Just days after my commenting on the “Worst Summer Ever”, I had a tremendously awesome day. It was the sort of day I’d intended to have all summer, before things got ridiculous.
By 1 pm on Labor Day, I had accomplished more that I felt like I’d accomplished all summer. I made cereal bars, pizza dough, went to the gym, started prep for dinner, run to the supermarket and washed some dishes, among other things. Most of this was done while listening to podcasts, checking my email and keeping an eye on Facebook. It made me feel ready for the week, productive and relaxed. I didn’t feel stressed out about the upcoming school year or other tasks on the horizon. It was just me and the task at hand.
Brian was quick to point out that there were probably other opportunities for this sort of day during the summer. Though I was quick to remind him of all the time I spent teaching and taking class. Still, there’s not really a good reason why the school year can’t have these sorts of sanity saving days as well.
So, in an effort to keep the good moods coming and not get completely stressed out, I’m trying a few new things. We’re only into the first full week and I’m already struggling with some of these ideas, but publishing posts usually keeps me on track.
planning outfits and ironing clothes ahead of time – I’ll be honest, I’m already failing at this. Getting dressed doesn’t take me forever, but it seems like a reasonable way to spare myself some stress and save some time in the morning. I also have to convince myself to not change my mind about what I’ve chosen in the morning.
actually using my editorial calendar – I have a Google Document that I use to plan and track my posts…but I kind of ignored it this summer. Perhaps if I actually plan what I’m going to write about and then do so this blog will be in better shape?
cooking on weekends – One of my projects on the past 2 weekends was preparing as much ahead of time as I could for the week. I made beans for tacos, cereal bars and pretzels for snacks. If I can get parts of meals made over the weekend, I’ll be able to relax a bit during the week.
scheduling my afterschool time – I’m making both my gym days and my posting days Tuesday and Thursday this fall; I may even post on Saturdays if I have my act together. Hopefully the idea that those activities are always going to happen on those days will make them a little less negotiable and a little more routine.
brainstorming breakfast and lunch – As I’ve mentioned before, I really like having “real food” and a hot lunch in the middle of my work day. But that takes planning ahead. This summer I started another Google Document that’s a list of meal ideas for breakfast and lunch that I can reheat, eat and transport without much trouble. Having this list should make my meal planning simpler and save me the trouble of looking through all my recipes.
making a “cooking projects” list – I save a lot of recipes, probably more than a person should. Some of those recipes I save because I think they might be useful some day or they look interesting. Some of them I save because I really want to make them. Unfortunately, those recipes I’m most interested in sometimes get buried under the other recipes. So I’m going to start keeping track of things I really want to try when I have the time, either in another document or using a new tag in Evernote.
bringing home less grading – There’s no reason I should be bringing home every assignment I give to students. This year I’m making a concerted effort to hand out less paper, have students correct their own work more often in class and maximize my in school time on school tasks.
using my freezer – One of my projects on Labor Day was making pretzels and pizza dough to store in the freezer for later use. Again, if I can continue doing cooking projects when I have time and then use them later I won’t have to worry so much about weeknight meals.