The August Dance

For many years, the first day of August brought a sound into my head.  It was like having song stuck, but wasn’t a song – just a clip of a sound.  It was the sound of Homer Simpson shrieking.  Over and Over.  And Over.

August is a crazy time for a twelve-month employee in a school.  The ten- and eleven- month-ers come back rested and full of ideas.  Forms start to come in (or worse – not come in).  Class enrollment is finalized.  The phone starts ringing and the emails start flying.  Then students and parents arrive, tablets get distributed, printers need installing, and classes begin.  August for me, no matter how prepared I seem to feel, always ends up with late nights, a panic as I realize that I’ve failed (again) to secure a birthday gift for my husband, and sending notes to friends and family that I’ll see them in September.

My last post, nearly three weeks ago, saw me at inbox zero.  But I quickly lost ground and ended up at inbox 168.  Last Saturday, I got that down to 63 only to be back at 120 by the next Tuesday.  I haven’t made it back to inbox zero, but as of now, I’m at inbox 14, which is, as my husband says, good enough for rock and roll.

Like any August, this one has been a roller coaster of activity.  My absence from this blog is just one symptom of the busy time that August brings.  But, in the last three weeks, we’ve launched the new website (which is lovely), brought two out of three migrated databases online, oriented over 80 new students to our one-to-one tablet program, started classes and so on.  I’m choosing to focus on what has been done, rather than what hasn’t.  Just don’t look for dust bunnies in the corners of my house.

While it is all still fresh, I am considering what can I do to keep August from being so crazy next year. Here are some thoughts that may work well for anyone fighting to gain Tech Life Balance (Note: This post is part of a previous blog entitled “Tech Life Balance.”)

  • Ask for help:  I suffer from the idea that I can always do it better/quicker myself and that it is better to take a burden on myself than to place one on someone else.   While I am getting better about delegation and asking for help, I still have a long way I can go.
  • Plan ahead:  It seems that for the last three weeks, each evening is about what must be done to get through the next day.  It is hard to jump off the hamster wheel and think ahead.  I have been on duty this weekend, which means that I am at work.  While a majority of others are taking a little time off, I’ve been hard at work to catch up so that I can start thinking about things that are further up my calendar, like that presentation for Friday or the faculty development session on Thursday.
  • Admit defeat if needed:  I had items on my to do list for August that are now on my to do list for October.  The didn’t have to happen and it was more important to get some sleep or check on my Mom or do a load of laundry.   When admitting defeat, be kind to yourself.  It’s not that you couldn’t do it; it’s that you chose other priorities.

So, we’ve arrived at Labor Day.  The time to put away your seersucker and white shoes and to silence the shrieking Homer in your head.  I did the best I could with this August. The craziness is over for another year.  Now, it’s time to get back to the routine days and to get back on the track in the ongoing quest for keeping it all in balance.  Starting with going for out for brunch and playing a couple of rounds of Tiger Woods Golf on the Wii.

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