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Making it Through Tired Times

“I’m tired.”

That was my response to a question from Teresa Barnett yesterday when I stopped by the R9 office. Teresa’s kind reply was “That’s okay.” I’ve always appreciated Teresa for her calming effect. And, she’s right. It’s okay to be tired. The work that happens at R9 is fully engaged work. We are thinking, doing, processing, and in a constant state of taking care of our member districts. Interestingly, when I left the office, I felt renewed. Here’s why. During my very brief visit, I was greeted warmly by all in the building. There were smiles. There were hugs. There was a genuine stopping to be fully engaged in a moment with me. I mattered and I was intentionally acknowledged.

As leaders, we can appreciate the feeling of being tired, particularly in this time of the school year. However, our responsibility is to make the differences that help our staff to make it through “tired” times. Being purposeful in our presence and in our communications. Being genuinely encouraging. Being inviting. All of these are important traits for a leader. It is important to acknowledge how our staff is feeling and to be aware of times when they need encouragement or just a moment to breathe. We can’t fix it, but we can say “it’s okay.”

As leaders, we are also responsible for recognizing when we are tired and to take time to be around those who renew us in our energy and commitment. Some moments, we just need to disengage from the work briefly and let us ourselves renew. It’s okay to be tired. But, we have to choose to renew and maintain the energy to lead. We have to lead.

By Cathy Jones Park