Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Winter's a-coming

There is a frost in the air that's been absent until now. The trees are as yellow as can be. I had to wear gloves this morning, and I've dug out my best winter coat and hung it by the front door. Snow is predicted for Monday, and that is really the beginning of a new season that doesn't end till the start of April. 

Happily, the heating has been turned on; somewhere in the recesses of Tetz, the ancient factory near Vostok Pyat, cogs and wheels are spluttering fuel into the heating pipes of an entire city. The sadly ironic consequence is that I have to open all my windows, to let the frosty air mingle with the stifling heat and create a temperate environment. Awful waste, but one over which I have no control.

Today, my 11/12 English class wrote exam essays about dystopias; my 10 English class dissected an IGCSE poem by Elizabeth Brewster; in ESL support, we worked on new vocabulary; I advertised upcoming auditions for the school production; I ran English club; I met with my landlady because she wanted to give me potplants (not realising that she was effectively committing them to death); and I met with some friends at a Japanese restaurant. 

That's an example of a nicely balanced day. I'm learning how to look after myself in this regard - how to fine-tune my time. After last year's burn-out, I am determined not to push myself. I go home before 6 PM. I do not take grading with me. I eat all the vegetables I can find. I take time to cook real food. I walk more, go to the gym more. I listen to music and sermons and thereby feed my soul. I reply to emails promptly. I say 'no' to many opportunities. I commit all these things to God, and thank him for caring enough to teach me about rest.

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