Putting a *Pause* in the Pace of Being a Principal.

Guilt.  I feel it everyday.  Not getting to school early enough.  Not leaving school to get home soon enough.  Somedays I feel more like I have failed to meet everyones needs, or accomplish everything I ‘think’ I should be doing.  This feeling isn’t just for principals-teachers and other professionals feel it as well.

This weekend our ‘plans’ were changed with a sick 11 year old.  Instead of racing to swim meetings, reviewing papers and getting the shopping done for the week.  I stayed home and watched movies with him all day.  Just about when the guilt of not being productive enough started to creep in I watched the end of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and heard this:

I realized that letting go of the guilt I feel will open me up to opportunities and moments that otherwise would pass right by me.  We all sacrifice things for what we believe is the greater good-but if our priorities are out of line we might be loosing out on the people and things that matter most down the road.

How this is going to work:

  1.  I use my Panda Planner every morning.  This helps me to remember what my goals for the week are (see #2) and also gives me opportunity every am to reflect and be grateful for the things that happened yesterday and what is ahead for today.
  2. Starting my 12 Week Year.  Thanks to an amazing Mastermind group-we read this book in December to kick off 2017 (nice planning Daniel).  Today starts my 2nd week and so far so good.  I have an amazing team of ladies holding me accountable on Voxer and a very supportive spouse at home.  My short-term tactics range from being present in classrooms everyday to meal prep and watching nutrition at home.  My long term goals include becoming a more FOCUSED principal when at school and FOCUSED parent/spouse when at home while established a FOCUSED fitness/nutrition plan (Thank you Bethany, Neil and Mark for my #oneword2017 motivation).
  3. Leaning In to Let Go.  In 2017 I am also going to try really hard to say goodbye to the guilt that hangs like a monkey on my back.  It seems as if I am the only one holding myself to this impossible standard of being a 27/7 Principal, Parent, Spouse, Friend, Etc.   And by releasing the guilt I will have more time and energy for the relationships and joy occurring in the day to day moments of our lives.

Take some time this week to look at your calendar and put some *Pause* into it.

You could

  • journal,
  • read (for fun-gasp!),
  • play games with your kids,
  • go out for coffee with a friend,
  • go for a walk/run/swim/bike/etc.,
  • or another one of your Passion Projects.

The more you try it-the more it becomes routine.  And the more opportunities you will have to catch the life moments Ferris Bueller reminded me about.

Have a great week!

Jessica

PS-if you have ideas I would love to hear them!  Join me on twitter Wednesday, January 11th from 9-10 EST for #BmoreEdChat where we are going to talk work-life-balance!

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5 thoughts on “Putting a *Pause* in the Pace of Being a Principal.

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  1. The twinge of guilt is always there- I think that is what makes us human and also accountable to what/who we determine we really value. I was given a fresh perspective 19 years ago when going through a life changing medical diagnosis- I learned to say no, I learned to try to do what I have a passion for, I learned to give my time and undivided attention to those I love. BUT- everyday it is a struggle not to “people please” and not to carry that guilt monkey…..
    I wish you luck on your journey to find balance -you will see me on that path also – lol we can tell each other to leave school at the end of the day 😜
    In my eyes – you are all in!

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  2. Thanks, Jessica, for this reminder. As Julie said earlier, we are human. And fallible. Mistakes will be made. Time will be misused/misappropriated. Balance will never mean equal time for equal items. It means appropriate time for each item. And each item has a season as well.
    You know these things, but I believe you also feel them differently than I. As a mom and wife, God has created you differently than husband and father. He has given you desires for your children, husband, and home that are much stronger than those of your husband. The keys are in communication, presence, and flexibility.
    Enjoy the sick days (especially on weekends!). Enjoy everyday. Be a “Principal in Balance!”

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  3. Really great post-especially for this post-holiday craziness! In VB, VA we have had some snow…forced to stay home without work, errands, kid-transporting is lovely :). As sad as it might be that we need something to stop us in our tracks, it’s the ability to be insightful and know a lesson when you see one that makes all the difference!

    PS- I’m a school counselor so I’m obvi a BIG mindfulness fan! Learning to engage in the true present is always something that helps me. Looking within instead of those around me (should I be doing that?! Am I still relevant? He/she said this, but maybe they really felt…) helps to keep me from going down the rat-race rabbit hole!

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