I have a confession to make. There are afternoons that I leave my job in an absolutely foul mood. The massive cuts placed on our budgets combined with the increased needs of the students due to economic stressors and massive flu absences have created additional strain on everyone. For the large part, I avoid the "moan areas." There is no pay-off to complaining about conditions, so unless you are looking for a solution I will only nod politely and move along. Thankfully, I have a great team and together we try to find solutions that will work for us. Ways to share the load and people in whom we can confide without fear of complaints turning into a moan-fest.
But yesterday was incredibly busy. With one demand after another falling on our shoulders. So, it was in this weakened condition I found myself driving home. I was irritated and frustrated. Wanting badly to vent, I reached for my cell. Unintentionally I was on the verge of dumping all my woes upon the shoulders of a friend. Whomever I chose to call at this moment would not be solution-focused. Sure she would listen and sympathize, but she would be left feeling bad for me without that being my intention at all. I dropped the phone, call unmade.
I replayed the day in my head and added all the items I could not complete and would move to the next day. I considered how I would help a new student who absolutely refuses to pick up any sort of writing or reading device. How I can possibly keep students current with week long absences due to flu. How I can stay effective and energetic. In other words, I was wallowing.
Driving along fuming at myself for not knowing all the answers and preparing myself to face the chaos at home, I happened to look into an opening in the trees. Here there was a shaded area housing a field of wild flowers. Just that glimpse and my shoulders released, my stress began to abate. It is truly a wonderful world and the beauty is all around us. I just needed to look around.
ps: There are several such areas and today I made sure to look at each on the way to and from work. ahhh - nature's release.