Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Non-negotiables

Happy Tuesday all!
Today I have a very special guest.
She's an author and 
my co-author,
Austine Etcheverry

Balance is defined in Algebra as equalizing both sides. As a resource teacher, mom of two kids and 6 animals, wife, media specialist, assistant, writer and mentor I have eight hard and fast non-negotiables that keep me standing in the middle of the balance beam instead of leaning into the tar pit of unbalance and unrest.

Rule number 1: Early to rise. I go to work early, 30 to forty minutes early. This way I have plenty of time to socialize, make last minute copies or adjustments for my class as needed. Time to sit and just enjoy a good cup of coffee or write the IEP I forgot about. This helps me start my day fresh, instead of rushed.

Rule number 2: Commit to quiet work time. One day a week I lock my door on my prep and turn down the lights. This allows me to complete all of my lesson plans for the week, make copies and power points or whatever is needed for the instruction. This also helps, with being organized when the student has a meltdown in the hallway, or you have a last minute scheduled meeting. No worries, because my assistant can pick up the class if I can’t because everything is already mapped out.

Rule number 3: The dinner table. No work during dinner! No phone calls! No text messaging! No T.V! This is my number one time with my kids. On the drive to and from work I have to admit I’m normally on my phone. Catching up with friends, chatting about work or other items that have been set to the side and forgotten. But at dinner all of this get’s put away. It helps me re-charge my batteries and reminds me what’s really important.

Rule number 4: The great balancing act. I always read a bedtime story to my kids. This is another great way for me to slow down and re-charge. Plus I get to share in a character’s adventures with my sons. We can fight off pirates, learn about volcanoes or get a sneak peak into the life of a twelve year old in the “Hunger Games.”

Rule Number 5: Time for me. For one hour every weekend I do anything I want to do. I might shut my bedroom door and read a book or write. Sometimes, I take my dogs for a walk and other times I watch a movie I’ve been waiting to watch. But whatever it is, if people want to join me great, if not that’s fine to because it’s about me doing what I want, not what anyone else wants.

Rule Number 6: Time for adult conversation. This is a little steamier and is not for young eyes. Right after the boy’s go to bed, my husband and I take some time together. We talk about what we need to, enjoy each other’s company and hang out. If he starts doing something before I’m finished reading to the boys, I simply interrupt him, to get the attention that I need. Helps me to re-charge the batteries. (Okay, well it wasn’t that steamy, but you get the idea).

Rule number 7: Time to reflect. I don’t have to even leave my kitchen if I don’t want to, but it leaves me with the flexibility to do it wherever and whenever I want. Drink a great cup of coffee. (What did you think I was talking about something else?) Anyway, I take my time once a day to sip a great cup of coffee with the perfect creamer, perfect blend of flavor and a small amount of quiet. In this coffee world, for the moment I can dream, think, build a house or plan a birthday party. It doesn’t matter because the focus is on the coffee.

Rule Number 8: Feel the beat. I dance to the music and sing in my car as loud as I can. When I know that I have a busy day at work, I remind myself that the only way to keep the balance is to do the inverse. My inverse is singing as loud as I can in my car on the way to work. It makes me happy and to dance ridiculous because that embarrass my kids. Which is a perk to being a parent.

In my life balance is achieved by truly living each day for the day while planning ahead for the future to make sure the past doesn’t sneak up on me, and dump a pile of work on my desk when I’m on a lunch break. The art and skill of balance is organization in my work life, home life, children’s lives and writing life.
Austine is a mother of two boys, three cats and three dogs.  She has been married for three years and works full time as a special education teacher for sixth through eighth grade.  She is a writer of Women's fiction and Young adult science fiction.  Her first book, "Flight of the Water Planet," will be published and available for sale on April 18, 2012.  She enjoys sunsets, log walks with her dogs, watching movies, hanging with friends and enjoying a great cup of coffee. 

Find her here:
The Exodus Series Blog
The Exodus Series Website

1 comment:

  1. I love singing loudly in the car, too! Best wishes to you both on the launch of your great book!


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