Being Your Own Best Advocate

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps he hears a different drummer (Thoreau)

It is close to midnight and I am attempting to nurse an irritated throat and soul. A work-related series of snafus exploded one after the other and the initial solution of the table looked like it would involve me twisting into a pretzel to save the sinking ship- again. And when offered this tantalizing offer to resume my traditional and familiar role I said “no thanks” and I feel terrible.

“What’s the big deal?” I asked myself. You sure are a wimp for needing a full night’s sleep. Here, all you have to is move the start of your workday to 2:00AM/prepare a briefing paper/research the teleconference topic/prepare some mockups/drive the speed of light to conduct your afternoon lecture on Contract Law and swing through your faculty office hours on a wing and a prayer- are you lazy or something? Ungrateful for this professional opportunity?

This anguished loop of thinking went on for several rounds in my mind. The grace of God intervened in the form of a phone call from my sister who in her matter-of-fact manner suggested that as uncomfortable as it felt to stand my ground, it boiled down to being my own advocate- a task that no one but me could assume. I was grateful for the listening ear. I still feel somewhat uncomfortable. I even semi-reached back to my colleagues to provide a bit of life raft to help them proceed in my absence (as if the proverbial building would burn down if I didn’t keep watch). This hot mug of tea is soothing my throat and warming me to up to the idea of seeing my needs as important. I do hope this process will get easier over time- either by the cranking up of the amp for the drums of my heartbeat or my voice getting louder on my behalf.  I am trusting that I and all who read my words are being led in this regard in the best expression of this undertaking.

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