It is nearly 7 pm on a weeknight. I have a pile of partially graded exams on the table in the family room, 2 stacks of papers to grade and a class to prepare for. Tomorrow, I collect another stack of papers. And where am I?
At the mall.
A few feet away, my daughter, who is home for spring break, is in a dressing room seeking to upgrade her wardrobe. I am one part fashion consultant, one part financier and completely delighted that she still wants me along for the ride.
Even if it means this blog will get posted tomorrow.
My daughter was home on spring break this week. Initially, we weren't expecting to see her, so having her around has been an unexpected pleasure. Between spending time with her and losing an hour of sleep on Saturday night/Sunday morning, my usual efficiency, a bit tenuous at times as it is, has taken a hit, especially since my spring break has already come and gone.
This morning, I'm more tired than usual, and more behind schedule as well. The slides for my classes needed more work than I anticipated, meaning that grading got pushed aside for both my sake and my students'. (They really didn't want me grading their short answer questions at midnight. Trust me).
In addition, I also felt the eensiest bit guilty that the exams aren't ready to be handed back, but you know what? I shook that off.
So often in life, we do the right thing, the practical thing, the expected thing (a.k.a. the grown-up thing). These are often good choices and, when they merge, it's pretty easy to do them all.
But yesterday, they collided. The right thing to do was to spend time with my daughter. Was it practical to go shopping instead of checking things off my to-do list? Probably not. And as for the expected adulting, my daughter's only here for one more day, those papers aren't going anywhere and besides, adulting is overrated.
Am I sorry the papers aren't graded? Yes. Am I sorry I spent time with my daughter instead? Not a chance.
Sometimes, you just have to push practical out of the way and lead with your heart.