So, ostensibly, this whole blog is dedicated to our family's search for balance in the busy world we all live in. We are trying to make sure that our time, money, and energy are focused on those things we find most important. And it isn't always easy. The give and take of our daily lives is challenging to manage, and sometimes we are doing all we can to make sure that it doesn't become a run-away train.
One major way our life has been out of whack this year is in our work-home balance. Or, more specifically, my work-home balance. I love teaching, but it is time consuming and energy sucking even on the best days. And the boys have long days at school - they are usually the first ones there in the morning, and on Mondays they are just about the last to get picked up. In fact, Max's only complaint about school is that he feels his days are too long. And I agree.
So it is time for a change. I have officially been approved to move to teaching half-time next year. I will probably be working every morning until noon, and then have the afternoons for picking up children from school, running errands, supporting homework, and encouraging play. Instead of getting home at 4:30 and having 65 papers to grade, I'll be home at 1:00 with 30.
I couldn't be more excited about the opportunity this reduced schedule will provide for our family. Will there be sacrifices? Sure. Will my retirement be as well-funded? Nope. Daily luxuries will be cut out (I've already cut out the expensive hot chocolate habit with this vegan cleanse, so at least that will be easier). But what will we gain? Time. Time to bake bread. Time to make birthday gifts for those we care about that show our love and creativity. Time to read more than one story at bedtime. Time to feed our minds and hearts with more of the things that we value. I can't wait.
(But I'd be lying if I didn't admit to being a little bit scared, too...)