Friday, March 02, 2012

The Cat in the Hat...2012 style.

We are predictable people, as Dr. Seuss knew. As kids, we are easily engaged by tricks and magic, seeing people do amazing things. Then we get a little older and try to do it on our own, to figure out the secrets. How many of us have tried to juggle using kleenex so that it wouldn't fall too quickly? {And I admit, I can't even do that!} It doesn't stop there, though. As adults, we are still mesmerized by people who can juggle multiple things. And we want to be those people. We use all of the things we are juggling to impress our peers...

Look at me!

Look at me!
Look at me now!
I can hold up my job
And my kids and my spouse!
I can hold up the school,
My book club and clean house!
I can work out and eat right
And play with my friends.
And look, if I don't sleep,
My limit has no end!
For that is not all.
On no.
That is not all... 

We think that we're impressive and have learned the secret to juggling things. We get caught up in being so involved and doing so much. But isn't it funny how we forget the rest of the story?

{graphics courtesy of Dr. Seuss}
As a recovering perfectionist, I am one of those people who wants to jump into the book and save everything from hitting the ground. But that's where I have to stop myself and realize, it's beyond my control and it's more than I can handle. {teachers: reread and repeat.  again.}  I am going down with it all and can't save myself from falling, so where do I even start? My initial reaction is to go for the cake, but I think that's another place we miss the boat. The fish, the original thing that he balanced up on his umbrella, is really the only sacrifice to be made if it all gets dropped.

Are you following my childlike mindframe here? It is so easy to get caught up with life. We run from meeting to meeting, from social event to social event, running errands, filling out paperwork, grabbing dinner where we can and there are people everywhere so it doesn't occur to us that we're isolating ourselves. But when we really sit down and think about it, this isn't quality time. Our friends don't know what's really going on with us. Our family hasn't seen us. Our students hear our directions and corrections but did they get their daily hugs?  Even with the people that we see the most, is it thanks to meetings and obligations that we are even together?  And we wonder why we're so tired and stressed and hoping for Friday afternoon!

It's hard to stop lesson planning and blogstalking and pinning because there are just SO many good ideas out there.  {says the woman with her OWN office IN the house...guilty as charged.}  But I think that it's better for us to own up to it than to just keep on with our lives, balancing everything up on umbrellas and balls, waiting for the inevitable day that we lose our minds. What is life if not for the people we love? Don't we owe it to them to take them out of the web of things we're trying to juggle? I'm not saying it's easy to find a few hours to just sit down for coffee and I'm not saying I won't have a thousand and a half things running through my mind that I "should" be doing instead. But I've realized that in balancing so many things, pepole don't end up impressed by all that you can do. They just find someone else, with a little bit of time to offer, to give themselves to instead. We can't be Jesus to people by filling out paperwork and attending meeting after meeting. And while a lot of {especially in education} is inevitable, we have to stop, leave work behind and separate for a time.  We have to be available to catch our students or co-workers when they fall. And if at all possible, help them not to fall in the first place.

I think maybe {though it wouldn't have topped the bestseller list}, the cat could've said this instead...

Look at me!

Look at me!
Look at me now!
It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how.
I can talk with my girls
Or spend time at the lake.
I can laugh with my friends
Over coffee and cake. {apparently, I think the cake should stay.}
I can love on my students,
Lend a listening ear.
And look! My resolution needn't
Involve "less stress" this year!
Saying "no thanks" to requests
And "I'd love to!" to fun.
Replacing stress with balance
And still getting it all done.


  1. Totally love this post. Thanks for the reminder and making me think!

  2. Love It! You really hit home with me on this one. Thanks.

  3. I love it! Good job! I gave you an award...come see!


  4. Kristin,

    I love this post. My last 2 post have kind of been about this! The first is loving our kiddos and how we are a lesson to them by how we act and react. I shared the song "Love Them Like Jesus" by Casting Crowns. Yesterday, I shared a poem about how we need to be teaching our kiddos and not just a curriculum. If I were to die tomorrow, would I want someone to say I taught my curriculum well or that I loved my kiddos with all of my heart and helped them see the best in themselves.

    We cannot get it all in and we need to stop trying and stressing to do so! =)

    Thank you for this encouraging post! =)

    You are a blessing!

    Heather's Heart

  5. Anonymous7:22 PM

    what a wonderful post. I almost teared up reading it (not trying to be dramatic!) and I'm going to print it off an hang it in the teachers lounge. You are SO right and thank you for reminding me to slow down a little and to love on my kids.

  6. Girl... I hope and PRAY you do not kill me but I am sharing this post with TBA readers for Time Out Tuesday! This post was so fabulous that I have had to come and read it three times. Please forgive me for asking so late and I hope you can send me a quick email to let me know you are ok with this! LOVE this post.

  7. I am so glad Mrs. Coe posted this on TBA! You have shared what every woman feels and thinks. My bible study this morning was a complement to your words! “Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage”
    (Ecclesiastes 5:18, NKJV) We must make sure to ENJOY this life!!!

  8. What a powerful post! THANK YOU!


Thanks for the comments! {like virtual hugs}

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