This past week started off with attending my first theater workshop in the city. I was not at all familiar with theater or improv, but I thought it would be a good learning experience since the workshop was geared towards improving your teaching skills through using theater performance techniques. The workshop was extremely helpful for spicing up lesson plans, but I didn’t realize how all-out and demanding theater is. Theater requires you to be wide open, present, adaptable, imaginative, and have constant high energy. I left with a newfound respect for theater and I thought it was a great exercise for getting outside my comfort zone. After the workshop, I had a sleepover with Renee at her place and we ate pizza for dinner and watched a Christmas movie on Netflix. It was a simple night-in, but it felt so cozy and refreshing to be with a good friend and just laugh and chat about life.
This year was the first time that I spent Thanksgiving without my family, but lucky for me Jordyn and Jules, my good friends from college, came to Madrid to see me for a few days. We had our “Thanksgiving” dinner at an Argentinian restaurant in the city, followed by churros with chocolate dip at San Ginés. The cold weather was definitely a shock for them, but it was divine to spend quality time with them again and wander the streets of Madrid together. We walked everywhere- Mercado de San Miguel, El Palacio Real, Museo del Prado, Retiro park, Malasaña, Sol, Gran via. I think they’re favorite part was the fresh pastries, the gorgeous buildings, and the charming cobblestone roads.
Before they came to visit on Thursday, I was feeling really scattered and overwhelmed with my Global classrooms role. It’s a wonderful project, but it’s a lot of responsibility and requires a lot of time/energy outside the classroom. For some reason I thought of the game Red Light, Green Light which is a children’s game that I used to play when I was little. But this time I was thinking of the game in terms of self-care and seeing the green, yellow, and red lights as indicators of how to manage your energy output and recovery from our responsibilities, such as work, school, etc.
Sometimes I want to be green light all the time and just go, go, go and knock out that To-Do list of mine but that is not healthy and I’ve learned that it’s more beneficial to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter and living a balanced life to me means taking advantage of those in-between moments of work and/or carving out time to hit the RESET button and put gas back in your energy tank. This could be sleeping, exercise, meditation, being with loved ones-whatever activities that make you feel rejuvenated and ready to be green light again. I’ve noticed that when I prioritize slowing down and listen to my needs, I show up for life more fully and I just feel better overall. It is important that we listen to these signals from ourselves so that we can work, live, and play at full capacity. Listening to myself and finding out what works best for me is a life-long journey, but one that I want to continue exploring.
Have a beautiful week!
P.S. Thank you Jordyn and Jules for coming to Madrid! I love you both so much and can’t wait til our next adventure:)