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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Let it Fail?

We all have our limits - our margins. There is a capacity limit for each of us. This, on my ipod tonight. After finally moving the library to my amazing new ThinkCentre Z90 (touch screen) I've accidentally duplicated much of my music library. Consequently, my iPod wouldn't sync and some of my best apps have taken a mini-vacation.. Since one of those apps is Weight Watchers, as I blog I'm awaiting the sync.

It Failed, so I fixed It
I've finally removed some duplicates and done some long overdue work on my iTunes library because of this failure. 

IN essence the failure forced me to take action.

Over Capacity Can Lead to Failure of Function
No, I haven't left blogging although my blog has been much more still than I like.

But as official chauffeur of two teenagers - neither one yet 16, I spend at least 2 hours in the car a day. This is quite a feat since I live approximately two miles from just about every important place they need to be.

But the fact is, I've been over capacity for some time now. 

  • Maybe it was the book deadline the week before school started.
  • Or maybe I got my hopes up with the virtual assistant I hired the week before school started to help me with my email who promptly quit three days later because of my overwhelming email.
  • Maybe it is the 16 pounds I've already lost and the other 30 I have left to go that have zapped some of that energy.
  • Maybe it is the close family member who has been having some tests run that has my mind on other things,
  • Or just maybe it is always this way when school starts and I've forgotten it.

I am ready to blog about augmented reality, touch screens, and so many different things - evernote is simply bursting with thoughts.

Be a Human Being Not a Human Doing
But sometimes, my friends, if I am to coexist with life. If I am to be a human being and not a human doing, I have to retreat a little bit from some things.

Maybe this is you too. 

We all go through phases. We cannot do everything all of the time.

I was talking to a friend tonight on the phone on a non school matter and I was commenting how my job at school has been taking me 60 hours a week.  He said,

"Vicki, you're not going to like what I'm telling you, but I've been in management a long time and have 70 people working for me as of this morning. Sometimes, you have to let things fail. If you prop things up that aren't working all of the time then no one will realize that it is broken. It is not fair to you and eventually, when you're gone and it doesn't work - they WILL FIX IT, because they HAVE TO.  
Trust me on this... sometimes you have to let some things that are broken FAIL so people will pay attention."


That is the sound of wind coming out of my sails.  One of my biggest problems of my whole life has been my own perfectionism.  I am, by nature, a pleaser in some ways - if just to please myself in knowing I did a good job. I like to sit back and accomplish things that are hard and undo-able and know I did it.

However, I think in some ways by killing myself to do the undo-able. To do the job of three people, I've cheated myself from allowing things to get better and to live the job of a normal human being.

Perhaps some problems where I work don't get fixed because I'm to doggone perfectionistic to let everyone know they are broken!

Perhaps it is time to set some boundaries and have a forty hour work week for a change.

If you think my world is shaken up right now, it is.  But somehow, I feel that this is the beginning.

Is it possible that there are others of you out there who are covering up.  Covering up for things that are broken.

What are we afraid of?  

Do we equate systemic failure with personal failure? Are we too proud to allow something within our realm of purpose to fall flat? Are we afraid that we'll lose our jobs and so we'd rather lose our mind doing our jobs and not enjoy our lives.

What is our problem?

                 What is my problem?

Would we rather whine about it than do something about it?

The Line
And sometimes that something is drawing the line in the sand.

Gandalf took his staff when faced with the devilish beast in Lord of the Rings and drove it into the ground and said:


Maybe our problem is that we let things pass that SHOULD fail. (I can hear some teachers responding about kids who should fail that they are forced to pass... I know some who have had their gradebooks edited by administrators... but really, that is just one example.)

Have teachers gotten so quiet about things that are broken that instead of drawing attention to the issues that are the real issues, we play the martyr and allow everyone to blame failures upon us?

No Answers, Just Asking the Questions
Sometimes it is the questions that are the most important thing.

I'm spilling my guts out here as much as I've ever done it.  No answers from me.

I haven't given you much on this blog lately because I've been turned inward and my prayers have been turned upwards and that is how it has needed to be.

But part of me is getting ready to turn.

The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and to expect different results.

Looking at Failure
If you can accept the very worst that can happen in a situation then it is OK. What is the worst thing that can happen to me if I no longer pull 60 or 70 hour weeks at school?

 I could lose my job --
          well, if that happens, there are other things I can do.

                                               But you know what, I might just find myself again.

When I compare the joy I can find from not having to stress over my list and be concerned about what some people think who don't really give a hoot about me -- the risk of losing my job really doesn't seem like so much.

So, right now, at this moment, I'm looking failure square in the eye.  Not my personal failure, but in allowing some things to happen by drawing my line in the sand between my personal life and the rapidly encroaching tide of a job that cannot be done though I give it everything.

Rarely in my life have things upset or bothered me. Usually I'm as unruffled as the skin of an orca, however, I've been in about ten knots for some time now.

If it takes letting some things fail to get me some help then perhaps that is what I shall do. My family needs me and, you know what, I need myself.

I've got some exciting keynotes coming up in Iowa, Maine, Memphis, and perhaps another one to be announced soon and they need all the motivation and excitement I have inside me.

This too is part of life.  Sure, the good Lord has blessed Vicki Davis with so many blessings and I'm forever grateful.

 But you know what, it is OK if to move ahead to success that I must walk through the valley of failure then so be it.

Fail forward.
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