When thinking about this blogpost I tried to come up with some positives that happen when we spread ourselves or others "too thin." The only thing I could come up with that genuinely sounded like a positive to me was mayonnaise (a little goes a long way with me) and cologne- no one wants to sit next to gold chained, third shirt button undone, too much Brut cologne wearing Ricco Suave. So there is my list- two things that are better spread too thin: Mayo and cologne.
But what happens when we feel spread too thin? We've all been there- when there isn't enough daylight in our day, when we are required to be 2 to 3 places at once, when our priorities don't matter because the loudest cry gets the most attention, when we feel like we are putting out fires all day instead of directing our agendas methodically. What ultimately happens to our precious agendas, ourselves or others when you're having days where there is just too much to get done? I mean we live in a culture where productivity is an admired part of life. We push ourselves and others to get things done to prove we aren't lazy because being busy is a sign of being a "go-getter," someone you want on your team.
But there are negative ramifications that we tend to want to ignore:
- If we live in that place of constant busy, something gets ignored at all times. Something that should be a priority. Sometimes it's family, sometimes it's aspects of our job that are important but can be placed on the back burner. Sometimes, for educators, it's losing the vision of why you are doing all this in the first place. Busy makes us have tunnel vision.
- Increased likelihood to lose it. When that student says "Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Davis" 4 times in a row while I am currently helping another student- stress happens. Stress has different effects on different people- I get migraines, binge eat, lapse into the blahs and get cranky. I get stuck in negative thought patterns and eventually I start shutting down in areas of my life. It works on people differently but we all know our signs of being underwater. Those of us that see the signs do something. We vent, we run, we blog, we find a path to let it go at the end of the day and thankfully God's mercies are new every morning and we try again.
- We don't appreciate the little things. We get stuck on feeling undervalued, under compensated, or underwater and we forget to see the good things going on around us too- Like a classroom full of fifth graders using technology seamlessly that IS going right, or a teacher/friend that pulls you aside and says "we do appreciate all you do for us and we think you are doing a great job," or the smile and wave of a student in the hallway when you walk past them.
I'm there right now. There is more to do than I can get done in my allotted time- life is pulling me in every direction. Things that once felt very in control now feel very out of control. Expectations aren't clear, communication is lacking, my attitude often sucks, and I feel like a squeaky wheel. It's not who I want to be nor is it someone people want to be around.
- I'm trying to find my balance. I know some of it will just get better as the school year moves along, it always does. I am also trying to make sure correct priorities are there.
- In the immortal words of of Elsa from Frozen, I'm trying to "Let it Go" each day instead of pooling it all up and holding onto it and allowing it to change me for the worse.
- I am choosing to be a team player and not overstep or under step my responsibilities.
- I'm trying to be a difference maker.
And tomorrow is a new day.