So I had to drop a class. I didn’t want to but it needed to be done. If you’ve read this blog at all, then you know that I started auditing Korean classes here at Williams last semester. It was amazing. I loved activating that part of my brain again and doing something purely for myself.
But I bit off more than I could chew. We all do it from time to time. The season kicked into high gear, I was still teaching my classes, we got pregnant, I was trying to exercise regularly. There just weren’t enough hours in the day.
The classes kept me out two nights a week meaning that between my classes, the one my wife teaches, and track meets, we were lucky if we had a family dinner only 2-3 nights a week. That wasn’t something I’m ok with.
I also found my happiness waning. The added time commitment of both class and studying was seriously impeding my ability to sleep and exercise the way I need to in order to be content. And that scared me. If I’m not rock solid then I’m not able to be that for my kids, wife, or team. That is something I’m not willing to budge on.
It was in no way an easy or quick decision to drop the class. In fact, I ran through everything else in my life first. I loved taking that class. But when the decision was made, it felt right. With that said, if I’m being 100% honest, I also felt significant shame. I felt weak. It’s always hard to admit that a situation is bigger than you. That you weren’t fully able to handle everything you wanted to do.
In my life, I’m typically on the other side of this decision. I’m the one helping my students process the emotions of choosing to move away from a commitment that has overloaded them. I personally believe that it’s even harder for them. Most of them are reaching this point for the first time. I’ve been there before and know what’s on the other side of the decision. It doesn’t make it feel better emotionally, but it makes it easier to make the healthier choice.
Prioritizing your happiness can be hard. It can feel selfish and guilty. But when you start to feel the quality of “your other selves” go up, then it’s all worth it. I quickly became a better dad, better husband, and better coach. My battery is still nowhere near 100%, but is any parent’s battery ever at 100%.
I’m sure I’ll hit my limit again. It’s in my personality to push it. It’s the athlete in me. I like pushing myself to the edge each day only to step back. And then turn around and go back to the edge again tomorrow – hoping I can go a bit farther. Sometimes I don’t just go to the edge, but I go over. I don’t see it as a failure to learn my limit or need to step back. It’s a learning experience.
On to the next.