Drawing a Line

Week 23 – August 23, 2020 – To what end?

I am tired and very little is filling my cup lately. I feel like I’m running a marathon to get to the start line and I don’t feel like I’m going to start the race in time. As much as I feel that I am doing the work for the greater good, I will often get lost in that work and forget about me, my work, and what I need to do to get ahead. Sounds counterintuitive and selfish, but I am realizing that there is a level of self-preservation and self-care one has to do to maintain a pace of productivity and service, but I am also understanding that is the nature of my work. There is a part of me that resents it when others have drawn their line for this very reason and I have sacrificed my work to benefit the whole. Maybe this is my perception, but I cannot believe the work that I have chosen to do so that I can get to my work. I’m not there yet and I’m exhausted.

What I am doing is informal leadership. I am driven by the vision and mission of my work. “You only make a first impression once” and I am doing everything that I can do to ensure a strong start… but to what end? That was a beautiful phrase given to me by one of my friends and edu-colleague when I was writing my dissertation. The feelings are reminiscent. There are limitations I need to recognize but also delimitations I have to set to ensure what I am doing is within reason and achievable. I am also reminded of another time when I had “put myself in front of the bus” to activate and motivate certain decisions and actions when I taught in K-12. It didn’t feel good at the time, but the outcome benefited students. In the end, that’s all that mattered… but to what end? I burned out and left the practice. Here I am again… I started reading “The Listening Leader” to fill my cup. I’m loving the learning but the message is serendipitous. I am putting myself out there, “going for broke,” with hopes of something good in return.

Don’t get me wrong… there are a lot of good things happening. Each little step matters towards the big picture, but I have to remember a few things that I’ve discussed with my critical friend over the last few weeks. (1) I cannot control others; (2) how can I help; and (3) I will have voice. I also have to keep in mind My Manifesto. I know that leadership is not perfect, but I have to have the courage to listen. I reached a point of frustration, sadness, and discouragement that I had to have voice. I could not pretend that nothing was wrong. I was worried and losing sleep. Maybe it’s just me. It has to be at some level because I was the only one that said something. How can we give feedback to move the team forward? What do I need to listen to, to move myself forward? Admittedly, I stepped back. Self-preservation seems tempting. In the end, I just hope that I am able to make it to the start line and fulfil my manifesto.

#pandemicreflection #leadership #vulnerability #manifesto