Note to Self…

My new life mantra…

It’s a stressful time of year.  In the past 3 weeks, I have graded over 100 individual assignments (averaging 5-7 pages each), I have chaired 2 successful doctoral defenses (with minor revisions pending), sat on a 3rd doctoral committee, submitted 2 manuscripts, conferenced with 17 cross-curricular groups on their final projects, recruited in 4 classes for my current research study, attended and chaired a session at the major research conference in my field, taken on a volunteer service position in my field, sung with my church choir in a gospel concert, and run a half-marathon (with a new PR and raising over $1650 for clean water in Africa).

Today, for really no reason, I started tearing up while talking about the Retention, Tenure and Promotion policy revisions in my department meeting.

Okay, it really wasn’t for NO reason, but it was a little uncharacteristic of me. I’m emotional, but not usually when it comes to policy, and this particular policy, while related to a process that determines my future in academia, is actually, shockingly, not one that I’m so stressed over.

Well, okay, I am so stressed over tenure and promotion, but really, did you see what has happened in my life in the past 3 weeks?  And that’s not me in a rush to make my tenure file look better.  That’s just me working.  So, if that’s not enough, I really can’t do anymore.  And, I’m not in the business of worrying about things I can’t do anything about (I’m trying to get out of that business in fact).

But, I was emotional because: 1) in the past 2 weeks, I’ve been frustrated that what I’ve said has landed as something that is completely different from what I meant; and 2) when I get busy, I fall into the trap of thinking that I have to prove my worthiness.

But I don’t.  The fact is that with or without tenure, with or without an academic job, with or without a new PR on my run, with or without a boatload of publications or a book deal or stunning teaching evaluations, I am worthy.  I contribute because that’s who I am, not because it proves what I’m worth.

Sometimes we are all misheard and misunderstood.  It happens.

Sometimes we cry in the middle of meetings, surprising everyone including ourselves. It happens.

And sometimes, we just need to chill out. Good vibes. Everyday all day.

One thought on “Note to Self…

  1. Thank you Betina. I always appreciate your candidness and honesty – gives me the courage to do the same. Cannot believe how much you’ve gotten done in 3 weeks! Respect.

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