Teachers measure time in very different ways than civilians.
January 1st can come and go, but we all know that the year really starts and ends in September, when our classrooms fill with fresh, new faces and that scent of “possibility” is in the air.
Our time at home is also measured differently.
Home projects and travel are considered and planned based on “breaks” and days are carefully plotted and planned.
For myself, I have a running list of things I need to get done around the house, and am consistently planning how and when I can get those things done.
The strange thing is, this year, despite the fact that it is January 18th, I continue to be planning for winter break.
“I really need to go through my closet and donate some clothes. I’ll get to it over winter break. Wait…”
“The garage needs another sweep before winter weather finally arrives. Winter break…hang on…”
“I need to list more items for sale. I’ll do it right after Christmas. But…”
Did I miss something?
How is it January?
I had a busy and productive winter break.
Christmas was wonderful and full of family and laughter and smiles.
The following week was spent with friends and each other (and Star Wars) and highly productive as I cleaned out three different areas of the house that had been long neglected, allowing me to keep doors to rooms open that have long been closed.
New Year’s was a great time, and, although I don’t sweat turning 44, I had the normal January 3rd birthday blues as I came off of the high of the activities of the week before.
Yet, as soon as we went back to work on January 4th, I started planning things to do…over winter break.
Completely forgetting that it was over.
So, it wasn’t that my time was wasted or boring or sad.
It was wonderful.
So, why am I still waiting for that winter break?
Part of me wonders if it was the weather.
New Jersey Christmas isn’t supposed to be almost 70 degrees.
Cousins aren’t supposed to be able to play in my driveway and yard on Christmas day without bundling up with snow gear.
One of the reasons that I have always loved living in New Jersey was the change of the seasons.
And this no longer seems to exist.
So, maybe it’s the weather.
Maybe it’s the fact that our Christmas decorations are STILL up.
However, our record is St. Patrick’s Day before taking it all down, so I still have a few months to go, so that can’t be it.
Whatever the cause, January is almost over and President’s Day weekend looms over the horizon, and I still can’t make that switch in my head.
Am I going to be sitting in the kitchen over Spring Break, wondering where the snow is and planning the things I still need to do for Christmas?
(Of course, at the rate we are going, there will be snow over spring break, but that’s another post.)
Time is just moving at a pace that is too fast for me, these days, and I can’t put my finger on why.
This was, by far, the fastest school year in which I have ever taught.
And that counts the school years where I only taught for six months because February brought a garden of little monkey babies to my life.
People say that time passes more quickly as you age, and, as a parent who is looking down the barrel of a 15, 12, 10, and 5 year old when March finally arrives, I realize this is true and I wonder how the heck that happened.
I don’t know what it is, but I’m still waiting for December 23rd.
So, if we’re talking, and I mention to you all the exciting things I plan to get done over winter break, just smile and nod at me.
Because, clearly, I missed something.