There are days that I'm so utterly and thoroughly non-productive, I'm embarrassed for myself.
Today. Today was one of them.
In my district, principals are still at it throughout the summer. The work is different—the pace is slower, and there is more time to think and plan—but it still requires showing up and paying attention and getting things done. I love summer because I largely work alone, and I am a freakin' machine—I bust through stuff like it's my job. Which it is, sure, but I really love it, how much I get done in the summer.
Except not today.
I stayed up late last night, because our town has an awesome fireworks display and my kids are (finally) old enough to enjoy it, so we do it up right. Which meant getting to bed (several) hours later than usual, which meant I slept in this morning, sort of, although it was restless and broken sleep. And I felt crappy. I went to yoga, as usual, but that felt crappy too, which depressed me. My body hurt and the room felt particularly hot and I felt klutzy and awkward. Back home, I fed the family breakfast and then made my way to work. Late.
But even after I settled into my office, I couldn't seem to make myself tackle the (still) long list of things I need to do before everything goes bananas again on the first of August. I mean, there's so much I could do! I could finalize a furniture order. Complete the master schedule. Plan orientation for my new staff. Organize my professional development plan for the year. But nooooooo. None of that was happening. Instead, I was just wandering around, not really doing anything right. Not really starting anything, and surely not finishing anything.
I tried to shake the cobwebs from my head by talking a walk, but I spent the whole time wishing I hadn't taken a walk and had instead just sat at my desk and scrolled through Twitter. Which is what I did when I did, in fact, get back to my desk. Twitter, and then a few blogs, and then suddenly I was building a new station on Pandora. All the while mad at myself that I wasn't getting anything real done.
Then, mid-afternoon, the district paint crew showed up. And that was it, for me. For today.
The paint crew comes around every summer and tackles whichever part of the building needs painting, as determined by a specifically planned rotation. This summer, it's the main office and library that is getting new paint. The crew is a mishmash of college kids, home for the summer, and district employees who don’t have year-round contracts but who like or need to work in the summer. Their leader is Lawrence, a bus driver; he mostly stands around and finds things to talk about. Surrounding him are the worker bees: There’s Jana, who works as a lunch lady throughout the school year; Jared and Josh, both 20-something maintenance guys; Trevor and Debbie, bus drivers too. They roared into the office and started right in—before I knew it, they had desks pulled into the middle of the room, shelves unloaded, pictures off the wall, and paint already going up around the trim.
They were fast, and loud, and really distracting. Not in a bad way at all. In a way that I had been pining for, apparently: Suddenly I was standing around in the middle of all of them, chit-chatting with Lawrence about our favorite drink at Starbucks. And about the new bus he might get to drive next year. And which route is his favorite. And so on.
I finally admitted to myself: I wasn't getting anything done today. Period.
So I called it. Left work, right there in mid-afternoon. Came home. The house is empty, because my husband and children didn't expect me yet. So I'm on the couch, still being unproductive and bemoaning the lack of things I got done today.
I know it's normal. I know some days are just crappy and unproductive. It is just the way things are, sometimes. But knowing it's normal doesn't make me any happier with myself.
I'll try again tomorrow.