Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Balancing Act

I don't know how I do it, but I manage to keep myself busy!  I always have.  In high school, after a freshman year that was exceedingly dull, I was busy seeing friends and causing a polite ruckus.  I didn't do anything illegal, I just did some things that were silly and stupid (like walking across the waterfall at Whitnall Park and riding in shopping carts).  In college, I just got busier.

Despite having moved cross country with no friends my age down here, I haven't slowed down.  (Well, there was the time I was unemployed and looking for jobs like mad!)  I volunteered last week Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and again tonight and will again on Thursday.  I am taking my writing class and trying to figure out where to go with blogging in the future. 

I realized last night that I have piled a little too much on my plate.  Work is essential, volunteering feeds my soul, my writing class will hopefully help me grow, and I need to have time to work on my hobbies.  All of this plus making time for the husband and the fur babies (now three, soon to be four).  I was getting a little anxious and feeling overwhelmed. 

I dropped my Coursera class because it made sense, but I still feel like a bit of a failure.  I hate quitting.  When I drop a class or bow down from a position I feel like there is a rock in my gut, even if I knew I wasn't going to do my best in the class or even if I absolutely hated the job.  It's my Midwestern work ethic.  I aim to please.  I am my harshest critic.  Anything anyone has ever accused me of is nothing in comparison to the monologue running through my brain.  I'm really bummed about the class because it seemed like it would be interesting, but the minimum 8 hour a week commitment was too much. 

I think I'm struggling with this in particular today because I had a rough couple of days at work.  I've been trying to streamline processes and help students to the best of my abilities because I want to see the department and students succeed, but I am met with resistance nearly every step of the way.  The other thing that sets my teeth on edge is that in my work environment, communication is not merely talking... it's loud and frantic talking.  I am a person who likes to find the underlying problem, brainstorm solutions, and find the best one without raising my voice and while using professional vocabulary.  Even if both parties desire the same end goal, we cannot seem to agree in how to get there despite our best efforts to compromise. 

I approach life as a teacher, even though I am not teaching right now.  I cannot shut off five years of preparation for that career.  I'm aware that people learn and communicate differently.  It's hard to understand one another and meet in the middle.  I also take almost everything personally.  I try very hard to keep things light for the rest of the day when I have had a situation like I did this morning, but in my stomach I still feel that rock weighing me down and I get shaky (literally) and unsure.

I need time to step back from Miami life.  I want to recharge my batteries.  If I had the money and the time off of work I'd be on a plane to a new and exciting location in a heartbeat.  I also need to learn to let things go.  Does this mean I will have to step back from some things?  Yes.  Does this mean that if I don't do 100% on every task at work it will be okay?  Yes.  Does this mean that sometimes people might not be pleased with me?  Probably. 

I am only human.  I can only do so much.  And I wasn't getting college credit for that class anyways. ;)

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