Monday Morning. Surprisingly, going to bed last night and waking up this morning seemed eerily similar to when I woke up early and tired to my regular job. That feeling of…oh man, the weekend’s over, and I have to set my alarm! That little tiny pang of dread. Which, even though it did feel like a pang of dread, I was happy to feel…normal.

One of the most surprising things about this whole year off has been how much I’ve missed my routine. Getting up early (ok, I don’t actually miss that), getting ready for work, leaving the house at a certain time, feeling productive during the work day, coming home exhausted, and leaving work at work. That last part, leaving work at work, has probably been what I’ve missed the most.

I’m learning to create boundaries. To see work as separate from my personal life, my life outside of work. That’s REALLY hard to do when you’re working for yourself at home, trying to build a tiny dream. But it’s an absolute necessity.

I think I’ve figured a few things out. First, I take my days off on the actual weekends. I spent nearly twenty years safeguarding my weekends, seeing Saturday and Sunday as days off, not to be messed with. And even longer than that, I’ve seen Saturday and Sunday as fun days or lazy days. Even when I was a teenager and sometimes had to work those days, I still saw them as days off because I didn’t have to be in school. And so, I’ve found it incredibly difficult to change my mindset on that. Taking off on Wednesday and working Sunday instead has been nearly impossible. Why? Because taking off on Wednesday is easy enough, but working full speed on a Sunday is like a dagger to the heart. So I give up. Saturday and Sunday are days off, and that’s that.

This weekend was the first weekend since being on my own that I’ve committed to that. And, oh my goodness, it felt good. It’s the right choice for sure.

What else is bouncing through my mind? Making plans for next year. I don’t know how the end of the year (school year) will play out financially (as that’s the time frame I’ve planned for in taking my year off). But I know that I need to make plans to return to work in case the finances are less than what I made as a teacher. And being a teacher, that means I have to start planning early. The best teaching jobs often go early. I need to be sure my teaching resume is up-to-date and ready to go.

One thing I’ve realized during my time off is that I’m okay with this. I’m okay with the possibility of returning to the classroom. More than okay, actually. It might be kind of cool to get my little art business up and running and then also teach in the classroom. Both types of work fulfill me in different ways, and it would be awesome to pull the two incomes together.

But…I’m trying not to get stuck thinking about all that just yet. Yes, do what I need to ensure I’m employable and ready to go for next year. Yet don’t obsess over it. I have that tendency. To think too much. And let my thoughts rule my mind (one of the reasons I’m doing these morning pages…out of my head, onto the paper, and done).

So…truth time? I wrote all that, talked about not obsessing, and then decided to take a “quick look” at licensure requirements for public school teachers…and, off down the rabbit hole! lol. I just wasted about an hour. Oh well, no beating myself up. This just means I need to take a breath, recenter, and get back on track.

That said, I’m off to the races for today. A quick workout followed by getting down to work. Today, editing is on the schedule! I’m actually excited for this, as it means I’m moving forward and making progress in my first full-length online art class.

Talk with you tomorrow, friends. Have a lovely Monday!