I am currently sitting on the sofa. It is Sunday, and there is no work tomorrow. Instead there is a week stretching ahead of me in which I must make up for all the time I didn’t have in term time by making sure I’m up to date with work, fitting in all the life admin with books to be returned to the library and new ones borrowed, routine medical and dental appointments, the latest batch of DIY, seeing all the friends I never see, and maybe even turbo charging my blogging to keep up with all these people who do it as a full time job (whilst keeping my promise to myself about spending less time on social media and more time on actual real life tasks. Hmm).
Ladies and gents, teachers and non-teachers, the half term pressure is real. The pressure to hit certain goals, tick, tick, tick, in the limited time you have off work. The pressure to have conquered that pile of marking that’s been sitting on the desk since time immemorial, and to return back to school refreshed and rejuvenated, preferably with a new haircut and updated wardrobe to match. And so far, it’s going OK. I’ve completed one work task, read two books and convinced my brother to put up a new set of blinds in the kitchen (my own grasp of DIY being sadly lacking) and the weekend isn’t even over yet. But then it always goes OK at the beginning of the holidays, when I feel I need to get off to a strong start, like in the summer when I spent the first two days of the holiday painting the kitchen and then the rest of it hanging around the house with Piglet after the realisation that after those two days, he wasn’t going to be at nursery again until September and there was no way I could get anything done with him around.
Not that having Piglet around is a hindrance. In fact, it’s the precious time I get to spend with him. The lazy mornings enduring the Blaze and the Monster Machines DVD yet again and marvelling that he never tires of it. The lunchtimes mooching around in the cafe with the train set, wondering why it’s so much more of a draw than the one we have at home, and the knowledge that actually, I’m doing the job of parenting all on my own, without outsourcing to nursery, or my mother, so that I can go off and concentrate on my day job for ten hours. It’s what half term is really all about. The days out, the lazy days on the sofa, and the trips to soft play. It’s time to catch up and relax and just be, without rushing around. Perhaps the point of half term isn’t just to catch up with endless life admin, but to sit back and actually live some of that life. Just let me book that appointment with the orthodontist first.