Amidst a flurry of Twitter conversations, texts, emails, enrollments, student crises and other work, one friend, after receiving my text response to his innocent question, "what are you doing?" replied, "wow...u just don't stop :)" which caused me to pause.
Pause long enough to grin, pat myself on the back, and say, "No. No, I don't to myself."
By the time I reached mid-afternoon, I was thinking, I really need a break, but with multiple meetings coming up, I couldn't find the time to stop - even eating lunch an hour after I normally make a dash to the fridge to retrieve it.
When I feel so good at the end of the day about all the work that I have accomplished toward personal and professional goals, how can I say that the constant going is wrong. This summer, I made a job change and retuned to my passion - working directly with students.
I returned to the school I consider "home." The school serves a challenged population in a difficult part of Austin. So many people see the challenges of working with the population. In my experience with our students, I find more opportunity and look forward to work each day. While I get frustrated with some of the students who lack basic social and academic skills to be successful in high school, I also get the opportunity to see just how many of our students are progressing and making the adaptation to high school and help them learn those skills and make the adaptation.
My enthusiasm for going to work has not been so strong since the last time I worked at this school. Rare is the day when I do not spend 11 hours or more at the school. Saturdays and Sundays also find me in my office at work or in my office at home doing the paper work part of my job, because I spend as much time as possible in the day with teachers and students. I only have so much time to be in contact with them. I can fulfill bureaucracy any time of the day or night.
The passion for work has translated to major changes in the rest of my life as well. I have filtered through many friends and acquaintances and life-connections and have come to concentrate on those that are truly important to me. It has also manifested itself in what I do outside work time. I am spending more time in reading, writing, and finding time to listen to music and thoroughly enjoy it.
I have also taken the time to record what I do in the kitchen and write down the recipes as I am making them.
Almost every aspect of my life has been redefined and I am happier than I have been in many years. It did not come easily or naturally, but after many months of meditation and study it came. I found many parts of my life that drained my energy while doing nothing to recharge me and in the same time, I found the friends and activities that engaged and empowered me.
Grueling, hard, time-consuming work is not always the enemy. Sometimes that hard work is the dynamo that allows itself to be done with vigor and enthusiasm.
When people say, "u just don't stop" I am proud to reply, "No, no, I don't."