Well, evidentially the groundhog did not see his shadow on Tuesday, which means that supposedly spring will be here in two weeks? I am not sure if this tradition persists around the globe, but here in the United States, it is as inaccurate as it is popular. With that said, I hope he’s wrong this year because winter has quickly become one of my favorite seasons.
Yes, you read that right. Winter, the cold, snowy, frigid winter has become quite enjoyable.
Why, you may be wondering? Well, my gratitude for having a warm home to return to each time I decide to venture out in the snow on Mount Bachelor is conducive to my affection. On top of that, I feel beyond fortunate to live fifteen minutes from my favorite cross-country skiing destination. I still cannot believe this reality as well. It is on frequent occasions that I will return home from school in the afternoon, change my clothes, plop the dogs in the car and away we go up the mountain. In less than fourteen miles, we are out of the car, skis on feet and slipping through the white wilderness (see below).
I share this for a multitude of reasons, but one of the reasons was prompted by a recent article shared on The Atlantic website, “Teacher Burnout Is More likely Among Introverts“. Upon reading it with curious fascination, I found myself nodding perpetually as each paragraph was devoured. I encourage any introvert, whether a teacher or not, or any teacher or administrator, whether you are an introvert or not, to read the article. If nothing else to understand the different needs of professionals in a field that I would argue few people go into if they are not passionate about the subject they teach and the audience they have the privilege to be in front of each day of the school year.
Now you may be wondering, where do the two topics just discussed – skiing and the article – come together? Good question, but truly, for me they have everything in common.
As an introvert, but someone who adores the students and subject I get to teach, I find myself exhausted at the end of each day and by Friday, forget it. I would prefer staying in unless I have company who prefers a small, more intimate gathering. But the beauty of what Bend has to offer, and any place can offer this depending upon what restores you, relaxes you and soothes your being, is the opportunity to decompress.
When I step out into nature with my dogs and let go of time, I am recharged. Don’t get me wrong, I may be physically drained when I finish my loops, but I am jazzed again. I am refueled. I treasure this time alone in the woods, soaking in the magnificence of Mother Nature. It is my elixir. It is my escape. And it makes me a better teacher. I need the outlet. And as the article points out, introverts need to be protective of their energy source if they want to continue to do the job they love.
This is not to say that extraverts don’t get drained as well, but it is different, and the key is to understand what we need and to regularly cultivate an everyday life that helps us be at our best at work, as well as provide a fulfilling life away from work as well.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts once you read the article.
Now for something a little lighter, Paris Spring Haute Couture.
Some beautiful garments strolled down the Parisian runways late last month, and I cannot help but share my favorites. Below are just a handful, but you can click here to see all of my picks. I was especially drawn to Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel collection, and while I am always impressed, this particular collection has jumped to the top of my list when it comes to Coco Chanel’s eponymous label. And I wouldn’t be surprised if one or two of these dresses is donned by an Oscar nominee come February 28th.
~Chanel Spring Couture, six above images~
~actress Brie Larsen in Versace’s powder-blue couture gown for the 2016 SAG awards, winning Best Actress~