Lola O.
Today is the first day of another week. Lately, I've been dreading Mondays for several reasons. First, it means my weekend has come to an end. Like Cinderella, when the clock stricks twelve I realize that the real world has begun to intrude on my dream world. Second, Monday is my worst day of the week. I have 3 classes of 6th grade, 1 class of 3rd grade, and 2 afterschool classes. All back to back, and after I have to lesson plan for the next day, and then there is the teacher's meeting. Monday is my busy day, and by the time I get home I am exhausted, and ready for naptime.

These days time seems to be moving faster, and days slip into one another. For some reason, I couldn't fall asleep last night. I went to bed around 11PM and by 1PM I was still wide awake. I finally fell asleep but it was restless and I woke up around 6AM unable to fall back asleep. So today, I am really tired, and that doesn't help when I have a busy day. At first I felt fine, but as the day went on, and the kids became really noisy to the point of giving me a headache, I realized how tired I really was. What was kind of funny was how hungry I was at lunch today. I didn't notice just how hungry I was until I started eating and for the next 15 minutes my focus was on shoveling food into my mouth. I even got seconds. Now, I'm really sleepy. The nice thing is that my 3rd grade co-teacher is doing a review so she said she doesn't need my help. Yippie!!!

I think it's the combination of lack of sleep, noisy kids, and humidity that is making me feel a little out of balance today. Truthfully, I've been feeling out of balance for the past week. I have so many things I want/need to do like planning my trip to Tokyo and Jeju over summer break. I know I don't need to figure it all right now, but I don't have the energy to start researching it just yet. I'm a very I have to be in the mood to do something kind of person. Also, my school has me doing English camp and afterschool classes at the same time, and they haven't told me anything about what I am doing for the camp, what grades I am teaching, or anything useful. Camp starts in a little over a month, and I would like to have something ready for those 3 weeks. I'm crossing my fingers it won't be mixed grades because that just makes everything ten times harder.

This past Saturday some friends and I headed to Muuido Island for some sun and relaxation. It was exactly what I needed. I felt at peace there. It was so different from Seoul. It was quiet, slow, and the countryside was a feast for my eyes. We spent the day at Hanagae beach and just lounged around for the day, eating junk food, reading books, and talking. I took lots of photos, which will be in another post. It was nice to get out of Seoul, even the journey there was fun. We took the longer/scenic route from Incheon station. If you are in a time crunch (then go to Incheon Airport and take bus 222 or 306 to the ferry terminal). I just loved how quiet it was, no one was in a rush, and everyone was just relaxing. I'm definitely going to do more island hopping in the future. I think it makes a good overnight trip.

The weird thing was, when I woke up on Sunday I was completely wiped out. I was beyond tired, and it wasn't like I really did anything. It was like being jet lagged. I kept on napping throughout the day, but was still tired. I managed to do some laundry, and some grocery shopping. I had to force myself to get out of my apt but once I did I was glad. It was around 8:30 PM and the weather was lovely. As I walked to the Daiso I noticed this side street I had never seen before, making me realize once again how many places in my area I have yet to discover. I love walking around my area; it's great for photgraphy, and I can end up discovering a new restaurant, cafe, or... What I would really like to find is a nice park to relax in. When I was in college, I had this spot I would sit at on my bad days, or when I wanted some solitude to let my thoughts run around. I'm in need of a spot I can go to and do some drawing, writing, and thinking. I don't like cafes for that sort of thing. I always like being outside, under a tree, watching the world around me keep flowing on.

Okay, so about balance. In some ways I am finding mine and losing it at the same time. I feel more comfortable here. I like cooking and eating at home (it doesn't feel lonely anymore). At the same time I'm always doing something. I feel like why stay at home, and miss out on the fun. There's going to come a time though when I'm going to have to take a step back and do my own thing before I get burned out. I'm constantly on the go, and the lists of things to do just keeps piling up. My environment is always a reflection of my current state, hence the sink full of dishes I must wash when I get home today. Being a neat freak, I know that something is up when my apartment starts getting messy, it means my thoughts are messy, and life in general is starting to get messy.

All of this is probably why I couldn't sleep last night. My head felt fuzzy thinking about this and that. I'm realizing that I won't be able to do everything I want, so I should focus on the ones I want the most. So today, I was looking at my list of personal goals I made before coming to Seoul, and it made me smile. I've done a lot in a little over 3 months, and I will do even more in the nexy 9 months. So I am taking a deep breathe, and am going to do things at my own pace. The thing about finding my balance, is that I have to lose it once in a while.

On a lighter note, the sunny weather has been wonderful the past few days. It makes me miss Arizona, and makes me happy at the same time. I am hopefully going to get a weekly Korean tutor for free which would be awesome in learning more Korean (it's a volunteer program in Daerim). I've recovered from my tonsillitis, but now with summer here my allergies are acting up. I have enough money to pay of my credit card, but I might wait to pay it off completely depending on how much traveling over the summer is going to cost me. I'm getting back into reading. I bought Through The Painted Deserts, before I came to Korea, and  this weekend I finally opened it up. The story it close to my heart because it's about leaving home which is what I am doing.

Lastly, it feels like I am going through puberty all over again. I feel like our twenties are full of all these growing pains. It's a bittersweet kind of feeling. I'm excited to be doing/ to do the thing things I have talked about. Whether or not my friends can go with me, I am determined to go to Japan and Jeju. I'm realizing that sometimes you are going to have to do things on your own, there is a kind of freedom and empowerment from it. I feel like the clay and the sculptor.

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” -Thomas Merton-
“Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.” -Barbara De Angelis-

“There’s no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves” -Frank Herbert-

“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.” -Brian Tracy-
Be Blessed,
~Lola O.~
2 Responses
  1. - Maybe you can ask to skip the teachers meeting, based on that you need more time to plan.
    - Tokyo is awesome! I highly recommend the Studio Ghibli Museum.
    - If you want to see more quiet and area has it ;)
    - I get wiped out too from simple trips to places. It sucks but the body is commander.

    As the weather changes we all make little adjustments to it. hehe..

  2. Lola O. Says:

    I tried getting out of it, but regardless of my not speaking enough Korean I still have to sit there with the other teachers. Same on Fridays.