Monday, January 4, 2010

Fake it 'til you make it!

Ideally, "vacation time" should be time taken for rejuvenation and rest, right? Peaceful time. Refreshing time. Relaxing time...Well, one of the perks of my job as a middle school counselor is having the same vacations from work that my little guys have from school. Summers off? You really can't beat it, so what the heck am I whining about? But, here's the be honest, this can also be one of the down sides of my job. Constant, uninterrupted time with my little guys. When I'm off work, they're right there with me. Every time. I love my little boys. Madly. Deeply. Intensely. But, time off during the school year is when I'm supposed to be de-stressing from work and getting myself mentally and emotionally geared up for going back to helping young adolescents deal with everything from failing grades to abuse to drug use to (gulp) sex. Zen time. Me time. Time for reflection and self-care and all that great stuff I'm always telling other people to do, right? Not friggin' likely. Here I am. No helpful relatives in town. Hubby whose work keeps him away and leaves me as Parent-in-Charge 99% of the time. Two little boys who wake up every day between 6:00am and 6:30am with enough energy to power an entire city and go full bore until bedtime. Not a recipe for a relaxing work break...

So, was this holiday restful? Not so much. Peaceful? Not in the least. Rejuvenating? Uh-uh.

And, was I ready to go back to work today? Back to a world of adolescent angst? Worried parents? Budget cuts and stressed-out staff? No way! But, I told myself I was ready. I told myself I was rejuvenated. I waded back in with confidence, energy (in the form of huge quantities of caffeine), and a "can-do" attitude. In short, I took a piece of advice I frequently hand out to my clients: "Fake it, 'til you make it." And make it, I did. I even managed to feel more relaxed as the day went on.

So, while lounging on a beach in Hawaii may be impossible right now (heck, just one night away from the boys is impossible right now), I can always fall back on my little trick. Just fake it, 'til you make it. That, and a nice glass of red wine at the end of the day, will get me through just about anything. Cheers!


  1. I never thought about that you would have your kids there with you when you are off on summers! I can't believe it didn't occur to me before but I do know what it's like to not get a break from the kiddos.

    Mix up a fancy frozen drink, slip in a beachy movie, lay a beach towel on the floor and just you say, fake it til you make it!

  2. Love the fake it til you make it mantra. It really does work. Glad to hear you were able to get back into your routine by the end of the day. It does have to be difficult to spend all of your vacation time with two wound up kids, but think of the future when they are older and don't want to spend all that time with you, surprisingly you might look back on these busy vacation days fondly!

  3. I hear you. I am a high school teacher who was desperately looking forward to break. I am lucky my little man is only 2 so he still goes to daycare (which runs during vacations and since I pay he might as well go) well what happens. Everyday I am going to send him, it snows so he is home the entire break. As far as me, I am sick as a dog (and seven months pregnant)with a nasty cold and cough, head to the doctors twice, it moves on to a sinus infection, and now my son and I have pink eye. When Monday morning rolled around, I bought a coffee and thought to myself "Damn low level high school students sounds relaxing)

  4. sounds all to familiar, dear friend. I, for one, could really use a vacation after this so-called "vacation."

  5. Tater Tot Mom -- I LOVE the idea of giving myself a fake beach vacation on the living room floor. (Especially the "beachy drink" idea. Tesa, you have a great point about this time being precious. Just hard to remember that sometimes. Momma Hunt -- Oh sweetie. You have your plate full, that's for sure. Take care of yourself. Kami, we need to dump our kids with our hubbies and go vacation somewhere together! Cheers!