If you asked me if I was ambitious, I’d say no. I’m edging past middle age and though I believe people can become great leaders or famous in some way at any age, that’s not my goal. I believe in being the best I can be at what I do. And that is actually ambitious. And what I do is quite a lot. I’m a teacher of computing, broadly defined. I can’t focus on just one thing, and the field is constantly changing so I have to keep my skills up. I’m also the person who provides avenues for professional development for my teachers in the area of technology. Another rapidly evolving field. And I’m a strong supporter of advocating for CS education in schools and for CS education for women more specifically, which means volunteering in my community and elsewhere, mentoring students, developing programs to educate my immediate community, and more. And I’m the mother of two children, who both need to be fed and clothed, but also guided and supported as they navigate their lives. And I’m a wife, daughter, sister, and friend, meaning I have many relationships to nurture and give time to.
So that means that the photos I wanted to take over the last couple of days didn’t happen because I was in meetings, driving children to school, working with teachers, meeting with students, writing articles, commenting on blogs, curating materials to share with my colleagues, having informal but important conversations in the hallway, attending an evening school event, planning and making dinner, chatting with friends, and listening to my spouse over a martini. It means that this weekend, I will do the homework I assigned to my students, start programming something for a colleague, finish up two or three short articles, spackle my bedroom walls with my hubby, go clothes shopping with my daughter, work with my son on his college application plan, do some volunteer work, go grocery shopping, and make soup for the week. This is a lot. And I wish sometimes I could do more, but I do actually sleep and relax–a lot. Because if I didn’t, I might explode.
It’s a difficult thing to always be trying to effect change in yourself and others without exhausting yourself. I’m well aware that if I abandoned my family responsibilities and my need for rest and relaxation, I could do more, but my life wouldn’t feel as satisfying if I did that. What goes are things like blogging, taking pictures, exercise, mundane housework. I can handle that.