Friends are the people who tell you what you don’t want to hear and know just how to say it.
As I have found with many teachers in my profession, many of us tend to be overachievers, yes-men and women, coming in early, staying late. “Yes, I’ll be in that committee” “No, I don’t mind heading that really involved event that no one else comes to, let alone volunteers to be a part of.” We even transfer this to our own lives as well. Whether its taking on home projects, volunteering locally or delving into a world of writing a blog each day, teachers are some of the most over-committed, schedule stretching, multitasking, how-many-hats-can-I-wear-at-one-time groups of people. And, yes, I am one of them.
This month has been one of those stretches in which I make a to-do list daily, yet somehow misplace it by lunch time. I have reserved to just take each day as it comes and plan what I can for that day, fully realizing that there are only so many minutes of free time in which I can squeeze the various tasks of being a father, teacher, professor, newly christened blog writer and for the past month, an actor.
As a human being, though, and not a cyborg from the not-too-distant future, this dilemma of cramming as many tasks as I can into a day, nay a lunch period, can prove to be detrimental to my ability to also be a pleasant easy going human being. I know. I know what you’re saying, “No, not you! You’ve got it all together! Say it ain’t so!” Well, it’s true. But in the moment of all this hustle and bustle, one can tend to be so laser focused on getting this or that done, that he might not realize what a ball of frenetic, stressed energy he may have become.
Today was one of those days. After a day where I probably seemed like some movie hero trying to find the secret antidote to the epidemic wiping out civilization, I may have left a trail of destruction as I rolled out of school. Cutting off others to complete their sentences, talking in that “are you done yet” tone or walking by without acknowledgment because look at me, I’m so busy I have to grade while I walk.
Enter the friend. After three trips back to the room to get my keys…oh, wait, where’s my wallet…shoot, what happened to my lunch…oh, I forgot that, too...it was a reminder of what a good friend I have when my phone, “ding,” relayed a reminder that there’s a friend, who knows what it is I’m going through, but who’s friend enough to keep my head above water. Don’t act so frustrated…I know a lot is happening but… don’t let it show too much…
A friend is the one who sends you the text to remind you to slow down and enjoy the moment. To not dump your bucket of slop onto the person next to you. To know that it’ll clear up. A friend is the person who calls after a super serious important meeting (even if it’s not that super serious, really) to be sure you survived unscathed. To friends! And to the best group of overachievers around, teachers!