Thursday, January 29, 2009

Winter Burnout

I'm tired of being cold.
I'm tired of shoveling snow.
It must be the end of January.

I think I reach a point every school year when I start burning out. It happens around this time. I've just turned in the second quarterly reports, which always look a bit pathetic because we never get much done in December and most of January is spent trying to get back into a routine. Then I start worrying about testing them. This year, I worry that I'm not doing enough with Sierra.

Time to breathe.

I can't express how grateful I am for yoga. I would have quit homeschooling long ago without it. My instructor, Diann, is fantastic. I've known her for almost nine(?) years now. She is a dear friend and we've been there for each other through our many life changes, propping each other up and just listening. She influences a lot of her students. Read another of her student's thoughts here. At times I'm sure Diann can read my mind, because even if I don't tell her, she knows exactly what pose I need on a particular day.

The other day we were talking about changes, as she has been considering the direction she wants to take in her practice and as an instructor. She's been getting a lot of "you should do..." from the people around her. I get that too. Isn't it funny how everyone else knows exactly what you should be doing? They are always very excited and urgent. I feel out of breath from the sudden gust of ideas. I listen to their opinions, but I spent a lot of my younger years trying to live up to others' expectations. I prefer taking things slow and letting my life unfold petal by petal.

Both Diann and I have noticed how outside of the class, everything is a rush. People are always hurrying, thinking about the next thing they have to do, speeding to the next destination. In her class, she insists that people be in the moment. This present-mindedness makes yoga an oasis for me. When I am in a posture, that is all I can do. I breathe and for that moment I am with my body, sensing where I am stiff or off balance, twisting a little more, finding my edge.

When I am in the moment, I do more. For years, I thought about doing my comics. I rushed ahead in my mind, worrying about all the little details. What is the "official" comic strip size? Do I have enough stories to carry me through a week? What if my lettering isn't neat enough? Then I finally decided to start doing it. In its way, it is another yoga experience. I am in the moment. By practicing this art, it improves.

Homeschooling needs to be in the present as well. There is so much to worry about. I've been asked time and again about tests, state requirements, quarterly reports, SAT preparation, college and, of course, socialization. If I'm forced to think about all of it right now, it is overwhelming and takes my breath away. That's why I need the yoga. It keeps me in the present. If I focus on what is happening right now, I can breathe through it and let that breath carry me to the next moment. Life happens. Why rush it?


SB said...

I said "ouch" just looking at that phot. If I did that, I would need the Jaws of Life to rescue me.


I am with ya though. Gotta take time to breathe. And deeply.

Kez said...

Great post. I'm trying to get back into yoga and "into the moment" myself.

Inner Elder said...

There is so much in this blog. First of all, I totally know what you mean about this winter. Just posted my first blog in a month - "Winter Blahs". Next, a wise teacher who helped our volunteers with their listening skills had a wonderful comment for the advice givers: "Don't should on me". Also, it is super that you have discovered Yoga at such an early age and bestowed the gift on your children; it will serve them well.

Love, Mom

Lori said...

just do it -- that’s my mantra for 2009.

and slowing down and living the moment -- well, that’s something i strive for all the time (and rarely accomplish!)

Summer Fae said...

You are so right. I also need to stop and breathe. I always experience burnout in the winter. Then Spring fever in the spring. LOL.

I use to do yoga and I loved it. I think that I am going to have to start back up. I miss that peace of mind that came with yoga.

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