“Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”
― Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now
I am no stranger to spending Thanksgiving break away from my family in Indiana. Staying here in Miami over break thus felt natural to me, although it felt very akin to college to be surrounded by people going home for the holidays. And even though break promised two extra days out of the classroom, there was still much to do. But I realized that the work could wait a few days while I rested my body and mind. Maya Angelou’s words rang very true for me over these last four days. During these days I have filled my stomach with delicious foods, enjoyed the sunshine and beach that I often do not get to enjoy though it is so close, sat with friends and laughed about things unrelated to students, and drank in the fresh night air of young freedom. I needed to take those days as days away. I had to put away the gradebook, the lesson plans, the constant swirl of educational thoughts, to remind myself that I do deserve the days in which no solutions are searched for and I can simply exist in a moment without confronting my problems. Momentary withdrawals are not permanent but they are necessary in order to continue this type of work. This year for Thanksgiving, I am most grateful for these snapshots of restfulness.