Gads, I can’t believe it’s been a year since I put a post on this blog. Guess that’s the peril of having so many blogs. I post every day on Tanka Diary and Haiku and Other Short Poems, but this blog and my flash fiction blog sort of fall by the wayside.
Anyway, another school year has started and this year, so far at least, is going so much better than the previous years. I realize that this is because I’ve finally started to pay more attention to what works for me and then to follow through with making that happen.
My summer had some very rocky moments, and I had to make some difficult decisions. In the end, those decisions have worked out and I think that has given me the courage to make decisions about other parts of my life. For the past five years, I’ve tutored at Student Link, Vashon’s alternative high school, volunteering two hours in the morning on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, for a total of six hours/week. However, I’ve learned that being somewhere else away from home requires a lot of energy on my part. Just going to Student Link took energy, leaving me with less to use for the students. In addition, I would have a number of students to “juggle” at once, which wasn’t truly helpful for either me or the students.
So this year I decided I would only tutor from home. I live close to the schools, so the students have no problem biking or walking to my place. The students love my home, with all of its colors, pets, and interesting things. I tutor students one-on-one, so they get much more attention and help. I now am volunteering eleven hours/week, so nearly twice what I’ve done in the past, and yet I find that my energy levels are better than they have been in years.
I was worried that the students wouldn’t come to me, but that proved to be a false worry. As one of my students said, I have everything that an adolescent would want. I’ve had a few parents accompany their student to a session, and the parents seem extremely happy with both the space and my approach.
The change in my work environment has had the added benefit that I usually only have to leave my home twice a week now, and that has made a tremendous difference to me as well. I do still go to the Senior Center on Wednesday afternoons to teach my bridge class. I enjoy the students there a lot, and so I shall keep that going. But I’ve also noticed that I get much more tired after that hour than I do after three or four hours tutoring at home.
So I’ve learned a lot about myself, and even more than that, I’ve learned to respect what works or doesn’t work for me, and to arrange my life, in as far as I’m able, to be in harmony with what works. I’m definitely a homebody and I’m also an introvert. I need to spend my weekends (Friday afternoon through to Tuesday morning) pretty quietly and mostly alone. That is when I can give reign to my creativity, also a big part of who I am.
It really doesn’t matter who you are or what works for you. Thankfully, we are all different. What matters is that you discover what does and doesn’t work and then do whatever you can to bring more of what does work into your life. I’ve seen such a change in the quality of my life by doing just that. It’s not always easy, but it is definitely worth the effort.