I wait to tell my wife about my extra-curricular work commitments (conferences, after-hours PD sessions, etc.) until the last minute. It has never served me particularly well, but I continue to do it because it feels easier. It feels like I am saving her the stress of knowing she will have to take care of our three kids on her own. It doesn’t actually save her the stress, though.
The stress is still there. It is just compacted into the shorter amount of time I have allotted, which means we have less time to problem solve or come up with unique solutions. It gives us less time to work as a team. But, I still do it anyway.
I think it is probably because I’m lazy at heart. Even though I create a lot of things and want to be productive at all times. I am still the kid who wanted to watch one more Saved By the Bell Episode before starting my homework. I’m still the one who, without intervention from my kids, will not leave the house for the entirety of the weekend.
And so I wait. Until it is almost too late. Until I am forced to by the simple fact that if I don’t say anything, I won’t be able to make the time commitment happen at all. Or, at least I used to.
I think I’ve been burned enough by the waiting to opt for an alternative this time around. Let’s call it, “not waiting.” In 2016, I would like to “not wait” quite so much. I would like to be outspoken, and perhaps even a bit proud about the things I am working on and the time I am giving to others. While it may be more painful initially, I believe that this “not waiting” will have a tremendous impact upon my life.
Not only will I be spreading the stress out more evenly, but I might even choose to make fewer commitments as a result of truly knowing how it will impact the other people in my family. I might better understand how to prioritize or create time for other things when the open and honest conversation is happening all of the time.
I’m sure “not waiting” and clear communication has lots of implications elsewhere in the world of teaching and learning, but for some reason, I just can’t put my finger on it…