Monday, April 20, 2020


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April is normally such a busy month in our family. 

We have two birthdays and our dating anniversary to celebrate. 

My parents usually come to visit, which usually means taking on a home improvement project (it's DANGEROUS to leave my dad very long without a project). 

Depending on where Spring Break falls, there might be a trip. 

I often attend a convention for my writing life. 

We usually pack a LOT into those four weeks. 

Needless to say, this is not our typical April. 

And you know what? 
I'm glad. 

FOMO (fear of missing out) is a big source of anxiety for a lot of folks during this time. What does it mean to our relationships and careers if we don't do all the things we're "supposed" to be doing? This is probably why every organization I have any connection to is inundating me with invitations to video meetings and "live online" events. It's more difficult to feel connected if we don't see one another and that's harder for some folks than for others. 

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I, on the other hand, am happy to have more limited interaction with the world. I get a little restless here and there, and there are some events that I have been truly sad to miss out on during this time, but really the quiet has been good. It's been YEARS since I had a proper introvert recharge time--I mean a *really* long one, that refilled my well completely. I probably haven't had one in my entire adult life.

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When I talk to people about my teaching life, they often express jealousy about my "summer vacation"--my weeks of not working. That time away from the classroom to recover really is essential to my ability to keep coming back. 

And each year, I find that I come back a little bit less charged up. Maybe two months used to get me back up to 90% of normal me, but these days? I get back maybe half the energy I lost (and how much I lose seems to grow each year, too) and the build-up pushes me into dangerous burnout territory. 

My running joke is that I've been teaching for 26 years and that the necessary recovery period from that is…26 years.

I've been reading a lot about how this time is helping the earth recovery--people staying home is reducing the strain on the environment and wildlife and air quality are thriving. So, in my next month at home (at this point, I know I have at least one more to go), I'm looking for the JOMO--maybe I'll see a me I haven't seen in years thanks to the slower pace and recovery time. Here's hoping!


  1. I appreciate you facing this right on! There are so many of us who are discovering the wonderful feeling of being 'allowed' to relax, to flow with time rather than have it all assigned and apportioned. None of us want the economic hardship, illness or death affecting us all in one way or another, but there are some wonderful sides to this too. May we not go back, but rather may we go forward!

  2. I had the same experience when I was a teacher. Summer break was adequate to get me ready for the new school year, but it ebbed as time went on.

    I don't know if I could recharge in the current environment, but I have a theory. Even though I'm worrying myself to death over what's going on (and not really getting anything useful done), it would be a relief to go back to school because that would mean that the threat has passed -- or at least become less threatening.

  3. While I don't like why we have to slow down, I have to admit that I'm doing way better with it all and enjoying a quieter life. We have two birthdays we had to miss this month too.

  4. Put your feet up, Samantha! You earned it!