Do Something

I learn a variety of things from #etmooc educators, but the other day one of them said something that really resonated:

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t do everything — only feel guilty if you don’t do anything.

Get me that as a tattoo. I wrestle with guilt, but I recognize it as a largely wasted/wasteful emotion, and I refuse to let it paralyze me.

Just because there is so much I dream of doing does not mean I fail if I do not do it all. I have to relearn this over and over, so if not a tattoo perhaps I need a t-shirt or a half-full glass.

I am a little behind on this MOOC. But I also just had a piece of writing accepted for a stage show! I am scrambling to get some personal things done, but I’m spending more time being creative with my children. I haven’t accomplished all my goals for this year at school, but there is still time, and I have accomplished some things I didn’t even anticipate.

I write this to imprint upon myself that balance is perhaps an imaginary thing, certainly elusive, and sometimes one side of the scale has to give way to the other for good reasons; I write this to remember that this truth is more than just okay, it is how people live and thrive, it is how I rock and roll…

Recently I helped out some with an unconference. Uncharacteristically, I contributed less than most members of the team. The other members of the group are super stars, and they created an incredible day of engagement and learning and connecting, and my contributions were limited to a few planning meanings and soliciting some swag, because I had some other balls in the air at the same time. Each time the edcamp team includes me in any bit of credit, I cringe like an imposter. Yesterday that happened – that guilty feeling of shoulds (I should have done this, or that, and more…) Then, with perfect timing, the #etmooc came to my rescue. Dean Shareski said (and I hope/think I’m getting this line right):

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t do everything — feel guilty if you don’t do anything.

I needed that reminder, and I hope it helps you, too.

4 thoughts on “Do Something

  1. Thank you thank you thank you for that reminder! I haven’t watched Shareski’s presentation yet, so I hadn’t heard this. But I know exactly how you feel.

    I am struggling with being so excited about etmooc that I’m neglecting other things I should be doing! I want to do so much in this mooc because I’m loving it so much. So my guilt goes both ways: guilt for not doing enough in etmooc, and guilt for not doing what else I should be doing. Sigh. Your reminder was helpful!

    And don’t underestimate the importance of a small contribution to something like an unconference. What you did, someone else who’s very busy didn’t have to do! If we all do just a little bit, then great things get done!

  2. Thank you.
    Like Christina, I haven’t caught up with that session yet, so hadn’t heard the quote. And I am very much in the same place as Christina. I should be looking more closely at what I need to do before the school year starts next Tuesday, but am busy reading and replying to etmooc posts, tweets etc. I often feel guilt and not doing as much as I hoped or planned, but I am going to take the quote on board. won’t go so far as a tattoo, but maybe print a poster.

  3. Hi there and thanks for sharing your thinking about doing it all. Regarding the question of balance, at the end of the day, I think it comes down to what makes you happy. I know I probably spend way more time on schoolwork than I should, some may say ‘get a life’ but the truth is, I love my life just as it is. I love being able to be the busy mum of four with my finger in so many different pies. I truly enjoy reading, tweeting, finding great resources for my class etc and if I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t do it. Better I figure to have spent some time doing something I love rather than watching mindless tv!
    Balance – it is all in your mind!

  4. My husband has finally stopped telling me that I need a hobby. Learning & teaching are my passion, and I’m happy to be able to do them, participate, and live!

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