My school day officially ends at 3:15, but I rarely leave the building then. Either I have an after school activity to supervise or I am trying to make the most of quiet hours without students to get caught up on tasks that don't fit into the daily school schedule.
But one day, during the first few days of school, I left at 3:15.
It was glorious! We came home because we thought a service provider was coming and we had to be here to meet him. (I didn't know I'd come home to a message that he was going to have to reschedule.) I couldn't believe how much more time I had when I came home at 3:30 instead of 5:30. And for the two weeks leading up to the start of school, there were many days I came home at 8:30. Leaving at 3:15 was a completely foreign experience. And I liked it.
My parents instilled in me a strong work ethic. My only-child status ensures that I am a perfectionist who is not satisfied unless I have plans and materials in place at least 2 weeks out from today and that everything has to be done with complete excellence. The painful losses during the last year gave me an excuse to work like a manic woman so I didn't have to deal with all of the emotions and ups-and-downs of the last 18 months.
But I am getting to a place where I want more - or is it less?
I want to be productive and I want to do my work with excellence, but I also want to have a life. I want to have time with my family and time to pursue my hobbies, and time to actually sit down and read a book - something I seemed to have a lot more time for before I started working as a librarian, ironically enough.
Maybe, once I get "on top" of things at school and get back into the routine of my work, I'll enjoy the freedom that comes from leaving at 3:15 more often.