Although I started my six month leave officially as of midnight of December 31, it didn’t sink in until January 7th rolled around and I wasn’t at work as a school Principal. One has to realize a few things about me:
a. I have always loved to work and never fathomed the idea of staying at home. Ever.
b. I became a teacher at 21 and a Vice-Principal at 31. I had two 6 month maternity leaves during the past 23 years. I could have chosen a year’s mat leave but I preferred work to being a stay at home mom.
c. M-F I would leave home at 7:30am dropping the children at daycare on route to work and we all returned home at 6:30pm, in time to cook dinner, play, read and tuck them in to bed. I am also a hockey mom (that statement alone says BUSY)!
d. My close friends thought I wouldn’t know how to relax during a six month leave. In fact, I even asked HR if I had the option of changing to a three month leave because I couldn’t imagine six months off. Now I feel stupid!
So having had one week of no work, this is what I’ve discovered . . .
1. What a joy it is to drop off my children at school and preschool every morning — I’ve never done that before. Putting faces to names of friends and school staff feels right.
2. Time is available for anything I want to do! That’s baffling to me. I have time to read books for pleasure without falling asleep! I have time to shop during the day and no longer shop out of necessity between 9-11pm at night.
3. I’m getting way more I love you’s and cuddles from my family. I’m way more affectionate too. I’m around and the connection is intense. In my opinion, distance does not make the heart grow fonder, closeness does!
4. I visit and chat with all the people on my priority list. Awesome!
5. OMG are there ever a lot of people that do not have a regular 8-6 job! I don’t know why this surprised me so, but there certainly are masses enjoying non-frantic 8am – 6pm moments.
6. What a novelty to not feel constant stress:-) In comparison to the job of a school principal, the “stress” that I have staying at home does not even make the stressometer reading!
7. I am happy day and night. That’s because I am sleeping, eating well, exercising and having quality time with family and friends. My tolerance for anything that comes up is balanced rather than in override.
Enjoying the weekdays as well as weekends is extraordinary. Here’s to more people having this experience!