Anyone who knows me well, knows I decided to take a year leave of absense, an LOA, after two incredibly difficult years of my life. I am a 5th grade teacher with a first career of 20 years in high tech. My husband died in the middle of the school year in 2014. I returned to the classroom in April to end the year and returned the following school year. What people who've never taught don't get is that when you have thirty or so little faces expecting you to not just show up but on be every day, no matter what, that you can't 'just phone it in.' Heck, they think teachers actually live in our classrooms so how could we possibility be anywhere else? When you are facing any sort of personal crisis just showing up can be exhausting.
After debating and consulting with my physician, therapist, my accountant, my close friends, and mostly myself, I decided to put in for a leave of absense. No one questioned my choice and most enthusiastically supported it. When I sat down with our human resources person, I told her I'd consider part time opportunities as a way to keep my toes in the pool, and not burn any bridges.
I started meditating and rowing daily. I spent more time with my octogenarian parents. I ate healthier and started sleeping better. I started a new blog about my journey through grief to gratitude and grace. I felt as good as I could. I planned mini-vacays to have a future to look forward to. I was careful to plan a special drive to Yosemite in my S2000CR on the first day of school as a kickoff to my endless summer.
So the next nine months posts will feature the adventures of an educator on adventure, my LOA Diaries.