This is another one of the prompts that now show up on WordPress. This one struck me pretty hard because I’m in that “not sleeping well” stage again, even though I’ve been walking, running, spin classing, and swimming. During spin class last week, it was 19 mile, 600-calorie ride, which isn’t to bad for me!
Yeah, our instructor is doing classes twice a week for the month of February, which I love, because I’ve been hassling my wife about riding our bikes across Iowa this summer on Ragbrai, The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. IF I can get her talked into the ride, it will be a blast. Not easy, 500 miles and 16,000+ feet of climbing won’t be THAT fun, but with 10,000 of my closest cycling friends, who knows?
At the end of July, I think it will be for sure!
Now, back to the prompt at hand, what do I need a break from?
A couple of things come to mind:
- Negative energy: I have two Twitter accounts, one for school/political stuff and one for coaching/Hawkeye stuff. Both serve their purpose well and I try not to get the two mixed together. The problem is, both have started giving off negative energy because of the state of our state. Iowa Nice is gone, voted out the people in Iowa who cower to the CRT/litter box in schools/all our schools are failing. The single-issue voters really screwed Iowa, and now, the Republican majority is running our state into the ground. So many different bills targeting schools have been introduced and signed with glee by our governor. I say I’m pulling back, but my voice, for whatever reason, projects. I’m just a dude with a computer and some opinions. As it is, certainly something I need a break from right now.
- Looking at the scale: Yesterday, according to my FitBit (always a trusted source for health knowledge), I burnt about 335 calories running and about 650 in spin class. I stepped on the scale this morning and I’d GAINED weight. I know better, I do, but yet, I do these things and it feeds the negative talk in my head. Ugh! So, I’m ready to just chuck my scale and be done with it (not really, but good grief). Since August, I’m up about 15 pounds, and a lot of it is stress eating, I know that about myself, but because of my age, it doesn’t come off as easy. The scale doesn’t help me either. So yes, that I could use a break from, most certainly!
- Student behaviors: It’s funny, I about put this up in the negative energy because the student behaviors are part of that negative energy. I’ve mentioned a couple of times, between my sections of 6th grade and technology, I see a lot of kids on a daily basis. Add in that I just like being in hallways, interacting with them, those behaviors bring that negative energy everywhere in our building. Swearing, skipping class, hiding, and just being generally disruptive, it’s all hard to deal with on a daily basis. I go home and can’t hardly function, let alone try to grade or plan. So, could I use a break from the behaviors? Heck yes!
- Being told “it’s for the kids”: I never quite know what gaslighting is, regardless of where I look for a definition. It’s always a vague term in my mind, but that phrase is one that just makes my skin crawl. When I became a teacher in 1994 (damn I’m old), I never EVER heard that term, ever. Yes, teachers have always worked hard, many times for low pay, but “we knew what we were signing up for” (goodness). However, that “it’s for the kids” statement has popped up more and more since funding for schools has dropped off. When I first started at my current district, there was a budget for classroom supplies. Now, most of my supplies are leftovers from that time or purchased by me. So, could I use a break from that statement? Goodness, yes!
- And finally, I need a break from winter: I know, you live in Iowa, get over yourself. And while that’s true, I’ve lost that love of being cold. I could be because at my heaviest, I weighed 252 pounds (round man) and that layer of fat surrounding me kept me warm. Right now, at 217 (it took a long time to get down to this), I’m cold all the time. I have a teapot in my classroom and will drink healthy tea with honey (amazing), but the cold this year has really gotten me down. And with all the nonsense in Iowa (Mom’s for Liberty was invited to a House hearing about banning books w/educators being invited “at a later date), the discussion in our house has popped up “where would you move to get out of here?”. Well, we both love Minnesota, Colorado has come up, along with New Mexico. Only one of those gets me away from cold, but it also gets me away from many other things too!
I wish I was funny and could come up with some humorous “what do I need a break from” kinds of things, but this is pretty cathartic for me. There’s something to be said for yuck to come out on the page. While I’ve been funk, I can see that with some changes, I feel better and my attitude is better.
AND it’s February, so it’s time for the Indoor IronMan Challenge, a month to get 26.2 miles of running, 2.4 miles of swimming, and 112-mile biking done. Yesterday, it was 2 miles of running and 21 miles of biking. I was tired, but I worked out the foolishness from the day. After that, it will be March, and spring is close by.
So, what are things YOU need a break from? Please let me know in the comments! 🙂
February 7, 2023 at 1:18 pm
I need a break from some of the same things.
I don’t mind the cold, but I mind the bitter cold. We had tremendously frigid weather last Friday and Saturday. I forgot to put gloves in my pockets on one of those days… my hands paid for it.
