Well, it was back to work this week. Back to my regular job as an elementary school teacher. And I have loved every minute of it!
I had no idea, until I became ill with Lyme disease and was forced to take over a year off work, just how satisfying and therapeutic it is to work. It's funny, because prior to my illness, I had been thinking about how wonderful retirement would be, and I secretly wished I would win a lottery or something and be able to quit this very busy and often stressful job and spend my days in leisurely activity or caring for my home.
I did experience a few months of that 'freedom' towards the end of my sick leave, when I was stronger and felt better. My kids are in school full-time, so I had a fair bit of time on my hands during the day. But to be honest, it wasn't what I imagined it would be. I really wasn't motivated to 'care for my home' like I thought I would. Laundry piled up, and I constantly felt 'behind' in everything. And that was very weird for me, who is usually extremely organized and on top of things.
One thing I learned about myself is that having an excess of time on my hands is actually a de-motivator. Because I knew I had lots of time in my day, I felt I could put off various household chores until later. My 'to do' list got quite long, and things just weren't getting crossed off. Then, I started to get stressed out about that, as well as my lack of motivation!
The solution to this was.......going back to work and getting busier! How ironic. Returning to my job has forced me to be up and dressed at the same time each day, keep up with the laundry and household chores, and plan my time well.
I also realized just how much I missed the adult, social interaction of work. I like my colleagues, and it was so nice this week to be in my old, familiar environment. I've spent the past 13 years at this school, so it's my home away from home.
I've also been so happy to meet my new students and have some fun with them this week as we get organized, get into our routines, and get to know one another. So far, the classes I teach have been lovely.
This is not to say that there won't be stressors along the way this year. Report card season comes to mind, when teachers work non-stop at home for a couple of weeks. Behaviour issues with a few students are bound to crop up, too. I'll have to find ways to de-stress. I know how important it is to keep the stress under control so that one's immune system doesn't weaken and give the Lyme a chance to gain a foothold.
Adequate sleep, regular exercise, and healthy eating will need to become priorities in my life to keep this illness in remission.
So all in all, this has been a good week.....a great beginning to a new chapter in my life.
I'm grateful for my job. Just one more lesson that Lyme has taught me.