Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Learning to Fly

PhD U is sponsoring a conference in the spring. When the call for proposals arrived in my email inbox, I told myself that I would submit something for consideration. But, I would have to wait until after the fall semester insanity ends, because that was my priority. I figured that since the deadline is December 18th, and that I would be finished with all my other work, I would have a solid week to crank something out and submit it.

Yesterday, I started digging around for articles on my topic and thinking of a framework. As I began to read the articles, the words were swimming on the page. I recognized fonts, but not much more. I closed my laptop and said "NOPE" out loud. Even today, I just could bring myself to read anything that required intense concentration or analytical thought.As much as I would love to present at this conference, especially with many PhD U and faculty from other universities in attendance, I just can't do it. I am just to fried right now. I really need some downtime. I need to recharge.

This was a huge thing for me...saying no to an opportunity. I've always had trouble doing that. I have this inner voice, you know, the perfectionist, super-competitive, always trying to prove I am worthy voice that tells me I have to take advantage of opportunities. When I give in, I end up more exhausted and over-committed. This time, I told myself that it is OK not to submit. I have two conference proposals already for next year, with one already accepted. I will be busy enough. It's OK not to do this one. I was also able to shut down the guilt voice that usually is in the background. No guilt, no regrets. I can apply for 2017. I'll be a stronger academic then. Right now, I am still learning to fly.

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