When the Going Gets Tough, Take a Break – Lenten Day 8

Posted: February 26, 2015 in Lent, Uncategorized, When Church Hurts
Tags: , ,

Which is why this post is a day late. 

This week is conference week. That means two 13-hour days.  Also included:  a snow storm requiring a longer commute (75 minutes instead of 45), a late start meaning shorter classes and complete lesson revisions, a reflection paper due to my evaluator, and updating 29 iPads one at a time (because we can’t afford a cart that would allow me to do them all at once so at 3 per hour . . . ).  

I have an ninety minutes left before I can leave tonight at 8:30 and three more iPads to update.  

So this post was supposed to be up yesterday.

There was a time when I would have burned the 3:00 am oil to get everything done on time.  I would have lost sleep and worried and hoped no one thought less of me for not being perfect.

In the town where my former church sits, they proudly declare their perfections – right down to their Dutch DNA. “If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much!” They proudly declare. And being Dutch means being perfect.  Or at least looking that way.  I will go to my grave earlier for all of the years I spent trying to live up to their expectations.

I often tell my students that if they are working on a difficult musical passage and it just isn’t going well and they are getting tired or frustrated,  “Just stop.”  

“Go back the next day and try again.  Chances are, the next day it will be better even before you have a chance to work on it again. And if it’s not, so what? Work on it some more and then walk away. Take a break. It’s okay.”  

And my students laugh and nod and say, “Okay.” 

Tonight, I will go home after a 4-days and 42 hours and I will stay up late, sleep late, sit around in my flannels until I’ve had too much coffe, go see my granddaughter (maybe even take her home with me!), and no one will care that this post was a day late. Except the people who already believe I “ain’t much.” 

Oh, well. I’m not trying to live up to their expectations anymore. 


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