Reluctant Routine

Sunday, January 26, 2020

I guess I left things off on a sour note. I haven’t been very active with my writing. I haven’t been very active in general. Aside from the occasional weekend outing, I have stuck to a consistent routine. The routine that I follow helps relieve stress but does little for depression. Most of my day consists of working and preparing for work the following day. It is not glamorous, but it beats being underprepared. I have a few hours of free time every night that I spend reading or watching movies. Sometimes I spend that time grocery shopping or preparing food. Either way, those few hours represent a brief window when my time belongs to me. I value that time immensely. Therefore, the routine must continue.

I’m better adjusted to my job at this point. I am more confident in what I am doing, and the stress is taking less of a toll on me. I know that this relief is only temporary. Standardized testing is looming on the horizon, which is an uncomfortable time for teachers and students alike. Although I disagree with the practice wholeheartedly, I will now be responsible for proctoring this intrusive exam. Preparation for the exam will begin early, and students will have time taken away from rigorous learning to hone the skills deemed necessary by the state of Texas. I will try to make the best of the situation, but I can predict that it will be a stressful occasion.

I’ve made a habit out of checking my calendar every day. I count down the days until the weekend, the weeks until my next break, and the months until the school year is over. It is difficult to conceal that I am just as eager as my students for this year to be over. I have several plans for the summer, but I am still uncertain of what comes after this year. I would like to try teaching at a different grade level before I decide upon it for a career. Yet, I am reluctant to start this cycle all over again. I will have a better grasp of my goals once I complete this year.

Aside from obligatory family time over the holidays, I have not spent much time socializing. I interact with so many people at work that I feel drained by the time that I get home. I often turn down invitations to socialize so that I may rest and prepare. I tend to make excuses for not going out, but the reality is that I don’t want to break the routine. I value my time in isolation too much; this is something that I am hoping to overcome but have no idea where to begin. I spend time with my roommates and occasionally see a friend on a weekday, but I have no compulsion to interact with people that are not conveniently close to me. Justifications like this make me question whether I have time to dedicate to relationships at all. Maybe I am too selfish with my time. Perhaps I need to be more willing to share it with others.

As it is, I feel like I am barely keeping it together. I can keep up with the bills, laundry, cooking, shopping, cleaning, washing, checking, prepping, planning, and paying to some extent. But I feel perpetually behind on my ever-growing to-do list.

The joys of adulthood.

I’m doing my best to be responsible and accountable, but I do find myself yearning for simpler times. I miss having an inconsequential job. I worked in the service industry for nearly ten years before signing this contract. The whole time that I was working those jobs, I was always looking for a way out. I finally got away from those meaningless jobs, and I am now nostalgic for the old routine. The pay was insignificant, the work was often stressful and unfulfilling, but the stakes were much lower. I planned on working a service job over the summer as a form of supplementary income. Service jobs also provide a friendly social atmosphere. I am apprehensive about working a job like that now. I’m concerned that I will become too comfortable and that I will stop pushing myself to be better. I need to be careful about how I approach a summer job opportunity.

There are several opportunities for me to use my teaching certification outside of the realm of public schooling. Although they will not come with equal pay or comparable benefits, they do come with some autonomy. Choice is something that I have been desperately craving as I grind out my daily routine. I will likely explore those routes when I have more time to think about it. Until then, I need to stay focused on the tasks at hand. I can’t afford to look too far ahead; I could lose sight of what is right in front of me.

I’m going to try to add writing back into my routine. At a certain point, writing felt like a chore. It felt like another box to check off on my to-do list. It was nice to break away for a while, but it is so much sweeter to return to it. I had moments during my hiatus when I was inspired to write but did not have the time or means to. I will try to start journaling my thoughts on topics so that my writing is less bland and repetitive. There is much more that I want to share in good time.



6 thoughts on “Reluctant Routine

  1. Your writing isn’t at all bland or repetitive. With most blog posts, I tend to skim through them, but your sentences and paragraphs are knitted together so seamlessly that I read it all. Ah, the life of a teacher, eh? Everything you describe is what I experienced and felt. The role involves so much uber-communication that I didn’t want to speak to anyone when I got home and there was no way I could’ve managed a blog, so well done you. All writers enjoy isolation so don’t concern yourself about pleasing others by being more sociable when you don’t feel like it. As a teacher, you’re probably doing more intensive socialising than most of your peer group in other jobs.

    I think you deserve an adventure which will refresh you as well as give you more to write about. In Scotland, we get 3 months of holidays spread throughout the year. I recall when I was working in a school in South Carolina, they crammed the holidays all together in summer, which was the reason I came home. I travelled almost every weekend and never wanted to return to work on the Monday. You could take lots of photos and maintain a photo blog which will give you time to live and adventure, without having to spend hours writing beautiful paragraphs?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m happy that someone is reading this that can relate to what I have been experiencing.

      The grind is punishing, but I did make a commitment to these kids and my community. I will happily explore other opportunities as they arise. I still have a passion for education, but private tutoring and online ESL programs seem more conducive to the autonomy that I am seeking.

      Thanks again for your support and generous compliments. Thank you for motivating me to continue spilling my brains into the ether.


    2. You deserve a reply, even if it is untimely. Thank you for the suggestion. I wish I took more photos of my life. I wish I had more tangible things that represent what I experienced. You are absolutely right that I need to adventure. I have been so caught up in self-improvement that I abandoned my ambitions. I’m sorry that this comment went ignored for so long. I appreciate your effort to connect.


  2. As someone who tutors children and teenagers, I can understand where you’re coming from. If I had to do it full-time, I would be flat-out exhausted and wouldn’t be able to cope. Really, you’ve done so well coming this far. As someone who is very introverted, I can’t express how much I can understand the exhaustion and the toll socialising has on one. I used to also work in childcare four hours each day of the week except weekends, which required constant socialisation, and it was so hard. Would definitely recommend tutoring as it is far less strain, plus perhaps doing something with your writing on the side as you’re an excellent writer. 🙂


    1. Thank you so much, after this school year, I’m definitely going to explore other options. I wanted to get into writing fiction because that has been a weakness of mine. I’m planning on getting some practice this summer. I really enjoy your writing as well. Everything you write about feels all too familiar. Even on opposite ends of the world, some people are just like me.

      Liked by 1 person

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