The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Can Slow Down

Posted by Seeking Solace |

I spent a good part of this weekend resting. I am exhausted. This term has been a true test of my resolve.

I am teaching five classes this semester (four preps). Normally, this would not be a huge deal for me, but given the chaos prior to the start of the semester, I only had one week to prep four courses, only one that I have taught in the past. I had to start from scratch with the other three. Needless to say, I am about a week ahead in my prep work. But it has come with sacrificing much of my free time.

On top of that, I am doing the bulk of running the department. The powers that be are holding off in installing a new chair until next term. The rationale is that they want some of the chaos that occurred as a result of the the B to settle down first. If you have been following the continuing saga, it is quite a battle getting the upper level students settled into a good place. Since I am the only person remotely qualified to do the job, much of the duties have fallen on my shoulders.

So, I am exhausted. It really hit home when I forgot about a meeting that I was supposed to attend. No one gave me any grief about it, but I knew at that point that I was in trouble. On top of that, I could feel the twinges of pain that are signs of a flare; something I don't need.

Those of you who know me IRL or have been reading this blog for a while know that I can't stand chaos and disorder. I am one of those insanely organized people. I thrive on structure. I also have this old school work ethic that is the result of being raised in a lower middle class, blue collar family. Some find such values admirable. Others find it incredibly insane and think "No wonder you have an autoimmune disease." Things are really disorganized with the department. I think once the chair is in place (preferably me*), there will be some organization and less chaos.

It has taken many years for me to learn how to stop and take a step back and say "Wait a minute, you need to slow down." Friends, family and even Husband have tried to get me to slow down or just stop. In the past, stubbornness, maybe even a hint of arrogance, stops me from doing so. But, I have realized something important.

Martyrs reach that status because the are DEAD!

So, I have taken a step back this weekend. I am reanalyzing what things I must do vs. what I can pass on to someone else. I already made it known at work that the next person who drops a project in my lap will be wearing their ass for a hat. I've also realized that I don't have to do everything with my courses. I can balance what is important and what is not. I've even taken up Husband's offer to be my teaching assistant. He graded exams for me. They were multiple choice tests, so he didn't have to worry about the subjective stuff. And it freed up time for me.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day sleeping and relaxing. I feel so much better. I have a little bit of work to do today. I have set a limit on how much I really need to do. I am focusing on self care for now. I'm just glad I caught myself in time.

*I say "preferably me" because the powers that be want to post the chair position internally. So that mean that there is a good possibility that I will have to interview for the position again. I guess they want everything to be done by the book.


Brigindo said...

I'm so glad you've made this realization. You made the big move because of your health and I know you've debated what type of employment you should take because of your work ethic and what situations like this can do to your health. It is a bind and I feel for you. You are obviously good at this job and you enjoy doing it and doing it well but at what price? Anyway kudos to you for recognizing it in time and taking a step back.

rented life said...

Will your teaching load be reduced if you were chair? (Which you deserve to be, but that's a whole other issue.)

Glad you caught yourself. Loved the martyrs comment. :) Miss you guys.

RageyOne said...

So glad you took the time to relax this weekend.

Love the statement about martyrs. So very true!

Anonymous said...

I hear you about chaos and disorder - drives me nuts. Glad you got some rest this weekend and took some time to rethink all those "obligations" -- kudos to hubby for helping out. Hope you can maintain a more even balance between work and rest.

AliceAcademic said...

So glad that you saw the warning signals early and took it easy this weekend. I have a similar health and personality combo so I know how hard it is to do. You get lots of pats on the back for this! Hope things are letting up.