No Mardi Gras. Balance.

Cass and I sat back to back on the hotel bed, leaning against each other in exhaustion. We had been like that for the past hour. Cass’s breathing was still ragged, but at least she no longer sounded like a dying seal. “You alive?” I asked. She made some garbled noise; good enough. My business partner would be there any moment to deliver the antibiotics that were left behind at the convention center. Meanwhile, I decided to grab another dose of Airborne, desperate to avoid the bronchitis plaguing Cass.  I got up, and Cass fell to her side, mumbling “I hate Mardi Gras.”

The hotel windows and furniture vibrated with the sound of San Diego’s version of Mardi Gras. Hotel.com landed us in the middle of it, complete with naked bodies and very bad music. The staff offered an apology and ear plugs, reassuring us that it would be over with by 2 AM. So what else was new? Except for the naked bodies part, that is. We had been staying up until 2 or 3 AM for the past month, working every waking minute, but the idea of just one more night almost broke us.

We reminded ourselves that we weren’t alone in the 100+ work weeks, nor those moments of self-questioning “are we nuts?” As a team of several educators, the school had made the transfer to a new LMS in a time that surely qualifies for a world record, if such a category existed.  A handful of classes were even edited in time for the conference, and exhausted or not, we looked good. Really good.  The display was beautiful, the brochures caught people’s eyes, and the new LMS with the edited classes cinched the positive impression. During the first few hours, we had a few hundred visitors. We stopped counting after that. It was a very productive week in San Diego.

Back home from the conference, I managed to avoid bronchitis but ended up with strep throat. Guess one should be more specific when praying? Add an all-inclusive clause in there perhaps? Higher powers must have an odd sense of humor.

Thankful that spring break is here, I can finally take a moment to reflect on how thankful I am to be part of a team like this.  People worked very hard, maintained a positive attitude — although sometimes battling moments of near-hysteria — and got the job done.  I am hoping and praying (in specific terms this time) that the upcoming updates are relatively smooth and that all the features we are hoping for continue to come to life.  I already hear from instructors about how the new system is easier to use. We will continue work through the bugs as the virtual dust settles as we begin to reap the rewards of our effort.

As we wrap up the final stages, take a look at where we are at, and plan for a more steady pace, the word “balance” comes to mind.  Although we all have some tasks to do, some loose ends to wrap up, we can begin to plan for some shifting toward greater balance. A few of us have been overseeing several classes while, in the midst of all this madness, we found ourselves having to hire new teachers.  The good news is that we have good additions to our team, and we can return our full attentions to other things. As always, I encourage everyone on the team to communicate what each enjoys doing, would rather not be doing, and might even like to add in the future. This helps everyone continue to move toward that “sweet spot” of where one’s passions and talents intersect.

For me, this includes researching and writing, helping start a small niche publishing company, and then engaging in the design process for a small college program for teachers wanting to earn a master’s degree or professional development credit in personalized education. I have also started taking steps to engage in personal writing, arts projects, and other things that keep feed my spirit.

Yep, that should do it. No Mardi Gras. Balance.

How about you?

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