There's this feeling that teachers get when they finish a semester or finish the year. So much of teaching is go, go, go that when you finally get an opportunity to stop, you're not quite how to handle it. Free time? What's that? I remember having it once, but it feels like it was so long ago, I can't quite fathom it. And that nagging guilt that you should be grading papers or writing lesson plans rather than taking 42 minutes to watch the one TV show you allow yourself time to watch? Gone. The freedom that comes with the end of the semester is unlike anything I've ever encountered. It's a combination of relief and terror. After all, when you've been running around forever scrambling to get things done, it can be hard to put on the brakes.
That's where I find myself right now. I finally finished my semester as a student, not a teacher, and I'm overwhelmed by the prospect of NOT having anything to do. I've been working so hard lately trying to write papers for these classes (final tally: 10 days of writing, 35,114 words, 139 pages), that it's an entirely foreign feeling to wake up and know that the day is mine to do whatever I want. Granted, there's lots to do...shopping, baking, wrapping, cleaning, etc., but it's such a weird feeling. Refreshing. Exciting. So many possibilities.
I suspect the transition will continue to feel a bit weird. I can't just go cold turkey from school stuff. I'm devising an organizational scheme for all of the reading I did this semester, and I've got two issues of The Reading Teacher waiting to be read. But it's exciting nonetheless.
So to all those teachers out there that may be facing their first day of winter break, enjoy your time off. You've earned it.