Learning to Lose Control

BTSFor me, September is literally the “back to school” month. My day job as a college physics instructor starts the fall semester on Monday. I’ve already received several emails from desperate students needing to be added to a class that’s already full, or being blocked from a class even though they meet the required pre-requisites.

I expect the number of those messages to increase the closer we get to Monday, never mind on the actual day.

Anxiety levels run high on that first day of the term and through the rest of that week.

Normally, after almost ten years of teaching, I’m the calm presence at the front of the classroom and during office hours. I help freshmen and freshwomen interpret schedules, find classrooms, navigate campus, and generally convince them that they got this. They can succeed as college students.

This year though, I’ll be the one with the highest stress level.

You see, I’ve just had an abundance of blessings.

On top of signing my first publishing contract, a three-book deal, I also received a National Science Foundation grant for a three-year project. A project demanding extra time, energy, and resources, on top of my regular job.

If I ever thought my day job and my writing time competed with each other before, this year will be the freakin’ Olympics of trying to balance my life.

I foresee a need for chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate.Chocolate

Seriously though, the only way I’m going to get through this amazing and scary year is to let go of my teacher role, let go of control, and instead become a student.

I will need to learn:

-How to say “no” to all volunteering and extra work, no matter how great the opportunity.

-How to delegate to the other people on my grant team and in my family.

-How to ask for help when I need it.

-How to graciously accept help when others offer, and I haven’t recognized that I need it yet.

There are of course many other things I will need to adjust, like reading and TV watching time, but the four above are the big ones. And they are going to be very hard lessons to learn, because I am a type A overachieving control freak.

How big of a type A overachieving control freak, you ask? My first clear sentence was: “Can do it by MYSELF.” I believe my mother was trying to help me dress at the time.

So, bear with me as I navigate this new and exciting path that the universe has led me down. I’m sometimes a slow learner and may need the lessons repeated a few times, but I’m looking forward to fun thrills, even if there’ll be a few bumps on the way.




About Asa Maria Bradley

2016 Double RITA finalist, romance author, news junkie, physics instructor, and diver. Loves Norse mythology, ranch dressing, and cop shows. Lives with husband and rescue dog of indeterminate breed in Pacific Northwest. Represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency. Writers about sexy modern-day Vikings. More at www.asamariabradley.com and @AsaMariaBradley.

Posted on September 18, 2014, in Auth: Asa Maria Bradley and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Congrats on all the blessings, Asa. I found reading “How to graciously accept help when others offer, and I haven’t recognized that I need it yet” particularly uncomfortable…
    struggling with that one, too.


  2. It’s almost freaky how the universe, when it finally decides to deliver its blessings, dumps ALL OF THEM AT ONCE. Not to look a gift universe in the black hole, but what about this “balance” thing we hear so much about? Oh well. I know you’ll rock it all! Just follow your plan…


    • Balance? What is this foreign thing you speak of? 🙂

      I have yet to meet a writer that’s figured out the whole balance thing. I think it’s one of those things that works great in theory, but falls apart in real life. Like communism, or my diet plan. 😉


  1. Pingback: My Battle Plan for 2015: Breathe | See Jane Publish

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