The end of the term is coming in scholastic-land, and as I always do, I run kind of a mental self-check of what I've accomplished in a particular term, from a variety of perspective: quality of teaching, value of assignments, number of exams, yada yada. Also do a general survey of life as I know it, kind of a way of keeping one's self in touch with reality, if you will. This time, though, I came across some uncomfortable truths: I have been WAY below my game lately. Embarassingly such.
Now I'm well aware that I'm a perfectionist, and I've been told more than once in my life that I push myself way, way too hard when it's something I care about. I don't deny that - but I also can't deny my nature, either, so I just kind of shrug and move on. My lessons haven't sucked, but the assignments have been well below par and not enough of 'em. I've got an eighth grade research project that is scaling way out of my intended plan. I've got a seventh grade project I had to abandon as a result of upcoming TAKS, and I had the naive idea about helping out my department that I've not been able to get running at all, that I'm sure makes me look quite the jackass after asking about it.
Don't get me wrong - this isn't an "oh, poor me" post. I'm not happy about it, but I'm more interested in why. It's not like I picked up an addiction to Austrian hashish or discovered my great and undying love of the bottle. Since I have no new concrete changes in my life, I have to assume it's something intangible.
And yeah, THAT one is fairly obvious. I didn't really consider the whole "baby on the horizon" thing as a major change in my life pre-birth. Maybe that was naive of me, or maybe all guys do it, I dunno. Realistically, very little has changed for me - I have to watch out for Amy a bit more, but the "knight in shining armor" motif tattooed inside my head has been making me do that since I met her. I moved some furniture out of one room so we could start prepping it. (Yeah, "nesting" is definitely underway around here.)
Otherwise, life physically hasn't changed much - but I'm coming to realize that all those times I spend boggling over WHAT-IS-TO-COME may be
A) unhealthy mentally
B) time wasting.
And sure, okay, it's probably entirely normal on both parts - but that doesn't mean you can't strive to fix it. What I'm coming to realize is that I have entirely and completely crap means of stress relief. I'm well aware that I barely had enough for being a healthy teacher to begin with - this added stress is absolutely nuking me. So fellows, here's a big starting tip of advice:
Make sure you've got some major, significant form of stress relief already going on in your life before she gets pregnant. More than you think you actually need. And uh, don't rely on what couples do naturally as your first and only form, because that whole system gets a little erratic as well. Plan your stress relief in a non-caloric, non-chemical for, or you'll do some pretty major damage to yourself at a time you need to be tip-top.
Also - don't neglect your sleep. Too little sleep means more stress. Even if the reason you're neglecting sleep is because the wife is going to bed earlier and it's your chance for peace and quiet and contemplation (in whatever form you prize and treasure that in, heh.) You'll pay for it more in fatigue the next day.
Stress, by the way, makes you tolerate the wife less - and even though they're massively internally focused right now (as well they should be) they're also hypersensitive to their environment. Probably some ancient defense mechanism, but it means they'll notice you are more irritable, and that doesn't help you, them, or the bun.
If it sounds like I'm speaking from experience, well...heh.
Anyone got any relatively short-duration, cheap stress-relief methods?