It has arrived: the eve before the first day of school.
Don’t worry, it’s only my 21st year on a school schedule, and I still get night-before-the-first-day jitters. Though I’ll admit I’m more nervous than usual this year; I was unexpectedly moved from a therapy position I’d been looking forward to all summer to a classroom/therapy combo with an age group (first grade) with which I’ve had little experience. Although at first I was sleepless with anger, bitterness, and disappointment, I’ve confronted those feelings and hope to put them behind me. I’m determined to approach the year with positivity; There is much to learn, and OH MY GRACIOUS the first-graders are so loveable.
I have a vague idea about what the school day will look like for me – we have a schedule planned out, but I’m anxious to see how we have to adjust, or how long transitions take with these older students. But, because I’ve recently been fascinated by others’ daily routines (See here, here, and here. ), I’ve already started to think through what a “skeleton” schedule of my weekday looks like – even if I don’t quite know the classroom part. In many ways, this stark change in daily life – from unfettered summertime laziness, to schedule school craziness – feels like I’m in Little House on the Prairie and we’re stocking up to stay inside for the long winter or something else ridiculous. But I know (thanks Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project!) that productivity improves when we make a schedule. This year, I hope my schedule helps me incorporate more time for reading each morning, and less wasted time when I get home from work.
And so, the minutiae of my day, if you will allow.
5:45ish … wake up (spend some gratuitious moments petting Franklin and kissing him on his head while he yawns and stretches. Yes, it’s early on both of us, friend. Thanks for waking up with me). Throw on work-out clothes. Put on the coffee. Clip on Franklin’s leash and harness. Treck out for a walk / run (depending on how we feel).
6:20ish … drink coffee, get dressed, feed Franklin, find time to read / pray.
6:45ish … eat breakfast and pack lunch.
7:00 … head out for my commute.
Between 7:15 – 7:30 … arrive at school, set-up for the day, etc.
THIS PART is UNKNOWN to me. Remains to be seen what the day will look like. LUNCH: I’m striving for more satisfying lunches, and less snacking – or at least to pack healthful choice snacks (it’s the worst when you’re surrounded by endless supplies of Nutrigrain bars, veggie straws, and Goldfish).
2:45pm – 3:15pm … carpool time!
4:30ish … Arrive home after organizing the classroom for the next day (or conducting an extra therapy session), take Franklin out for a walk/run/to the dog park.
5:30ish … begin on dinner (or at least think about it – or run to the grocery store)
6:30ish … eat dinner with Bryan
7:30ish … plan therapy for tomorrow (if needed)
8:30 … shower and such things
9:30 … bed (and reading! See GoodReads sidebar for what I’m currently reading)
It’s funny to think of all the blank space above here. That space represents unfilled, unscheduled time. It feels like there is so much of it when I write it out. And yet, that’s the time that slips through my fingers. It is needed and usually filled with good useful things, as it’s the space where I unload the dishwasher, call my Mom, feed Franklin, go to Community Group, etc. But yet, there is more that could fill that space. Bryan and I are not busy people, but I want to find more ways to ensure these blank spaces are filled with things that are productive or meaningful (in a physical way or a spiritual, life-giving way).
How do you fill your blank spaces? How do you ensure it is not time wasted?
Suggestions are welcome, as truly, how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
(… remind me who said that. It is good. It resonates).