Venn Librarian

Reflections about the intersection of schools, libraries and technology.

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Just be kind…

Posted by lpearle on 10 September 2013

We talk a lot about being kind to each other, of the need for diverse students to overcome those differences, and how important it is to lend a helping hand to those we see struggling (emotionally or academically).  But today I want to talk about being kind to yourself.

Once school starts it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the goings-on – sports events, Reunion/Homecoming, Back-to-School Parent’s Nights (or weekends), plays and dance concerts, special lecturers, etc. etc. etc.  We go home and grade papers and prepare two lessons ahead and spend our days working with students and colleagues when we’re not in meetings of one sort or another.  And the pace is relentless.

Another problem?  The change of seasons.  I go in to work wearing a sweater but by noon I’m sweating.  And who knows what it’ll be like when I go home?  Some places have already had frost!

This past weekend, after going full steam ahead for over four weeks (including weekends), I hit the wall.  Or maybe the wall hit me.  Whichever it was, my body said ENOUGH.  I had a migraine, nausea, the sweats and then chills… Did I listen to myself?  Of course not.  And me with over a decade dealing with Epstein-Barr.  You’d think I’d know better, but I had Things To Do.  People To See.  So Sunday I crashed, sleeping over 3 hours in the afternoon.  Monday the migraine was back with a vengeance.

I’ve learned my lesson.

What about you?  One friend was in a fender-bender (a very expensive fender-bender at that) as she DWD (drove while distracted) – luckily it wasn’t at speed and excepting her pocketbook and the fenders all is fine.  Another has contracted a lingering fall cold, despite it not being fall just yet.  And another is so busy that all her home time is spent sleeping, but “all” equals a mere couple of hours a night.  Let’s stop the madness.

Over the past month the phrase “lean-in” has been used a number of times.  That needs to stop.  Don’t get me wrong: we need to have strong, empowered women and girls who aren’t afraid to speak up, to participate and to change things.  I’m a product of an all-girls school and I’m working at one.  But along with “leaning in” seems to be the “having it all” mentality and that’s never going to happen.  “Having it all” should really be “having some” because something will have to give.   No one can really have it all – usually they outsource some (cleaning, chauffeuring, nannying, erranding, etc.).  And if you don’t have the money to outsource, you know what’s going to give?  That’s right, your health.

Let’s stop the pretense that we can do it all and have it all.  Let’s teach girls that making intelligent choices about what they’re doing and where they’re going next is critical.  Let’s remember to listen to our health and our bodies.  Let’s embrace (or, if you must, lean in) to a new mantra about life:

Be kind.  Unwind.

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2 Responses to “Just be kind…”

  1. Michelle Scott said

    Amen sister. Well said. I am practicing this every day.

  2. Wendy said

    I hope you’re feeling a little better, Laura. Our culture has gotten so “always-on” crazy, I think we all need some down time.

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