Yesterday, I had strict instructions from my husband not to bring work home. I smiled at him. That sly smile. The one that says: We’ll have to see about that, but I’m humoring you by not saying so. “I’m serious,” he said. “I’m worried about you. You need to get some sleep tonight.” I smiled. “I know,” I admitted.

I talked to myself all the way to school. Each day comes with these three decisions:

What has to get done? What will wait until tomorrow (or later)? What is never going to get done (and admit it to yourself!)?

So, as I headed to work, knowing that I had an appointment promptly after school, I rolled through the questions and, mostly, my focus was on what could wait, and what needed to be eliminated permanently. It seemed impossible. With report cards to write, conferences to prepare for, assessments to score, emails to answer, assignments to check, lessons to plan, and a laundry list of other tasks, I was beginning to despair. I was going to have to take some work home.

And then, a lucky break! My appointment got cancelled. Oh, joy! I would have time after school to work, and I wouldn’t bring home my giant teacher bags of papers!

After students left for the day, I settled in for part two of my day. I put on my George Ezra Pandora station, and spread my papers out on the large group table. Happily, I checked items off my list. I also took items off my list- permission to abandon good intentions, and I tabled other items for another day.

I’m embarrassed to say that I went home without work “on a technicality.” After all, I had spent a chunk of my night at school. But, when I got home, I heated some food, climbed into bed, read slices, and “took the night off.” It actually felt like that!

This is a crazy time of year. We are running at full speed at school, and there is so much I have to do, and even more that I want to do, so creating a balance is a challenge. I could choose to do less, but it’s the things I choose that make the tasks I don’t choose seem less burdensome, albeit time-consuming.

I love my work, so drawing a line can get tricky, and it’s nearly impossible when the external demands increase. So I’m glad that I had the night “off” last night. It’s all about attitude in the end, right?