Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Bursting. Overwhelmed. Full. by Amy Fadeji
That moment when you get in the car and are so excited to unbutton your jeans because you're just bursting at the seam. I mean, that's never happened to me before but I've heard that every now and then it's possible. I imagine that when my friend Curt Rees wears his jean shorts from the 80s, he feels that way frequently. Back to bursting - HOLY COW! Over the past week, my mind is absolutely bursting at the seam! Things are overflowing all over the place. Phone messages are stacking up, lists of student names to follow up with spill onto every surface of my office, kindergarten registration paperwork pours in by the dozen, a "to do" list that should be laminated, big dreams that need to be pursued.
Everything just feels to be bursting right now. Bursting.
That moment when I say to myself, "I wish I had a secretary" and realize that, "Oh wait, I do!" but there is MORE work than even the two of us can do together. (Not to mention that she has been out for over a week with a minor medical issue and I realize how MUCH I need her!) Overwhelmed with big things. Our 1:1 deployment, new active learning environments and 21st century furniture, teachers changing grade levels, hiring, my desire to be everywhere for every one 24/7 and knowing that I can't.
Honestly, that's a big one for me. I remember two weeks ago sitting on the swing talking with a 5th grader who needed a little extra TLC. I was trying to give her my full attention but the demands were pouring in on my phone which I totally ignored.
"So and so really needs to see you."
"A construction truck is blocking the parking entrance, can you go talk to them?"
"Bryan grabbed Hilary's hair...again."
"Mrs. Jameson wants you to swing by for a quick technology question. When should I tell her you'll be there?"
In those moments, I'm already hard enough on myself. Wondering how I can possibly do it all. Wanting SO badly to be there for everyone at the perfect moment. Taking a deep breath when I realize that I simply cannot meet all of the expectations, especially my own. And then a hard conversation with a parent. "I haven't seen you much lately. What's your vision and mission for the school in the coming year?" I'm fairly certain that the sound of my breath leaving my body was audible. I can't imagine how I haven't been seen! Or perhaps it's because I'm quietly reading with a 4th grader outside on a bench, hiding in a supply closet to answer an important email, or hugging a teacher as she shares a personal challenge.
Who knows. Overwhelmed.
Despite the real struggles I share above, there's a feeling that overcomes both the "bursting" and the "overwhelmed." That feeling is "full." Full of admiration for the dedication our staff pours out on our students daily. Full of respect for parents who take the time to question things like mission and vision, and point out things that may be difficult to hear. Full of complete humility that I have the opportunity to hug and support so many people in my profession. Full of new ideas and intentional reflection thanks to the Lead 3 Conference I attended last week. Full of amazing things to look forward to in the coming days, weeks, and months. Full of laughter thanks to friends who keep me on my toes and check on me constantly. Full of a consuming love that is a result of the people I do this work alongside. A love that won't loosen its grip on me because when I'm bursting, when I'm overwhelmed, my guard comes down just a little more. I find myself full. And being full trumps bursting and overwhelmed any day.
Full. I'll take it.