I’m getting some pretty definite messages to slow down in my personal and professional life.
My editor at Fast Company, quote: “You need to slow down. I’d rather have you write two amazing features in a year than four all right ones.”
Magda Gerber, author of Dear Parent, the last parenting book I read, with chapters including “At their own time, and in their own way”, “Learning to Observe” “and WAIT!”: “Do less. Enjoy more.”
Plus, this week, I got turned down for a fellowship application (that I threw together on my maternity leave) and a proposal for a book, (that I also threw together on my maternity leave), is not going to happen right now, for reasons that have nothing to do with me.
I’m so incredibly lucky to have work that intersects with my passions. I feel that I have an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the changes I want to see in the world, by gathering information, telling stories about those changes, and getting people excited about the possibilities. Now that I have a daughter the motivations become a lot more complex. I want her to grow up with a mother who has work that she loves, and I want her to feel that I’m available and present to her. I want to rush through my work so I can get home and be with her, and I want my work to be really really good and “important” to justify the fact that I’m taking time away from her to do it.
SO I have to take my time. It’s not just about being efficient and productive. I have to do a careful gut check on each opportunity that comes my way and make sure : A. Is it consonant with my values? B. Is it high impact? C. Does it pay well? D. Will it be enjoyable? (A+B+C+D = YES. A+C OR A+B+D = Probably. )
Part of what that means for this blog is that I’ll be crossposting a lot from FastCompany.com, where I’ll be making an effort to cover the future of education on a weekly basis.