Just a quickie

No – not that kind. No time for that. Get your mind out of the gutter.

This is a blog about not taking my own advice: prioritisation.

Mum messaged this week to ask how I am getting on. She knows well enough to check in but not expect much in return at this time of the year 😂 Thanks for your patience, Mum.

Usually, in the spring, I balance two jobs: teaching (past) / library assistant (present) + working for an exam board. Actually, in the past, this has been multiple exam boards at the same time. I’m not allowed to say which one, which exam or what role I have. Top secret stuff. Suffice to say, it’s a very busy, high-stakes role with lots of travel and overnight visits. Those who know me well understand that I thrive under pressure and love challenge. My internal wiring is clearly weird but it might be a McKenna trait. We’re all a bit now-now-now. My spring is always hectic but I always get it done.

Anyway, last year, I decided to throw caution to the wind and tried balancing three things: library assistant + secret exam board role + studying for my MA. At least the MA assignments were submitted pretty early and I was back to just two stressful and simultaneous activities. I managed it all in the McKenna manner.

This year? Well. Here’s something I said during one of the fantastic, monthly chats for new professionals, in the Twitterverse.

*Laugh hysterically and knowingly here* Obviously, this is a not-very-subtle example of foreshadowing so, as I’m sure you predicted, I did not heed my own counsel.

2019 spring = library assistant + new work Twitter account + secret exam role + straightforward MA module assignment + MA module that requires hundreds of separate tasks and a frightening level of introspection and self-reflection which I find uncomfortable + the small matter of my dissertation research involving 6 (wonderful) FE colleges + two conferences.*

So when Mum reached out across the universe to check I was still on the planet…

Will I get it all done? Not sure. I feel like I’m at that part in the movie when the soundtrack is super tense, getting louder and faster. There are a lot of drums. It’s underpinned by that opening wail from Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song. I wish I could fast forward through a jolly montage, set to Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5, featuring me working at superhuman speed, eating ice cream, in my PJs and donning a messy bun – popping out the other side brandishing my bound dissertation for submission.

Alas, this is pure fantasy; thus, I apologise in advance to my wife, nephew, Mum, family and friends for my absence / mood / stress / forgetfulness [please delete as appropriate].

* You’re probably wondering why I’m blogging about it all instead of just getting on with it. It’s cathartic to moan, alright?!

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