Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bursting. Overwhelmed. Full.


That moment when you get in the car and are so excited to unbutton your jeans because you're just bursting at the seam. I mean, that's never happened to me before but I've heard that every now and then it's possible. I imagine that when my friend Curt Rees wears his jean shorts from the 80s, he feels that way frequently. Back to bursting - HOLY COW! Over the past week, my mind is absolutely bursting at the seam! Things are overflowing all over the place. Phone messages are stacking up, lists of student names to follow up with spill onto every surface of my office, kindergarten registration paperwork pours in by the dozen, a "to do" list that should be laminated, big dreams that need to be pursued. 

Everything just feels to be bursting right now. Bursting.


That moment when I say to myself, "I wish I had a secretary" and realize that, "Oh wait, I do!" but there is MORE work than even the two of us can do together. (Not to mention that she has been out for over a week with a minor medical issue and I realize how MUCH I need her!) Overwhelmed with big things. Our 1:1 deployment, new active learning environments and 21st century furniture, teachers changing grade levels, hiring, my desire to be everywhere for every one 24/7 and knowing that I can't. 

Honestly, that's a big one for me. I remember two weeks ago sitting on the swing talking with a 5th grader who needed a little extra TLC. I was trying to give her my full attention but the demands were pouring in on my phone which I totally ignored.

"So and so really needs to see you."

"A construction truck is blocking the parking entrance, can you go talk to them?"

"Bryan grabbed Hilary's hair...again."

"Mrs. Jameson wants you to swing by for a quick technology question. When should I tell her you'll be there?"

In those moments, I'm already hard enough on myself. Wondering how I can possibly do it all. Wanting SO badly to be there for everyone at the perfect moment. Taking a deep breath when I realize that I simply cannot meet all of the expectations, especially my own.  And then a hard conversation with a parent. "I haven't seen you much lately. What's your vision and mission for the school in the coming year?" I'm fairly certain that the sound of my breath leaving my body was audible. I can't imagine how I haven't been seen! Or perhaps it's because I'm quietly reading with a 4th grader outside on a bench, hiding in a supply closet to answer an important email, or hugging a teacher as she shares a personal challenge. 

Who knows. Overwhelmed.


Despite the real struggles I share above, there's a feeling that overcomes both the "bursting" and the "overwhelmed." That feeling is "full." Full of admiration for the dedication our staff pours out on our students daily. Full of respect for parents who take the time to question things like mission and vision, and point out things that may be difficult to hear. Full of complete humility that I have the opportunity to hug and support so many people in my profession. Full of new ideas and intentional reflection thanks to the Lead 3 Conference I attended last week. Full of amazing things to look forward to in the coming days, weeks, and months. Full of laughter thanks to friends who keep me on my toes and check on me constantly. Full of a consuming love that is a result of the people I do this work alongside. A love that won't loosen its grip on me because when I'm bursting, when I'm overwhelmed, my guard comes down just a little more. I find myself full. And being full trumps bursting and overwhelmed any day. 

Full. I'll take it.   

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Just a Saturday Morning

Usually, weekends are packed at the Fadeji household. Travels, friends, meetings, errands, left over work from the week, church stuff, laundry, and of course my least fav: the dreaded Costco run. However, it's only 10:43am and I'm already loving the mellow feel of this April 11/12 weekend! I feel like I've been on a marathon streak for the past couple months and somehow, accidentally I'm sure, this weekend is pretty open. 

This morning, as I played on Twitter, I saw a quote by Marc & Angel that stood out to me. "The best gift you can give someone you love is the purity of your full attention. Do so today." Sometimes (often) I can use a big reality check with that one. I'm sure I'm not alone in realizing that one of my greatest strengths is often times my greatest weakness as well. I am SO drawn to people, so in awe of the inspiring and wonderful things my friends and loved ones are a part of, so in need of constant connection, and always looking to the next thing where I can drench myself in all of the above. It sometimes take me a Saturday morning at home, alone with a huge laundry pile and a sink full of dishes to just stop and slow down.

Last night I had the pleasure of meeting up in the city (or San Fran as Curt Rees likes to call it) with friends. We laughed, ate way too much food, and enjoyed the gorgeous night. We even got to show Rafranz Davis the SF Bay and look up the definition of a bay for her. (my definition was WAY off!) Friday night with Ashley, Karl, Elana, and Rafranz was a great way to end a long week.  

"Where is the cheese?" asks Rafranz. 
"What exactly is a bay?" Great Q!
Great dinner crew at Patxi's SF

Techlandia in the house!
(SIDE NOTE: Who knows how to help me w/ the formatting of pictures in Blogger?!  Are you kidding me?! This looks awful and I've played with it for like 30 minutes!)

As I shift into the groove of Saturday morning, I am reflecting on what a calm quiet morning looks like for me:
  • An early wake-up call to GHO with Joe Sanfelippo and a group of aspiring administrators in Wisconsin. #gocrickets #fadejibonus
  • A chat with my mom and dad who just wanted to check in. And side note: SO funny. I was telling my parents how I'll be in Chico (where they live) in September joining educators and the EdTech Team for a GAFE Summit. My mom of course was asking if she needs to buy a ticket to come hear me speak and then my dad chimes in with, "I've heard you talk for the past 31 years, but I never thought I would have to PAY for it." Good point Dad. I'll sneak you in the back door.
  • A few loads of laundry and a ton of dishes.
  • Catching up on Voxer, especially listening to my #LeadWild crew, a group of that motivates me daily in all that I do.
  • Texting with a few close friends - some encouragement given, some advice needed, some "just because I'm thinking of you" moments...
  • A 20 minute phone call with one of my teachers who helped me sort through some thoughts and shifts for the 15-16 school year. 
  • Planning with a group of friends for our afternoon hike/walk later today thanks to their persistence on an early birthday celebration.
This is quiet for me. This is my version of peaceful. Relaxation at it's best. 

In just a bit, I'll be packing a cooler, hopping in the car, and heading to Tennessee Valley with the hubs and a group of friends. It's a gorgeous day, this walk is absolutely breathtaking and at the end, the Pacific Ocean is just waiting for you! While I'm there, I plan to remember what I read earlier from Marc & Angel. "The best gift you can give someone you love is the purity of your full attention. Do so today."

There you have it, just a Saturday morning.