Sunday, January 15, 2012

Finding balance

So, I mentioned in the previous post that I was working on bringing about balance between work and school. This weekend didn't count, though, because I had a ton of work to catch up on from when I was MIA. Otherwise, this week I did pretty good - although when at home and I thought of something from work, I had to consciously push it to the back of my mind. That's hard work!

I knew that something was going to give, though, as soon as I signed Charlie up for swim lessons. Roman has therapy on Mondays, neurofeedback on Tuesdays along with tang soo do for Doug and Charlie, and now Charlie with swim on Wednesdays. And with the perspective that comes from being at home with no pressure from anywhere, I knew what had to give.

I resigned my position as swim coach on Friday.

Every other year we have "late" practice, which means 4:45-6pm. I wouldn't be able to do anything else, and I can't ask Doug to leave work early every day for 6 weeks. My family life comes first. Now, I know this might be a "duh" for most people, but it has taken me many weeks to get to this point. I talked with Doug, a coworker, another swim coach, and my principal. Did a lot of thinking about my emotions during the season and how I would feel not having the swim season anymore. I love coaching swim almost as much as I love teaching. And I would have had the opportunity to truly shape the practices & routines the way I wanted, as one of the other veteran coaches on the team has decided to quit. But my sanity - and my family's calm & center - would be completely gone.

In the long run, the kids I coach will be less affected by me quitting than my own children would be by my continuing to coach. And that sealed it.

I will be in the "helping & training" role this year, attending practices when I can, meets when I can, and helping behind the scenes with the computer program for lineups and paperwork (and getting paid under the table for it by one of the other coaches - the deal's already been made). But that gives me the leeway to take my boys where they need to be without guilt, and doing things on my own terms. And then next year, done. As of now, the decision makes me sad and feeling a bit empty - but also a whole lot less stressed.

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