Ask anyone working in education, and they’ll tell you how they look forward to their next holiday, that respite from the seemingly endless days of teaching, preparing, grading, and the countless other tasks that are heaped onto educators these days. We countdown the days until Spring Break (or any other holiday), not because we want to get away from the students (well, not most of us anyway), but because we need to recharge our batteries. We are better educators when we are well-rested. We are more adept at dealing with the constant pressure and looming deadlines when we have had some time away.
For me, there are three types of holidays I choose to take. Some are adventurous, where I eagerly await visiting a new place, seizing each day to explore the unknown, taking in the sights, smells, tastes, and activities that this new place has to offer. And despite the constant going from here to there, I still recharge, and come back ready to tackle the next set of weeks until another holiday appears.
Yet some of my holidays are purely relaxing, where I spend time at the beach or a resort, laying by the water, only getting up to take a dip, get something to eat, or to shower back in the room. What always surprises me about these types of holidays is that despite the fact that I am uber lazy, either reading, catching some rays, or swimming, I am still so tired. I take frequent naps, unable to stay awake the whole day. I wonder how can I possibly be tired? I have literally done nothing all day. The only thing that makes sense is that after the craziness that led up to my holiday, my body needs the rest. So, despite my inner overachiever, I succumb to it, embracing my laziness.
The last type of holiday for me is a staycation, one in where I stay put, opting to explore my current city instead of venturing to a new place. This is by far the least frequent type of holiday for me, nevertheless, they can also recharge me. The appeal of staycations, for me, is that I can strike a balance between relaxing and getting things done. The Type-A part of me actually enjoys organizing and putting everything in order. Over time, things get out of order and make me a little crazy. Being able to organize it all, be it my house, my calendar, or my inbox, makes me feel happy and peaceful. Being able to wake up on my own, without the help of my alarm clock, means I wake up well-rested and relaxed. I can ease into the day, having my tea and a homemade breakfast, while I read or catch up on blog commenting. A staycation in your own city affords you the opportunity to explore your own neighborhood, venturing to new restaurants or shops that you typically pass up on your daily routine.
All three holidays provide me with a recharge, and all have their place in my life. I am currently in the midst of a somewhat adventurous/somewhat relaxing holiday in Senegal. At this exact moment, I am relaxing poolside, soaking up some rays between bouts of dips in the pool, reading, and napping. I have to admit, I feel slightly guilty being so lazy, but I have to remind myself that I work hard during the school year, and the built up stress of constantly working does no good for anyone, so this relaxing is actually a benefit to everyone. I’ll be able to go back to Tirana well-rested and ready for the next stretch of 6 weeks until my next holiday. Now, I really must go. I’ve booked a massage, and it’s time. 🙂