and were picked up and taken to her family’s home. He called me and let me know they had arrived, and that he wanted me to come and pick him up early Christmas Day so we could spend a lot of time together.
I asked him to call me early the next morning, because I hadn’t seen him in several months. When he called, I promised to be there in 30 minutes. Two hours later, he called me again because I had fallen asleep. During this second call, I could not believe what I did after his call. I fell asleep again.
I finally woke up enough to go pick him up at 2:30pm. I went to get him and we traveled back to my house and prepared to eat and exchange gifts. We both are avid movie watchers, so after eating we put a movie into the DVD player, and I got on the couch and fell asleep. I didn’t mean to – I fully intended to spend time with my son.
Instead, every 30 minutes or so I woke up and apologized for sleeping during our rare time together. Before I knew anything, it was time to take him to the bus depot so he could meet with his fiancé and return home.
It ends up that our travel time was the most enjoyable moments that we had together on that day. We chatted and had big fun.
I planned to party and watch movies with my students. I intended to spend time with my son on Christmas. I meant to have many waking moments during the Christmas break. It didn’t happen that way. I had to acknowledge that I had overworked myself to the point of exhaustion. It was a lesson for me – a message that the best way for me to enjoy those rare times of extended fellowship is to take care of myself all throughout the year.