Saturday, March 5, 2011

Too much responsibility

I really like coming through.  I like pulling things off.  The high that comes from something that you planned, organized, and prayed would work happening, as good as or better than you imagined, is one of my favorite feelings in life.

But as I've proliferated the places in my life where I get to experience that feeling, I've started to become weary of the roller-coaster ride.  Time was that it happened a couple of times a year, with a conference program I worked on or a speaker I helped bring to campus.  Now I'm responsible for the success of an annual regional conference (four years and counting), a national organization's multi-million-dollar budget (two more years to go), a curriculum (two semesters' worth a year), assorted events on and off campus (too many to count), service learning projects (three a year), a high-profile recruiting operation (no end in sight), and so on and so on.

It's not that I'm worried about failing, not really.  There's just not enough of me to invest fully in all of these outcomes.  So when they come off, I feel more relief than elation for those that weren't deeply embedded in my identity.  In other words, I'm to the point of treating some of thing like jobs rather than passions.  I start to think I can pull them off without risking everything on them.  I begin to parcel myself out between them, calculating where I can pull back and save my sanity without undue effect on the outcome.

In a few years I'll be out of some of these positions.  I'd be very disappointed if I don't get to continue being involved in leadership conversations and consultations.  But I'm ready to get off the thrill ride of sole responsibility.

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