One of the highlights from last month was my annual reunion with some dear college friends. That gathering took place on the last weekend of the month. We had a ball. But my month didn’t start out so wonderfully. I was a bundle of nerves. It was my turn to teach a Sunday School class (I teach one month per quarter), the ESL program for which I volunteer was beginning after a month break, I had several large projects at my fundraising job, and I had registered to take an advanced coaching course that unbeknownst to me required about 100 pages of reading per week and a weekly call with a fellow student. I was overwhelmed, stressed and miserable. So miserable, that the reunion felt like one more thing on my task list. Not good.
I poured out all of this to my coach (coaches have coaches, you know). She requested I consider dropping the class and taking it during a time when I am on break from teaching Sunday School and ESL. For a split second my perfectionism took over.
I can’t drop a class. I. Am. Not. A. Quitter.
But then common sense kicked in and just the thought of dropping the class flooded me with a sense of relief. It was the right thing to do.
I emailed my instructor and study partner to tell them I was resigning from the class. Their response? Praise! Both of them commended me for recognizing I was overloaded and for taking the necessary steps to relieve unnecessary stress. The instructor also graciously offered to continue emailing me supplemental course materials, in the event when I retake the class I have an instructor who doesn’t provide those same materials. How generous!
A coaching client of mine likes to say she needs margins around her day. By that she means she functions best when she has what for her is an appropriate balance of work and down time. She and I are a lot alike.
I’m grateful my coach helped me see I had taken on way too much. A quick adjustment to my schedule created space for work and play. As a result it was a September to remember.