The last few weeks have been particularly stressful. Firstly, there’s my father-in-law, who suffered a terrible fall at the end of last year. He hit his head as he fell, which caused bleeding in the brain. He had to have an operation to reduce the pressure and it left him in a very bad way. We spent Christmas with him, and it was one of the hardest festive periods I’ve ever experienced. Seeing someone you love in such a state really forces you to reflect on your own mortality and what you want out of life. Perhaps all of this coloured my thoughts on my return to London at the start of this month, and helped me to reach a decision about what I wanted from 2017.
I decided I wanted to be working slightly less insane hours and to be able to focus more on a smaller number of things. I also knew I needed more free time if I was to be able to carry on with my writing commitments and travel in order to do some training and support teachers who are using the material. Once I’d got all of this clear in my mind, it was easier to make the decision to walk away from the school we’d spent the last year trying to get up and running. It’s never nice to admit defeat or to feel like you’ve let people down and been a disappointment, but in this instance, knowing we were free of our many responsibilities was a huge feeling of relief. It was a real weight off our minds!
You can describe something as a weight – or a load – off your mind when a problem you’d been worrying about has finally been sorted out. You can finally heave a sigh of relief and you can now rest easy, safe in the knowledge that the worst in now behind you. You now have one less thing to worry about – and probably feel incredibly relieved and (if anyone’s helped you) grateful! Next, you may want to use the past perfect continuous to explain your feelings: It’s such a weight off my mind, the whole thing. I’d been really stressing about things these last few months. The worry had been really getting to me. Finally, of course, once the dust has settled, you can start to look forward and make plans.
Tomorrow, we’ll be posting a bit more about what that might involve for us! If you’d like to know more, please contact us – firstname.lastname@example.org – and we’ll add you to our mailing list.
- Can you think of any times in your life where you felt a huge sense of relief? What happened to make you feel it was a real weight off your mind?
- Do you know anyone who works insane hours? What do they do?
- Have you ever felt like you’d let people down and been a disappointment?
- Who was the last person you felt really grateful to? Why?
One of my colleague teachers, at a language school I used to teach at, wore herself out by working 12 hours everyday including weekends. She ended up in hospital for two weeks. It was too much for her to take.
There is one helpful book that I have read recently and I would like to recommend as I’m sure it would be of great use to you, it’s “Essentialism by Greg McKeown”. It helps you to bring clarity and focus to what you want to achieve in life.
Thanks for your response. Yeah, lots of teachers I’ve met work pretty insane hours and often for far too little financial reward as well. One of the main reasons I’ve decided to step back a bit is to avoid the kind of burnout you describe above! Thanks for the tip on the book. I’ll try to check it out sometime soon.