Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to not try your hardest.

Personal reflection time.

Without question, my butt is being kicked right now. Semester turnaround is my busiest time of year, my immune system has not been fully operational, family responsibilities do not seem to disappear for some reason and I am not handling it.

I occasionally ask my busy students who sometimes come to me in tears, “How often are you crying?”  I use crying as a litmus test for stress. Unless you are a Buddhist monk, it is fair to say that you have stress in your life. (Heck, even the monks probably have some stress!  I wonder…) We all can deal with that stress to varying degrees of success, depending on who we are, what life experience we have, etc.  My “Crying Litmus Test” theory is that if you are crying multiple times a week due to your workload/life, then you need to make a change.  What that change looks like, looks differently for different people.

As I have officially passed the Crying Litmus Test as of this morning, I need to heed my own advice.  So what change is it going to be?

Of course in the throws of despair last night, I uttered, “I’m quitting this degree!”  Hmmm… a tad bit extreme.  This perfectly exemplifies why we shouldn’t make significant decisions or write impulsive emails to people, when in a heightened emotional state!

So in lieu of quitting, I have decided to not complete my next assignment to the best of my ability.

For some, this is no big deal. In fact, throughout my degree, friends, family and colleagues have encouraged this approach from the very beginning! They say, “Your marks don’t matter.”, “You will still get your pay raise.”, “Your family is more important than an A+.” and so on.

But for some of us, this is not an option. When our names are on something, we want it to be attached to work that we are proud of. When we spend $1500 on ONE course, we want to leave that course having learned more than the minimal. We actually enjoy losing ourselves in the learning process. Slapping a project together is not in our D.N.A..

Until now.

So… wish me luck.  I’m going to give this a go this week.  It won’t be my best work, but I have to live by my own words.

I wrote this blog post a long time ago for my students.  I think I need to reread it.


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