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Letting plates drop

I was speaking with a struggling student today. So many deadlines, so many pressures, it was just a bit too much and she had asked for a call to discuss how to move forward. She felt overwhelmed and terribly behind. When I looked at what she had accomplished, however, I saw that she was actually well on track. With a few adjustments she will be able to accomplish her goals. But I think we have all felt like that. So many plates spinning above our head, we cannot even take a breath because if we look away for a second...something will fall down.

I read once that we all have so many plates... but we have to remember that not all plates are made of glass. Some plates can be dropped. They will bounce back. Some we can drop because... they are just not needed. But sometimes we refuse to drop them because we have set such unrealistic expectations for ourselves.

This certainly happens with education - sometimes we think we need to cover EVERYTHING, and do it ALL AT ONCE. Now. Today. This second. If you don't do maths this week the world will end!

But it doesn't. Education is a life long process. We can go for a bit without doing maths and pick it up again later. We can spend a month studying just clouds, or following a sudden interest in Sudoko and dropping other plates... and picking them up later.

There are only a few plates we can never drop: our mental and physical wellbeing. We need to make sure everyday we have good food, good rest, movement, time outside, and rich conversations with friends and family. All else can be moved around.

I reminded my student of this and we agreed on a couple of plates she could drop and pick up later, and a couple she could just let go (working on letting go of the guilt as well). I suggest we all do the same. (I certainly let lots of my mundane chores drop... and stay down! :) )


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