“Mountains are not Stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.”
― Anatoli Boukreev
I became an Elementary Principal nine months ago. Since then, I have had some of the most transformational experiences of my career. I have always been ambitious, an achiever who wants to do the right things, in the right way, at the right time. My job is stressful. It’s a higher level of stress than I’ve ever experienced. This causes my brain to be in overdrive on a continual basis. If I am awake, I am thinking, strategizing, questioning and making decisions. A hiatus from my work is virtually impossible. I would estimate that I have worked an average of 55-70 hours per week since August. That’s not surprising. That’s just what it takes to do my job well.
My work came to a screeching halt this week. My family and I went on spring break. We are in the Smoky Mountains. I made some rules for myself: no school work, no professional reading, no phone calls about school, no texting about work and no decisions about work. The hardest thing of all: NO THINKING about school. I basically prescribed myself an entire week to turn off my brain from all things related to my job. Blogging is the only exception to this rule since we are spending our evenings in front of the fireplace and writing helps me to digest and clear my mind.
I have found, however, that time along a mountain stream may be the only experience needed for the kind of peaceful meditation that will prepare me for the remainder of the school year…
A snowy path clears one’s mind…
“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
I am nearly ready to return to work. What can I take from my week away? I promise to make a break from my work more often. It will make me a better principal, a better wife, a better mom and a better friend. Where do you find your peace away from work?
“Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.”