Learning to Lose Control
For 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.
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.
Posted on September 18, 2014, in Auth: Asa Maria Bradley and tagged back to school, delegating, learning life lessons, letting go, losing control, when life hands you amazing lemonade. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.