Every year I plan to catch up on my research and writing in May, after university classes end and before grade school classes do. But every year I’m disappointed at my own inertia. I ride out the term on a wave of Spring-has-sprung energy and then, just when I’m hoping to turn to my own projects, c-r-a-s-h.
My singing teacher, Fides, calls this a “fallow period” and claims that it’s nearly universal, for educators of all kinds, to need down-time after a teaching cycle. But here’s the part that tantalizes me: Fides also believes there’s a way of conducting yourself onstage that would make the fallow period unnecessary. (“Onstage” could also mean on a lecture-hall podium, in meetings—wherever you have to present yourself performatively.)
Fides’s way of working taps into the body’s reserves of energy more efficiently, and responds to the body’s demands more attentively. The ideal is that rejuvenation becomes an aspect of daily life—even of every activity–instead of something we have to retreat from life to achieve.
Armed with thirteen months of Fides’ breathwork and voice classes, I began this school year hopeful for a new equilibrium. And I am healthier and happier, if I compare myself to the ghosts of mid-March past.
Still, mid-March is a bitch. My students are fretful, the committee work is piling up, spring conferences are looming. . .
Breathe, Sarah! Breathe.