Living in the Present with a Fear of Missing Out

I have a sincere fear of missing out. Despite what the news says, there's a ton of awesome in the world, and there's a lot of it in my life. In work, there are so many things to learn and conferences to attend and things to try. In my relationships with people, there are so many stories to hear and experiences to share. In the world, there are so many places to see and taste (because let's be honest, I eat my way through any city I visit).

But all that awesome creates a problem because I can't do it all well. I can't give 100% to my work and 100% to my relationships and 100% to the things I love to do. As hard as I try, I just can't do it, and I end up worn out.

Two weeks ago, I poured into the people in my life. We gathered round my table and shared meals and our lives. It was a full and wonderful time of connecting face-to-face. I laughed a lot. I ate a lot. I thought a lot.

But last week I paid for it. I worked a seventeen-hour work day on Monday trying to catch up and finish my grades. I let my kids down by not having new seating charts or viewing their projects or hanging their work on the wall. Having students disappointed in me made me even more stressed out and cranky, even though, as I told my kids, "I'm doing the best I can."

Then I was accepted into the Google Teacher Academy, and all of a sudden, my social media channels blew up. There's Voxer and Twitter and Google Plus, and there are always people talking in these avenues. And I love these tools. These are the things that have connected me to amazing educators throughout my city, state, and world. Because of them, going to Fall CUE last weekend was like coming home to old friends. I want to read them all, to gather wisdom from all these people in all these avenues.

My goal for this year has been to live into the words of Jim Elliot: "Wherever you are, be all there." It's been beautiful and rich and life-giving, but it has also caused me to struggle more than ever with finding balance. Even in my fourth year, teaching doesn't fit into a seven to four work day, and all of the good in my world doesn't fit into nights and weekends. My love of each present moment is in a constant tug-of-war with my fear of missing out. There's a lot to do, a lot worth doing. It makes me excited to see what each week brings, but I can't help but having a fear of missing out.