Years ago, I probably would never admit this to myself or write it in a blog post. I always thought as long as I keep going, I would be fine. I would figure things out as I worked towards my goals and dreams. A lot of growth has happened since them.
Teaching during the pandemic has been nothing short of a challenge. Even before the pandemic, educators wore many hats on a daily basis. On any given day a teacher’s role includes teaching, mentor, role model, counselor, support system, disciplinarian, tech support, and even translator. The pandemic added to all of the roles that an educator already has.
Educators have been asked to do more and provide support even on days they can barely provide support for themselves. The typical long hours of teaching became even longer with navigating technology, shifting lesson plans, assisting students with technology issues, and managing our own home lives. After full days of supporting others, educators are often forgotten.
The normal balancing act of teaching, service, and scholarship also became difficult. There was a decline of women in higher education publishing in 2020 due to balancing work and home lives. I was able to present at several conferences and worked on publications but this came at a cost to my health both physical and mental.
By the end of 2020, my body was giving me clear signs to slow down. This came in the form of back pain and overall anxiety. There was simply too much to balance and too much to get done. There were tears. A lot of them. I knew I wasn’t ok. I was too tired and burned out. Exhaustion didn’t even feel like the right word to use. I was too far past exhaustion.
The reality remains that 2021 begins in a similar fashion to most of 2020. There is still a lot to balance, too much to get done, and not enough time in the day. The only difference is my mindset. I know I need help and I do have some things planned. I will share at a later date :)
The only thing I can do at this time is admit I haven’t been ok. That is freeing in and of itself.