Sunday, June 3, 2012

Oxygen Mask Instructions

What an incredible weekend I just had. Maybe not spectacular by other people's standards, but compared to the many weekends I had before I went to Orlando last week, definitely a great one. Seems that going on a vacation really did a full reset. Hard to believe where my head was a month ago. But no need to try to revisit that state of mind.

"If you dwell on what you've left behind, you'll never see what lies ahead."

It's a line from one of my kids' movies, Ratatouille. There's a ton of great lines in that one. Every time I watch the movie, there's another line that hits me.

So what's so great about this weekend? I got a chance to think.

Just sit and think.

I also had some time to make a plan that should return my home to a place of serenity once I've knocked all the of the little goals off the list. For the next two weeks, my kids will be finishing school, and I will be taking time away from campus to stay home. I get to pretend to be a stay-at-home mom. Of course, I'll still have work lingering - there's a few meetings I'll have to attend, email to keep under control. I should also get to some of the things I've promised my volunteer groups.

I should think about work, too. I must put some perspective on all the ideas I have and PICK the ones that will be effective. I'm starting to get comfortable with not doing everything that comes my way. I'm getting better at realizing that even though I can do lots of things, I don't need to do them all. There's also a pretty long reading list. Better make sure I make time for that before I take on too may projects.

After taking that vacation, I'm actually looking forward to the reflection time. I'll be doing lots of that thinking while I tackle the many household tasks I have set.

What else was incredible about this weekend? There was a lot of things going on. Many of my colleagues were working their butts off at the SouthSide Sale. For the first time in four years, I elected not to volunteer. I also didn't volunteer at the School Block Party.

A good friend told me that I should make sure I take time to take care of myself before I completely burn out. Before vacation, I was more than a little burnt. I was toast. Crispy. Pretty darned useless.

A long time ago, I had a mentor tell me that the need to take a vacation is in direction proportion to the available time to take it. It's kind of a Murphy's Law.

So how did I finish this great weekend? I took a mini vacation. I did the Kilt Crawl fundraiser for the Celtic Cultural Alliance. Steve generously stayed home with the kids while I went downtown to raise funds with friends in my Cow Kilt. Even though it was a duty of being a CCA Board Member, there is nothing too challenging about it. In past years, I did the Kilt Crawl after serving a long shift at the SouthSide Sale, then spent the evening at the Block Party. At Kilt Crawl the following day, I was barely able to stand. The Monday return was a spectacular failure. I was operating at 30%.

That was just stupid.

So this year, I made a choice. I hope my colleagues understand. I'm finally heeding what every airline attendant says at the beginning of every flight:

"Put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others."

I did that this weekend.


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