Aaaaaaargh! Last night felt like another futile attempt to find some balance in my life. Work, school #1 (Ph.D. homework), school #2 (Preliminary Admin Credential Program), Science Olympiad and home life all vie for my attention on a nearly daily basis. And when I focus on one for any length of time, the others tend to spiral out of control. I know this isn't a new problem for anyone, but it is my problem. One of my Ph.D. classmates posted a note on Facebook last night to the same effect, so I also know I'm not alone. So, now what?
I love the "work" that I do...usually. Like any job, there are parts of it that I absolutely adore and parts that may drive me bonkers. Regardless, I'm passionate about what I do. I love science education and am so excited to get to work in this position where I can share my love of science with teachers and students across the district. That's pretty darn cool, right? And that it pays the bills is pretty darn awesome, right? I'm so incredibly fortunate to have a job that I love.
Starting a doctoral program was a tough decision, but I needed a personal challenge. Let me just say, I got one! At the time, I was in my eighth year of teaching the same classes. And while I never taught the classes the same way twice, it was getting repetitive. I needed a novel challenge. The opportunity came up to join a cohort of practicing teachers in a doctoral program with a focus on science education. Win win. That it's online is a challenge because it's not physically present and in front of my face demanding my attention. Regardless, no matter how time-consuming it is, I'm fortunate that I have both the time and ability to work on a doctoral program.
Getting my admin credential is the right professional choice to make. I'll need it to do anything beyond what I'm doing now. I have no interest in school-site administration, but I do want to be a science coordinator in the near future and the credential is required. Waiting until my Ph.D. is done will string out that timeline so far that it seems foolish to wait. And yet it seems foolish to try and do both at the same time.
Science Olympiad is another love of mine (that rhymes with the previous sentence). It's the reason why I'm in science education today and I feel obligated to share that love with others. Perhaps, obligated isn't the right word, but it's the right sentiment nonetheless. Because I coached for eight years before stepping out of the classroom, I have a unique perspective on Science Olympiad. I can help with program management when others cannot. Thankfully, it hasn't been a huge draw on my time (yet). I suspect that we will change as we get closer to the Regional competition in spring.
Home, sweet home. Can I just say that I have the best husband ever? He is so patient with me and I kind of feel like he should get a doctorate at the end of this whole ordeal because he'll have earned it as much as I. We have a housekeeper (best money ever spent) and I'm trying to make dinner a few nights a week so that we have some good quality time together at home. But I'd like to be able to enjoy non-dinner time with him too, right? I just realize how fortunate I am to have an awesome spouse who picks up the slack when I can't and who keeps the fridge fully stocked with Diet Dr. Pepper at all times. (This is a must.)
So, I've written all of this and I realize that I've written "I'm fortunate..." so many times. Just because I'm fortunate to have all of these opportunities, does it mean that I should take them? I don't know. But when I find myself walking circles in my tiny office listening to my professor's recorded lectures in the 11:00 o'clock hour, I begin to question what in the world I'm doing. I feel like being busy has become a badge of honor and one that leaves a very unpleasant taste in my mouth. So, I come back to the question, "So, now what?" And I don't even know where to begin...
PS. To all of you who do this and more with children at home, I salute you!