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The. ̶E̶n̶d̶.̶ Pause.

The sound of grade books closing is almost audible today. Teachers drink their morning coffee with little, half-smirks that leave students saying, Sus. Gifts change hands. Escape... er, break plans are gleefully shared or grinchily hoarded so as not to be stalked online by ever-curious teens. Of course, the teens themselves may or may not be starting their breaks a day early.

Regardless, semester one of the 2022-2023 school year ends for most of us today.

Always well deserved, these breaks give us time to recharge and reset before resuming with the frenetic spring. As we finally have a chance to turn off our early-AM alarms and set "away" auto-replies on our emails, let's stay mindful of two things.

  1. Not all of us have celebratory bells ringing in our heads this time of year. Maybe due to family or finances or just the season itself, the "holidays" are rough on any number of folks. Keep an eye out for those close to you who may fall into that category and offer them a safe place to enjoy a good time, without qualifying it.

  2. Two weeks, give or take, isn't a lot of time. Use it wisely. If you're lucky enough to be ready, set, to go with Semester 2, don't create more work for yourself just because it feels wrong not to be doing something school related. Between episodes of Wednesday and Willow, hobbies to catch up on, and more books than I can count, we all have plenty of worthwhile "me time" activities.

That's all. Hopefully, you'll be able to find someone or something to make this break a refreshing one for you. If you travel, stay safe. If you're out in the cold, bundle up. If you're with friends and family - four-legged or otherwise - hug them close.

See you next year after the pause.

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