Anyone else struggling to maintain the ritual of the ordinary during this unanticipated "lockdown" of 2020? I know, I know. You can tell me that we aren't officially on lockdown here in sunny Surprise, Arizona. But I can't freely participate alongside society right now in the physical sense, and thus, I am "invisibly" leading behind the walls of my home. For me, this feels very much like lockdown, so lockdown it shall be called.
One thing I have struggled with this week as I adapted to a new work-from-home environment is finding motivation to write. Y'all, please don't make me sit in front of a computer any more than I already have. What was once cathartic (writing) is now just another "to-do" in my (no longer inviting) home office. It isn't that I don't have things to say. It isn't that I've become withdrawn and worn down by fear. It's just that I simply don't want to. Please don't make me sit in here a minute more!
And, although I did not want yet another Zoom meeting scheduled in my week, I decided that I probably could take advantage of a free 10-minute session with a member of my Hope*Writer (writing group) team. And you guys! I am so glad I did. I discovered that I do have words that need to be heard, and there is a way to do it without staring aimlessly at my computer another minute longer.
Taking Advantage of New Opportunities
Hello Temi. An app I can take with me on one of two daily walks (oh so thoughtfully interwoven into my daily schedule) and speak into that will transcribe my words into a document when I'm done! Say what? I didn't need to revise my goals. I just needed to re-envision how I was going to achieve them.
So, I did that. Because the first step towards achieving any goal is just to do the next right thing, right? So, that's what led me to my first attempt at a walking blog post. On Thursday, March 26th at 4:17 PM, I set out on a little jaunt, jib jabbering away at myself as I strutted contentedly down the main boulevard of our little subdivision. I don't know if it was the oxygen that was flowing or the blue skies above, but what suddenly walked out of my soul was somewhat profound.
. . . Earlier this week I was overwhelmed by such a sense of new energy and pride. In one of my social media posts, I even ventured to say the following:
The renewed energy. The "withitness". The spirit of collaboration. The fast-paced challenges and decision-making that leave your head hurting but your heart full. I say it often but I truly believe it to be true. There is, with utmost certainty, no better staff with whom to lead these students during these unprecedented times. Per usual (and with a humbled, tired heart), #pantherproud
The renewed energy. The "withitness". The spirit of collaboration . . . . There is, with utmost certainty, no better staff with whom to lead these students during these unprecedented times.
The Admission That We're Human
Yeah, I actually said that. It's a collective commitment to the work to be done. And I love it, but now that we are getting down to nitty gritty timelines and last-minute to-dos, I kind of just want to cry. The energy we were riding with the previous surge of newness is gone and we are tired. We are overwhelmed. And we are still pretty uncertain of what our future truly holds. And then, it hit me.
I am really bad at giving myself the luxury to feel the way other people are feeling right now.
I don't like to feel overwhelmed. I don't like to feel like I'm not in control of my domain. I don't like to have human emotion I guess is what it really comes down to. I empathize when others have their emotions. I relate to them and I get it and I give them advice for plowing through. But somehow, when it comes to myself, I feel like I should be superhuman and not feel those same things. So this morning when I had to go for a walk right away and this afternoon where I felt a little jumpy and negative towards my colleagues, I felt lousy. But why? I accept that behavior in others. And I'm not saying it's right or it's acceptable, but I do accept it all the same. I just don't expect myself to ever get there. So, I guess what I'm saying is, my expectations for myself are incredibly high.
Maybe a little too high for a principal who is trying to convert her entire school to online learning in just a mere week.
What I am learning through this process is that we have to move forward at the pace of grace. And just as I allow others and the environment around me (most of the time) to function at the pace of grace, I am really going to have to allow myself to function in that way right now as well. There are too many obstacles and barriers that hinder us from being in the business of doing life as usual right now. And I need to remember to set boundaries and function maybe at a slightly lesser capacity than I would during a normal day where my routines and rhythms have already been established. Maybe rather than my next blog series being about attentive leadership, it should really take a more intensive look at the enigma of control.
I need to remember to set boundaries and function maybe at a slightly lesser capacity than I would during a normal day where my routines and rhythms have already been established.
I mean, that's what this is, right? God's way of reminding us that we are not in control. And that that's okay. If we allow ourselves to sit with it. To embrace it. To let it envelop us. And then, simply, to let go and to let God.
There are two strategies that people can latch onto in times of crisis and one is trying to overcontrol by becoming a workaholic. They might also fall off the other way and become so paralyzed by fear and uncertainty that they do nothing. I clearly lean to one side in all of my Enneagram three-ness. Or sevenness. The verdict is still out. Either way, I will attempt to overachieve and work myself to unrest and unwellness. And I certainly don't want that when I have a lot of people depending on me right now.
And there it is again. Me just walking along speaking to the core of the issue. I don't want to rest for myself so that I am well and healthy, but rather, I want to rest and be well so that I can be accessible to others rested and well. Maybe I do need this lockdown to put me in my place. Perhaps I should do some reconsidering of what it means to be well for myself versus being well for others. I should probably do this walk journaling thing again tomorrow. Who knows what truths I might discover?
I guess nature lets us clear up quite a bit of jumble that's going on in our heads without really even meaning to.
Linger a Little Longer: