My first year of teaching middle school was tough. I’m pretty sure I made every mistake possible. And more than once.
I tend to analyze and revisit situations after the fact, hoping to figure out what I could do differently in order to improve. That first year, this habit got out of control. Every minute I wasn’t at work, I was reliving every conversation, every interaction. I remember washing my hair in the shower, almost oblivious to anything but the instant replays in my mind.
I realized this constant re-hashing was not leading to any improvement. So I decided my time off from work needed to be completely off—no more obsessing about what I should have done or said.
It is very hard not to think about something. I was catching myself at it, again or again. How to stop?
The answer came when I found a new book by a favorite author, and I began to read. At first, I literally had to tell myself, “Just read,” because my thoughts started to slip back into replay mode.
But soon, I was lost in the story. And able to recharge and sustain myself.
Again and again, the words save me.