Saner This Time Around?

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I’m a middle-school teacher and I love my job. But I hate the stress
that goes along with it, and the fact that my evenings and all day
Sunday are devoted to reading student exams and class prep. I don’t
get out of there on time because students keep coming to talk and for
help, because I’m one of the few teachers they feel safe talking to. My
husband and friends are ready to have me committed by Thanksgiving
break. How can I make this year different?

Saner This Time Around?

Dear Saner:

You need to make two lists: one for what you love about your job and
the other of what you’d change if you could. Then the most important
list: how your life would be if you were happy at work and happy and
sane not at work. Include in it all the things that help keep you sane,
whether that’s walking the dog, going to the gym or yoga classes, or
something as simple as taking a hot bath and curling up on the sofa
with a book.

Then get out a weekly calendar and set up a schedule for yourself.
Make a schedule that sets boundaries for work and personal time. Yes
boundaries. Times when you will leave the school and go immediately
to the gym. Times when you will unplug your phone and knit. Tikes
when you and your partner will go out for dinner and a movie and
neither of you will talk about work. Times when you can go for a glass
of wine with your friends, listen to one another complain about work
for five minutes each, and then talk about food, culture, fashion, and
frivolity. Live your life, not your work!