I need a break from the negative self-talk about my weight. Most mornings, I step on the scale, and it never feels good afterward. Why do we do these things to ourselves?
February 7, 2023 at 5:42 pm
These are heavy times, indeed. I’m glad that writing has helped a bit. I hear so many concerning things about student behavior in the middle/upper grades. I can’t imagine the stress and wear and tear of that. Also, I’m super impressed by all your physical activity. Please give yourself big credit for that! Other than walking around the school, I have not been doing much these days. Finally, and this may be the most important thing of all: my WordPress prompts totally disappeared. How are you still getting them!?!
February 7, 2023 at 6:42 pm
It does seem to be its own kind of pandemic, this need to stop the world and just get off for a bit. Politics and politicking? The mountains of negativity surrounding me on every side? Yep, ready to take a break, which feels all sorts of privileged, but still very true. Body image and weight battles? Agreed. But mine comes with an added batch of anger directed at the objectification of women and demonization of men. And while the students still bring me joy, and a whole lot of laughter, I am in need of a break from the frustrating endeavors that come with trying to change an institution that is stubbornly committed to mediocrity. I appreciate your slice and these moments to consider what taking a break could feel like!
February 9, 2023 at 11:33 am
>from the frustrating endeavors that come with trying to change an institution that is stubbornly committed to mediocrity.<
And that's just it. People claim "oh I want to change education" but yet, we see the same stuff coming to us, just different packaging on it! I don't know. Maybe it's just my age, but you start wondering about a lot right now. 🙂
February 7, 2023 at 6:47 pm
Nice post. I need a longer break from politics. I started after the midterms and can see it going for a while.
February 9, 2023 at 11:31 am
I’m tired right now and I don’t even “do” that much. I’ve scaled back a lot on my involvement just because I don’t see the point right now. We’ll see how long this lasts. Too many good years left to be sitting on the sidelines! 🙂
February 8, 2023 at 10:41 am
#1. You don’t have to wish you were funny. You are.
#2. ” I never quite know what gaslighting is, regardless of where I look for a definition.” It’s one of those know-it-when-you-see-it kinda deals.
#3. From one fellow midwesterner to another, yeah, you COULD get over yourself by not complaining about the cold, but I’d like to think that’s an entitlement we gain by living here…
February 8, 2023 at 1:41 pm
Darin, I’m also an Iowan and I love the Hawkeyes! Looking forward to tonight’s games for both the women and men games. I sure hope we play well. I appreciate your exercise routine. Wow! Impressive. I also enjoy spinning, although I haven’t done this for a while. A few things I’m tire of is trying to figure out WordPress, but I’ll get there. I left a comment for you yesterday, but it was at the Slices of Life website and not on your blog. Stacey sent me a note to fix this so that’s why the response is so late. Let’s hope Iowa blesses us with a genuine spring this year. We deserve it since we’ve had to endure so many gray days.
February 9, 2023 at 11:30 am
Hey! It’s always good to meet another Iowan, especially through our slices! A genuine spring would be outstanding for sure! Where in Iowa are you at? I’m up near Decorah, a pretty good place to be. Great breweries, a couple of sweet bike trails, and some great camping can all be found here! Thanks for your comment! 🙂
February 9, 2023 at 11:36 am
Darin, I live in Keokuk. I think Decorah is a little Switzerland. I really wanted to go to college there, but I went to Mount Mercy because I could commute. I grew up in Marion. I absolutely need to visit there this summer. My stepson, his mother, and wife all ride RAGBRAI while we watch our three granddaughters. I’ll try to write about it sometime during the March challenge as a sideliner observing the event. I bet you have snow today, but all we have is rain with some snow trying to mix in, but it’s 36 degrees here so the snow is having a difficult time falling. Waiting anxiously for the two Hawkeye basketball games to be played tonight:) Go Hawks!
February 9, 2023 at 12:03 pm
We actually have zero snow today. The whole system slide way south, so I have some teacher friends from Iowa City/Cedar Rapids/Dubuque home today, but not us! The slide killed our attutidues for sure! We are “planning” on riding RAGBRAI for the first time this summer. As for the games, I’ll be following via social media. No cable and our Interent in the country isn’t quite good enough for streaming games. Someday. This spring they’ll rip up our front yard to lay fiber, but for now, I can follow via Twitter! 🙂
February 9, 2023 at 12:26 pm
So funny about the internet. We have the same problem here as we live along the river and there’s not hope for cable. I’m trying to Starlink, but it’s been a long wait and we will be waiting even longer. I’m sure you will love RAGBRAI! Good luck!