On discipline: 5 things 4.2.19

  • Informed by letter last week that the local primary schools are doing away with homework, as a town-wide policy. I did have a big “ooh er” kneejerk reaction, but I’m familiar with all the arguments against homework, and mostly I’m impressed and excited that the schools are so progressive. C has had nothing but great experiences at school here, I trust her teachers completely. But it’s still weird.
  • Part of the weirdness is that I’ve been leaning on the idea of homework as something I could use to teach the kids discipline, which I never really learned. In fact I haven’t quite had the discipline to pay enough attention to what homework she has had, so, well. So much for that idea. Maybe we’ll all do better with music practice. (Lessons start today! Super exciting!)
  • Spent a lot of last week feeling like I was failing at discipline on the personal front (that DON’T WANNA reflex again) but honestly I think I’m just a bit over the work situation. Not like I’m working such extreme hours (I mean, definitely more than my contracted 34, and occasionally past midnight, but overall not terrible). And not like the stress level is super high (I’ve had a lot worse, and very recently). But it’s a project that sucks up a lot of oxygen and then I have nothing left for… family. Household. Life. Even knitting. I’m behind on everything and I barely even care.
  • Although ACKSHULLY that’s not such a bad thing. I have spent so long stressing myself out about self-imposed knitting deadlines etc. It’s a pretty good mental shift to get towards: this is the plan, but if the schedule doesn’t work out, too bad. Just carry on, and don’t forget to be kind to yourself.
  • Right now I think what I need most is to learn to take time off. That requires a very special discipline. It demands that I don’t just keep detailed to-do lists (got that), but that I create very specific priorities, to be done in very specific boxes of time, and boxes of time that are for doing NO WORK. Otherwise I keep faffing about, sitting down to do just the one semi-urgent thing, and then I’m at my desk so I may as well do the next thing and the next thing, because they’re all related and need to be done some time… and after an hour I still haven’t done the other (semi-)urgent things but neither have I had an actual break.

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