19 thoughts on “Summer quiet

  1. And you, Johanna! We shall have a coastal break soon, if only for a week or so, but without internet that will be a perfect excuse for walks, exploring, lazing and, of course, reading. Happy holidays! ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. Is this something you do annually? Or do you do it a few times a year? I’d love to know more about this! The idea of trying to implement something like this in my own life (which of course sounds impossible with modernity whispering in my ear) is so appealing.

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      2. I try to do it annually but the no internet part is largely coincidental, I just love spending as much as possible of my summers in the Scandinavian mountains (usually 1-3 weeks but this year I managed four), and the area we usually visit is outside of cell-phone and internet coverage (and things such as roads and indoor running water). That enforced isolation really helps me relax though, and with no work and no internet we get an amazing amount of time to sleep, hike, read, talk and play card games.

        We have discussed making our normal Friday evenings more or less internet-free too, to bring some of that feeling home, but I don’t know if it will work yet.

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      3. That sounds so beautiful. Some of the fondest memories of my youth are taking a vacation to the cabin my grandfather and his brothers built in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Of course that was ages before the internet or cell phones but it was a week of quiet isolation, roaming the woods and just hanging out as a family. I loved it! I think this sort of “enforced isolation” is a brilliant gift nature can give us now, especially in our hyper-connected lives.

        What a wonderful summer tradition! The idea of bringing a piece of that home in the form of your Friday nights would be an interesting challenge. If it works, I’m sure it would be nourishing for the soul.

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      4. That sounds very much like my summers and I agree, of course, that it is a beautiful gift. The summers that I have had to do without any extended time in nature I have really felt the loss.

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      5. I always start to think about this now – as summer slowly starts to turn into fall and my teaching load picks up again. It’s so easy to fall back into work and “daily life” so completely so quickly again. But then you miss those last few gasps of warmth and beauty outside before the winter blanket falls.

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      6. Yes!!! Yes, yes, yes, YES!!!! I say this ALL THE TIME! Oh my gosh, I love it. I literally just told someone teaching expands to fill whatever free time I have available yesterday. This is clearly another example of great minds thinking alike :).

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      7. Isn’t that a weird saying? Wouldn’t it be much easier to argue that great minds don’t think alike and that that’s part of their greatness? Not that I don’t agree with you in this particular case ๐Ÿ™‚

        I guess I should sometimes remember the engineer saying that “good enough is perfect” also when it comes to teaching.

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      8. You know…I’ve never thought about it but that really is a weird saying. When we think of “great minds” they tend to be the people who see things differently. Huh – now the skeptical part of me wonders if the root of that saying is just to low key endorse a status quo and keep people complacent. Gah! Now I’ll be overthinking this all afternoon BUT it will give me something to think about instead of just grading so it’s all alright in the end :).

        Also, I think the “good enough is perfect” is super helpful. But it’s so hard! I always struggle with not wanting to just coast. But every lesson, in reality, can’t be the “best thing ever” and to try and do that sets us up with unrealistic and unhealthy expectations. But finding – and adhering to – that line can be difficult. It is a regular struggle of mine with teaching.

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      9. Well, it’s Sunday, overthinking sounds like a better plan than grading ๐Ÿ™‚

        I do believe that good teaching requires more than just being good enough, at least for it to keep being challenging and rewarding, but what I’m trying to learn is to not stress beyond the point of good enough. If I can make it even better, excellent, but if I don’t have the time it will be ok anyway and I can make a note about improving things for next year instead. Sounds like an excellent approach in theory doesn’t it? Only problem I have found is that it is hard to implement ๐Ÿ™‚

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      10. Well, if/when you figure out any secret, please let me know! I could certainly use them myself. This is exactly it – you’ve captured that struggle perfectly. It’s so hard to be able to step away like that even when it’s in the best interest of mental health and longevity in the job. Because I love what I do! I certainly don’t want to burn out. But I can understand why people do.

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      11. Yeah, it is scary. I suspect I came a bit too close last spring when things piled up badly. I thought I would be fine as I had a a quiet Easter week planned for rest and recovery, but it turned out that a week isn’t necessarily enough any more. It was ok though as the rest of the spring wasn’t too demanding but it took until after my disconnected summer before I functioned normally again. I would prefer not to make that mistake again…

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      12. I talk about this in therapy regularly, how to maintain that healthy work/life balance that seems so elusive for teachers. (I’m sure its elusive for many jobs but teaching is the world I know.) Last spring was rough for me too. I began therapy then because there was A LOT piling up in my life and I needed professional help sorting it all. Work was a real part of that. I learned I had an adjustment disorder presenting with depressive symptoms. Basically it meant I was taking on too much and neglecting my self-care to the point where my brain was shutting down (I became frozen at even the simplest of choices and my extroversion was stripped away – both of which made teaching extra hard) because I wasn’t caring for myself. So my brain was telling me, “Hey, if you don’t stop and set some healthy boundaries I’ll make you stop until you do.”

        Therapy has been a life-changer but, after getting everything back together by the beginning of summer, I found myself worrying a lot about how to keep it that way now that school’s back. How do I my job in a way I feel good about while not sacrificing my mental health, peace of mind, and general life outside work? It’s hard!

        So yeah, I guard my free time ferociously. I do nothing work related over summer and, quoting one of my best friends at work, I tell the kids before all breaks during the year, “I’m not giving you homework so don’t expect me to do anything either.” But perhaps the trickiest part of that balance is always the work day and my evening/weekend time.

        But we’re at least aware of the problem! And we’re watching it so I think that means we’re at least SORT OF winning here :).

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      13. Of course we are winning here, after all identifying the problem is the first step ๐Ÿ™‚

        For me it is usually my short-time memory that is the first obvious problem, when I start to need lists for everything I know I’m in trouble. I can also start to cry for no reason, which is very embarrassing but at least tends to get my attention…

        Yeah, keeping evenings and weekend free from work stress is definitely the hardest part. I’ll have to start working on that balance again next week. This week is field week so I expect no balance at all, but I’ll count it as a win if I and all my, fortunately adult, students make it home in one piece…

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      14. Well I’ll keep my fingers crossed and say a few extra prayers for all :). Good luck!

        And I’ve done the crying thing too. I’ll find myself weeping over the simplest decisions when it gets real bad. It’s another of my brain’s favorite ways to get me to stop and evaluate what I’m doing. You’re right too – it DOES get my attention.

        I try to have something really exciting and comparatively “easy” to invest myself in for at least an hour or two before bed – a favorite book, a mindless show, whatever. The idea is to have something to draw me away from the work for at least a little “me time” before bed. However it doesn’t always hook me.

        I am a HUGE proponent of journaling though! I’ve done that for years and it’s always served as a way to help me organize my thoughts and my life. Sometimes it’s a quick entry and sometimes it goes for an hour or more but it is often one of the most cathartic parts of my day.

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      15. Thank you! Field week is usually a lot of fun too, it is just so much logistics….

        I agree on the quiet hour before bed, I try that too. Unfortunately I’m terrible at journaling, it would be useful as my memory is bad even when I’m not stressed, but I never manage to get into the habit. Keeping track of my reading is the closest I’ve come, I guess I’m just better with spreadsheets ๐Ÿ™‚

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