I’ll admit it.

I’m overwhelmed these days.

I feel that I am a Jane of all trades and a Master of none.

I work hard all day ensuring that I am the best teacher I can be, and then I come home to be the best girlfriend I can be while also maintaining blogs, an online professional life, working to start up a food co-op and maintaining priceless face to face friendships.

When I log onto Twitter and Facebook these days (it’s been less and less recently) I notice the same names and handles scrolling by and I wish that I had time to be so connected, to devote so much time to sitting in front of the computer.

How’d I get here?

Part of it’s my own fault–I can’t say “no”–and part of it is because I crave dialogue and love learning new things.

However, is it worth barely talking to your loved one for hours at a time while sitting mere feet from each other?

Can it replace a drink with an old friend or a night hanging out with the ladies?

Is it more important than getting to know my community and becoming involved in local issues that directly affect me?

I’m starting to think not.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not giving up entirely, but I will need to make a list in the coming weeks and begin to pare down my responsibilities and my priorities.

I am invested in my professional community, many of whom I now consider close friends, and I am invested in the future of education as we know it. I can’t detach myself from the world I dove into almost 2 years ago and I won’t.

However, I know that I don’t NEED to be online 24/7 and I know that those relationships will still be there as long as we are all dedicated to what we do day in and day out.

So for now I will focus on my relationships, my teaching and the co-op that myself and my colleagues have worked so hard to bring to this point.  I will blog about my teaching, I will read my RSS feeds, I will travel to conferences and engage in dialogue, but you might not ‘see’ me around as much.


I’d rather get a hold on what’s important than try to do a lot of things poorly.

18 Thoughts on “Edu-Overwhelmed”

  • My online "presence" ebbs and flows. While I am always conscious of the net being accessible, I often find myself spending several days without doing any real engaging. Then some days I am posting and tweeting like I am getting paid real money. I honestly don't know how you do all the online stuff you do, especially since you do have a life outside of the web.

  • Glad you posted this because honestly I worried about you. It's cool to have your toes dipped into lots of ponds and it's hard to pass on good opportunities, but you'll be more sane and happy if you say no more often.

    Of course, I've probably gone too far the other way- saying no too much…..but I'm 100% ok with that. Good luck Mary Beth- you rock!

  • Couldn't have said it better myself. I've been suffering from SNG (social networking guilt). I've been accused recently of "friends" on FB that I post but don't reply. The only reason I post is because posting is so pervasively integrated into tools I use, like bit.ly and livestrong.com. So it appears I am having a one-sided conversation. In the end, you're right – there has to be a balance. I don't want to be a distant husband and father only to gain the appreciation of my PLN.

  • Becky and I took a "media fast" in Bali on our honeymoon. 3 weeks. No facebook, no internet, no TV. It was the best three weeks of my life (for multiple reasons)…. I too am forced to monitor the web for work, and it's becoming increasingly clear that if I don't unplug on a regular basis the sheer volume of information is doing really bad things to my physical interactions with other human beings. I surf the same sites neurotically. sigh… solidarity. This reliance/addiction to these tech-mandated interactions is a sign of the times… we're all 1s and 0s of some huge digital interface…

  • I can totally empathize with you on this, MB. We must establish our priorities then live according to them. My online activity ebbs and flows, and that's okay. You add tremendous value to my PLN, but no one can do it all. The online connections aren't going anywhere. You'll be missed when you are away, and welcomed when you are present. It was great getting to be with you at Educon.

  • very smart sweet. if you don't follow Simon – he just posted much the same: http://tinyurl.com/4clkpac

    you hit it here – i'm thinking.. when you said:
    I know that those relationships will still be there as long as we are all dedicated to what we do day in and day out.

    that mindset allows for the balance we all seek. trusting ourselves and others that space/absence doesn't mean anything less of our relationship. saying no doesn't either.

    personally, i think we spend too much time in prep/theory mode and too little time in learning/living mode. prep less, notice, breathe-in more. wherever you find/take yourself.

    the value you bring to the table/gathering/day – is already there. that's all we need. just be you.

  • Hello! I was hoping to get some some suggestions on a story
    I wrote. It's a motivational cartoon for students of all ages at http://www.yourhouseofeducation.com/

    Here's a few comments on it so far…..
    "Kids of all ages should take the time to watch your great story!!
    This might wake some of them up, before it is too late!" Mark–Texas
    "I just showed it to the junior high English teacher and she showed it
    to all her classes today! They loved it!! I sat in with them and
    they were all very interested!" Janet–Texas

    Thanks, Randall

  • I have a lot of those tools too (Posterous and Foursquare). Sadly, people do act surprised when I missed some big announcement or conversation on Facebook. In fact, I had a few friends announce their engagement on Facebook without calling or emailing or anything! That kind of makes me sad.

    It comes down to priorities, and I hope we can both find a balance.

  • I would *hope* that you guys would take a 'media fast!' I'm impressed at the no internet/TV, though I must say!

    It does seem like a reliance or addiction, though for me it's more of a reliance on relationships and dialogue and the constant flow of information.

    I am looking forward to simplifying my life.

  • Totally agree, Philip. I am looking forward to the ebb and flow and getting back to enjoying more time in my 'real life' 😉

    Great hanging out with you at Educon! I am eternally grateful to you!

  • Thanks, Monika.

    It is a mindset and I'm hoping that I can find the time to breathe and, as you say, just be 'me.' Some of the highlights of the past few weeks were not tweeted, blogged or even photographed.

    Thanks for the kind words. I value our conversations and thank you for your kind words!

  • Great post. And I am so with you. I am also finding that my online life ebbs and flows. My connections there are real. They are people. But my phenomenal wife, family and friends need to be my focus. So thanks for this post. It gives me great perspective.

  • I know exactly how you feel. I write a post just like this after EduCon dealing with the same issues. I have taken the past couple of weeks and have focused more on my teaching and my wife. It's been tough to step away from my online friends (which is why I'm late to this post and comment), but it has removed some stress and made the other parts of my life stronger. Enjoy your time away from the net, but save some good times for June. 🙂

  • The concept of world school has been started with a vision to put emphasis on providing happly learning environment, where child's talent can be nurtured to fulfillment.

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