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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Time for Self Care

Although I enjoy presenting, life suddenly feels so carefree now that an ESL Literacy webinar and a TESL Windsor presentation are behind me. My body feels like it's floating.
My reading spot
Yesterday my partner and I went out for a late breakfast and spent the next hours simply strolling through Windsor's Walkerville area, popping in and out of antique shops, vintage boutiques, and the new independent grocery. It felt amazing not to have to look at my watch nor to have a little voice in my head urging me to get back home to work on lesson plans, Power Point slides, or participant handouts.

Thursday was an interesting day. Wanting to return the favour of a home-cooked meal that I'd received on visiting the Sivells for one of our TESL Ontario conference presentation planning sessions in their town, I had invited them to dinner during their two days in the Windsor area. (Our 'Back to the Well' presentation was to be the main attraction for the TESL Windsor spring PD event.) I was thrilled when the Sivells accepted the dinner invitation, not as thrilled with myself when I realized that I was presenting part two of the webinar 'Creating an ESL Literacy Blog Step by Step' for the ESL Literacy Network that same evening. As the disclaimer I've given to my boss and colleagues a zillion times goes: "My brain doesn't do calendar."

Fortunately, it all worked out just fine. My culinarily talented mate agreed to prepare the salad (his freshly whipped up balsamic vinaigrette is to die for), the lightly steamed asparagus, and the brown basmati. I was able to get the Roasted ChickenProven├žal into the oven ahead of time and excuse myself very briefly from the pre-webinar sound check just long enough to baste it halfway through. Our guests were conveniently a tad late arriving, and all was well.

The webinar seemed to be a hit with those few people who showed up. Most ended up with a new blog for their classes, and one participant taught us all how to embed a sound file on Blogger, not an easy feat since Blogger doesn't have a built-in tool for that!

Our presentation, "Sending Them Back to the Well: from Theory to Practice" seemed very well received by the more than 50 educators in attendance. I think our slides have improved since Toronto, and we are learning how best to support each other as presenting partners. Perhaps we'll even get another chance to further tweak and improve this workshop. I'd like that.

But I learned a lot from the past several months leading up to these two PD events. As an avid birder, I was dumb to commit all of my free time (lesson planning takes enough of it already) during the spring months. Although it's hard for me to say no to sharing ideas with peers, I'm going to try to limit my volunteering to fall and winter events.

That said, I think it's now time for me to turn off the computer and go outside. An oriole just found the orange slices that are hanging up in the suet cage, so I'm off to the market to buy fresh ones.

How about you? Do you do a good job of balancing work and downtime? Are you good at self-care or do you often feel like a hamster in a wheel? If you are given to workaholism or have trouble with over-committing your time, do you have a plan in place to remedy that soon? I'd love to hear from you.

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