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Variations on a theme: Quality Time

Several of my colleagues refer to this trough of the year as Jebuary, and it comes with its own set of challenges. Jebuary is a proper noun–the stretch of January and February that, in Canada at least, accounts for some of the most soul-challenging weather of the year. One can also have a case of the Jebuaries. It is hard to muster the momentum and enthusiasm necessary to perform solid, engaging lectures, write those conference papers and articles, and attend meetings with the civic-mindedness that seems a bit easier to tap into in September. One of the constant concerns I have about posting on a Monday is tone. I fear that my tone has a tendency toward the frantic, the frenzied, the exhausted, and the fearful, and let’s be frank, no one needs those tones on a Monday morning, however accurate they may be!

So here we are, in the midst of Jebuary, and it is a Monday no less. Obviously, I’m concerned about our collective and individual well being. And yet I am a month into a four-course teaching term that already has me begging for a little mercy. I wonder, as I write, about how to strike a balance between being frank about my experience as an LTA and the kinds of feelings I am having this term without dragging all y’all down.

What’s the solution? Well, for me it is returning to that one entry I’ve managed to make in my #Reverb11: Quality. How does one beg, steal, or borrow quality, not to mention quality time, when there seems to be no time at all? While I was trying to work this question out I remembered Aime’s post about how much can be accomplished in thirty minutes, and using it as a guide I’ve carved out thirty quality minutes for myself on a weekday morning. Friends, this term I live for Friday morning. On Friday mornings I teach an early class, this means I have no time to go home after my yoga practice. Instead of feeling guilty for leaving my partner with dog-walking duties, and rather than getting ahead on work for the coming week, I shower at the yoga studio and then walk to my favorite cafe and sit in the corner and read the local indy news. I drink fancy coffee, eat my breakfast, and buy another fancy coffee to go. All told I’m there for only about thirty or forty minutes, but they are some of the sweetest, calmest, and relaxing minutes of my week.

Here is a photo of me with my true blue pal and morning yoga partner Mia. We are in the lovely lobby of the yoga studio. If we look a bit smug it is because this photo is taken during the day as opposed to at the crack of dawn, which is when we are usually at the Shala.

I love hiding in the corner of The Smiling Goat, drinking amazing coffee, and reading The Coast on Friday mornings before I wade into the remains of the week.

 What about you? How do you carve out quality time just for you in the midst of the hectic and ennui-filled Jebuaries?

3 thoughts on “Variations on a theme: Quality Time

  1. Oh! It never occurred to me that I could use a 30 minute chunk to have some 'me time.' That's BRILLIANT, Erin. And I love the idea of a quiet coffee with the newspaper, especially since with husband and kid and cat at home, peace and quiet is in fairly short supply.

    Love it. And “Jebruary” is a great word. Dammit, my birthday, though, falls right on the apex of it, and no one ever feels much of anything except blah. Jebruary. Huh.


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