Yeah, I've had this Barry Manilow song in my head for the last 48 hours. I was really beginning to doubt that I was going to be able to hold on until spring break, and then on Friday I woke up and knew that I could do it, that I could make it through one more day ... at which point the Barry Manilow tune started in my head and hasn't really left since then.
But who cares? The important thing is that it's now spring break! And yes, I have tons of grading to do, and I have to finish our taxes, and the house is a total disaster area, plus there's a visit to my family that will take up about half the time off ... but I decided a few days ago that my first and foremost priority was regaining energy and health so that I can enjoy the last two months of school instead of dragging along as I've been doing. Life is too short to be exhausted and miserable, which is how I've spent far too much of my time the last couple of months. No more!
I had actually meant to finish up part of this grading during the last week of classes, but then I got that bad cold with a persistent cough that, combined with the exhaustion I was already working against, completely drained me of every bit of energy. Seriously, I sat down one evening to grade, deliberately choosing a paper that I knew would be pretty good as a way to ease into the project ... and I had started shaking and crying by the halfway point of the paper. I just couldn't make my brain work. So I decided I was doing no one any good, apologized to the students and told them I'd send their papers a few days into break (which I can do since I'm grading them with Notability on my iPad and can just email them), and basically just tried to get through class every day as the limit of what I could accomplish. I think I'm finally ready to tackle some of that grading today, but I'm determined to do it in a relatively leisurely way, with plenty of breaks and no pressure.
Oh, here's one triumph from the last week: Do you remember my frustration with the director of the annual fund, who kept trying to squash my argument for employee giving? Well, I had given a brief announcement to the middle school faculty a few weeks ago, and it went okay, but I was a little off my game, having rushed over to that meeting from another meeting and arriving breathless and wound up. I mean, it was fine, but nothing to write home about. But this past Thursday, we had an upper school faculty meeting first thing in the morning, and I was scheduled to give an annual fund announcement at the very beginning. And friends, I brought the house down! The spirit was in me, and I testified -- all in about 5 minutes, mind you -- and all day long colleagues kept stopping me to say that it was an amazing speech and, in some cases, that they were donating for the very first time because of what I said. So hah! Take that, Miss Annual Fund! To be fair, she did send me an email immediately afterward to say that it was a great speech, so maybe this was a valuable lesson to her that my argument has some merit after all. I also got a lovely note from the head of school, thanking me for my stirring announcement, which she was sure was really going to boost faculty participation in the annual fund. So that was a great way to end classes right before spring break! Plus it was the first time in awhile that I felt like myself -- full of energy and enthusiasm -- which felt very good (even though I was exhausted again by that afternoon and crawled into bed when I got home).
But that is all in the past. Spring Break is the present, and I'm determined to fill it with R&R even though I have no exotic locale and still not a lot of energy.