Glorifying Busy

Remember way back in July when I gushed about seeing Arianna Huffington at BlogHer? She did this whole spiel about how our culture loves to glorify busy. Well, I definitely felt the truth in her words, but shit, old habits die hard.

Somehow, months later, I have found myself back on the treadmill. Today, I was in SF for Day 2 of the Social Good Tech Summit. Yeah, I paid for the tickets on my own and attended for myself. No surprise there. I’m a nerd at heart. At least, work let me count Friday as a professional development day!

So today’s session was good, but it was also an honest reminder that I really am a step or two outside of my sweet spot. Social media for higher ed just isn’t in that inner circle where tech intersects with social impact. That realization makes me kinda sad. The other takeaway from today is that I’m starting to get soft again. Remember those times when I was networking like a fiend, going to event after event, introducing myself to strangers, posing questions to speakers, trading contact info with random people I met? I worked so damn hard, desensitizing myself to my social anxieties and now, those skills are soft again. Yesterday, I must have gone the entire day at the conference without conversing with anyone. Ok, so I introduced myself once, but then I really didn’t engage in conversation. So lame. Naturally, out of fear of regression, today I made a point of asserting myself. Super uncomfortable. I met a German guy who blogs about travel and wearables. I also chatted with a Czech lady about social enterprises. She was smart, not to mention tall, blonde, and gorgeous. Some days I really wonder what it must be like to be white, blonde, blue-eyed, and tall. The world must respond in such a different way… Or even if I were a dude… So many things would be different. But I digress. The people I met today were nice, but afterwards I felt so lacking. Like the lady was so hungry about creating and growing her startup. Talking to her made me think about being hungry vs. being busy. Which am I? I was so inspired yesterday by the presenters who were using tech to facilitate real, concrete change: registering a shit ton of voters; creating visualization apps to help doctors more accurately treat (and educate patients about) brain cancer; training family members of sick patients in India to have a better understanding of ailments and treatments… What am I doing day to day? How is my work contributing to change? The link is pretty weak. Yet, I continue convincing myself that in some way I am building new skills, learning new things… I  am feeling more comfortable and more settled into my role now. I feel happy too when my students are excited and eager to share their ideas and thoughts with me. I hope that I’m a good manager and that they enjoy working with me…

Famous and successful working women always say that “having it all” is a sham: you can’t “have it all” at the same time. Their comments remind me that people do things for different reasons at different times. So what are my reasons for doing this right now? And for how long will those reasons hold? So many thoughts swirling in my head. Are you sick already of hearing them?

Interestingly, I came across this article the other day about Type A personalities. What do you think? I know, I will spend my whole life trying to deny that I am Type A. If this reveals anything, J and I actually reviewed the list together item by item, and he claims that I meet at least 22 of the 25 criteria. See? I’m moderate.

Btw, I recently discovered some fitness programs included as part of my on-demand cable subscription. You know me: always lured by two keywords– free (or included) and fast. This time, it happens to be Jillian Michael’s 20-Minute Shred. Yes, considerably longer than my 7-minute workout, but this gives me something interesting to watch while I sweat my brains out. I have done two days so far. Yeah, those ripped muscles are emerging already!

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