This was a very strange day for me. Why, you might wonder? For thirty-two years I have known when school vacations end and it’s time to go back to work; today for faculty meetings and tomorrow classes resume. It is on every calendar I own, it is part of my internal clock, it is what I do. When my alarm didn’t go off at 6:00am and I slept until 7:50, I panicked. A feeling of dread about being late – I hate being late. My mantra is – if you are on time, you are late. All of my former field hockey and tennis players can tell you this. “Yes, she will leave you behind if you are late for the bus.” With the exceptions of three maternity leaves, (25, 23, and 20 years ago), the school year has been a part of my internal clock.
And so, my sabbatical begins. What am I looking forward to – the one thing all prep school teachers talk about – time. Time to do the things that the school year doesn’t often provide us with – spending time with family that lives far away, time to travel at leisure, time to take care of projects at home that have gone undone for too long, time to breathe, read, relax and dive into exciting adventures.
For me this began the weekend before Thanksgiving with a quick trip to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 75th birthday. Time with family that we don’t see often enough, time to celebrate an amazing woman who has supported our family in ways that are simply selfless, and time to remind ourselves of the beauty of my husband’s hometown, Niagara Falls, Ontario. It was wonderful. I found myself contemplating just what a gift this time is that I have and am so grateful for it.
This past weekend I had the chance to spend with three of my very best college girlfriends. We keep in touch but had not spent time together since three summers ago when we celebrated our 50th birthdays in Boston; seeing an incredible Billy Joel concert at Fenway. Our lives have taken paths that allow us to share, support and engage in conversation, laughter and sometimes tears. But it always circles back to laughter and fun. The sharing of memories of life on the Hill at Hamilton is always a favorite and there was a great deal of that to be sure. I find myself thinking about just how impactful these three women were in my college experience and how lucky I am that they are still in my life.
As I plan for the next few months, I consider how fortunate I am to have the support of my administration and colleagues at Tabor to afford me this time. One thing is for sure, I will make the most of it and return to school re-energized and ready to dive in.