Published: October 24th 2008September 30th 2008
Having 6 weeks of holidays is all well and good, but getting back into the daily grind can be a bit of a challenge.
I've been back at work for just over a month now, and have only recently felt the resentment begin to fade. Once you get into the habit, settle into the rhythm, it's not so bad, but until you reach that point, there are those Monday mornings when you wake up thinking it's still holiday time - those are so painful - or that dreaded Sunday evening feeling.
Do all teachers go through this period in Feb/Sept or is it just me?
The students make work worth it most of the time, but on those mornings where you can still feel the warmth of your comfortor as you sit at a cold desk, listening to a staff meeting you don't understand a word of, their shy smiles and good morning nods bounce off you like....like...something bouncy hitting something solid. Even then, the students are not enough to dispel that yearning for sleep and rest and 'home' feeling.
It's not only the lack of down time, but the lack of company that irritates me. I've been something of a miser lately, not leaving home unless it's absolutely necessary and watching old (and new, thanks M and D) movies. This weekend I plan to leave the house and explore a bit more of my little area, perhaps take the train up north to visit Hikone castle. I need a change of scene. That at least may distract me from the fact that I don't have people to talk to and hang out with every day. I meet some other ALTs or my friend Rumi occasionally, but theres really nothing like hanging out with people who have known you for years, and speak your language.
There's also nothing quite like Aussie humour. I find it refreshing to chat with other Aussies, because we can take a joke, and it's much easier to relax in the company of another Aussie than it is some other nationalities. That's not really a generalization....I've been able to test the theory. English humour is the closest I can find to Aussie humour, but then you get the language barrier once again...'What's a mozzie?.....What's goon?...What does strewth mean?....Don't chuck a what?...Wobbly? Is that like unstable?...What does chuck mean?.....etc etc....'
I'm not suffering like we were warned we might. The 3 month depression passed me by, perhaps because I had visitors due, and perhaps it was due to my normal sunny disposition. Having just passed the 6 month mark, I now apparently have to watch out for the dreaded '7 month slump'. I hope this passes me by...as what's the point in moving to another country if you're just going to sit around feeling miserable?
I can see why they warn us about it though, as it gets a bit tougher by the day...being apart from the special people in your life. I have resolved to find enjoyment each day, in even simple things like an aromatic cup of tea, or watching the changing of the leaves in the park. I don't want to live each day feeling homesick and sad, yet here I am wiritng about my blues....errm.
Looking ahead does help in those moments, as less than 12 weeks from now, I will be reclining on a beach, having just eaten some fish and chips, wearing my bikini, sunnies, and coconut oil, preparing myself for a swim in the waves, and rejoicing in the company of friends and family.
Until them i'm going to sit tight, and go through each day with a smile...
...and each night with a dreaming of pepper steak pie from the Miami Bakehouse (south of Perth)!
***Photos to follow in the next 2 days