Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Not the Blog Post You Were Hoping For
For the past 5 years, I have had the great pleasure of teaching for Olds College's Master Spinner Program as well as serving as the Fibre Arts Program Coordinator for Fibre Week. I have learned more in the past 5 years than I ever did as a student in the program, and I have had the great joy of leading literally hundreds of students to their "aha! moments". I have travelled to places I had never considered seeing, and met wonderful people, many of whom I now consider friends. I have taken great responsibility for the Program and the well-being of its students. I have been treated as part of the team by the administrators. I have been blessed.
This has meant that I have kept a demanding teaching schedule, often prepping for the next session as I was travelling from the last class. I have also worked as a volunteer on the module revisions for the MSP. And as the volunteer Fibre Arts Coordinator for Fibre Week (a full-time job in and of itself). I have become embroiled in the day to day operations of the Master Spinner Program and in the minutiae of Fibre Week arrangements. And I have maintained a schedule of private workshops, as well. I have been, well, busy.
And while all of this was going on, I had a life going on outside of spinning, too. I have had loved ones with cancer and others with chronic illness, I have had serious injury and family crises. I have had plumbing problems and renovation nightmares. I have had bills and groceries and laundry and car pools.
So, along comes Fibre Week, where I not only taught several workshops, but performed my above-and-beyond duties as Coordinator, emceed the fashion show, subbed for a teacher who needed to run out for a medical appointment, counselled students, problem-solved with the administrative team, started planning for 2013, and generally ran myself ragged. And I did a poor job of all of these things. I was running on fumes, faking it all the way. Everything was harder than it had to be--minor concerns became crises, setbacks became panics, each little discussion became a battle. All of those little problems that we encounter every day quickly became catastrophes. There were things that I simply could not cope with. There was something seriously wrong.
And what was wrong was me. I may have mentioned that I'm tired. My perspective was skewed, my organizational skills were warped, and even my usually sharp wit was getting duller and duller. Then, on top of everything else, I got hit with a stomach bug midweek. By Friday, I was a zombie--and not the fun, flesh-eating kind. Just a staring, shuffling, mindless husk.
The long drive home gave me plenty of time to think. And think I did. I thought about the dozens of students I had taught over the years. I thought about the MSP modules and the changes that I have been working on and those that still need to be made. I though about the planning for 2013. I thought about my co-workers, my friends, the townhouses, the travel, the weather, the food, the fibre. And I thought about myself. For the first time in years, I thought about what I want. And what I want is a rest.
I thought about taking a week or two and then rolling back into things--I was scheduled to be in Michigan in three weeks--but I've done that before and found myself up to my neck in paperwork and emails and phone calls before I even knew what was happening. I had to pull the plug. I have resigned from the Master Spinner instructor roster and I have ended my commitment to the module review for now. I will be continuing in my role as Fibre Arts Program Coordinator until a replacement is found, but then I will be stepping away from that, too. I have to cut myself completely off for a while, or I will just start doing all the things again. It is all too easy to get caught up in the needs of the program, of the students, to feel responsible for everything. I have to step away.
This is a massive change for me, and I am grieving the loss in my life right now. A warm word would go a long way, if you have one to spare for me. But I will recover, and I will continue to teach. I will get around to finishing those articles that I haven't had time for and submit them to publications. I will make things. And the Master Spinner Program will go on. I hope that my students will all continue on and become the great spinners I know they can be. I hope that other instructors will step up and take on some of the duties I have been performing over the past few years. And I hope that, in time, I will rest and recoup and reclaim my energy and get to a place where I can revisit the Master Spinner Program and they will have me back.
But, for now, I rest.