If you’re a teacher or in education, can I get an “amen” for summer break?!

My summer has officially closed out and with that, always comes a new set of reflections and goals for a new year. I totally measure my life according to academic school years because in many ways, it’s a fresh start and a new beginning. (Teachers, I know you can relate.)

I spent this summer for the first time since college not working.  (I used to work summers at Target –heyyyy! and also had a variety of campus-related jobs). That means for the first time in over 8 years, I had a summer off. Like zero responsibility. No call time. No deadlines. No work.

Friends, for someone who is so used to grinding, progressing, always improving and working, this was weird for me.  I didn’t know what to do with my time and for the first few weeks of summer, I felt like I was “getting behind.” Getting behind on what, you may ask?  Great question. There wasn’t anything I was behind on but this fast-paced, high stakes, charter school world has certainly ingrained this feeling of needing to constantly work in order to get ahead of deadlines, make sure every “t” is crossed and “i” is dotted, and do everything humanly possible to stay ahead of the curve.

For the first time in what felt like forever, I got a chance to breathe.  I got a chance to do what made me happy, which was spend as much time with my family, work out, and enjoy nature. And by nature, I mean the mall. I spent a lot of time at the mall. Because being at the mall is #natural for me. #idontthinkthatshowitworks #justbeinghonestthough

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This is me getting as close to nature as possible this summer. I’m looking for the nearest mall, actually…

Regardless, I also spent a lot of my time reflecting on the past school year and my “life.”  What I realized was that I could hardly remember the fun things I did in the past year, but could recall intimately every detail I planned for every school dance and event I put on, every “show flow” for field trips I planned for my grade, how I taught lessons in writing and what worked and didn’t, and well…I think you see the picture.  My entire life had been consumed by my work and I fell into my worst/best quality–I’m a workaholic and someone who constantly strives for perfection.  Because of this, I have a tendency to spend way more time in my work than on myself, ignore the relationships around me and well, become a recluse.  I realized that this life wasn’t making me happy.  While yes my job is absolutely fulfilling, I need to remember that there needs to be a balance of work and life.  I need to protect my own sanity and stability by drawing a line for myself and saying that I’ve done enough.

So as I move into this new school year, my goal is to step back, prioritize my well-being, and do the things that make me happy outside of work.  Part of the reason why I started this blog was so that I could have an outlet to channel my desire to be creative and have a hobby outside of work.  I’m learning to live a different life this year–one that doesn’t involve me devoting every moment to my job.  I’m recalibrating and telling myself that it’s more than okay–it’s necessary– to spend time for myself. I’m learning to devote my time purposefully to the things that bring me joy.

So here’s your (and my own) reminder: you can love what you do, work hard, and still preserve your sanity.  Because your work doesn’t define you. Work is only a piece of who you are. And you, my friends, are worthy of investing in meaningful experiences and relationships.

Have a beautiful day!

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Photos were taken at Balboa Park located in San Diego, California!

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What I’m wearing:

If you didn’t know already, I am OBSESSED with Loft. Quality clothing, #teacherbudget friendly, and styles always ON POINT. What more could a girl ask for?

  • Gap straw hat
    • Similar here: on sale for $14.99
  • Striped off-the-shoulder t-shirt: sold out but here are some cute alternatives also on sale!
    • Striped ruffle tie top: 60% sale price!
    • Orchid off the shoulder tie top
  • Denim button down skirt: sold out but here are some alternatives!
  • My favorite Fiorelli tan backpack
    • $70 online; found at TJ Maxx for $50!
  • Loft bar necklace
  • Caslon Blue block heels
    • Sold out at Nordstrom
    • Similar here for $49.96
    • Similar Steve Madden block sandals