Friday, February 22, 2008

Theory and Practice

I am in Mesa, AZ right now to attend my step-son's wedding which will occur tomorrow. I've been up late to grade papers for the two online classes I teach - Principles of Sociology and Sociology of the Family. This week in the Family class we are talking about concepts like Role Strain, Role Conflict, Work Overload and the consequences to families when work and personal relationships collide. Um. Yeah. GOT IT. All day I've been more or less torn between wanting to spend time with the boys (grown men, but still my boys) and the weight of knowing I had work needing to be done.

Then, over in my Principles class we are talking about the family as a social institution, how it operates, how it breaks down, etc. As I sat in the banquet room of a local restaurant this evening with various members of our family - in laws, outlaws, and some I had not seen in many years --it occurred to me that no matter how much I may be able to quote out family dynamics theories with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back, LIVING it is still a challenge.

We have a mostly good group, our clan. I have been richly blessed by this brood I married into. Still, there are the moments of strain, potential conflict, and occasional discomfort that are more or less inevitable when you get this many different personalities together.

I'll be here through Monday and then travel home back to the new job I've recently taken on. LOTS of stuff going on there... I've made the deliberate choice that I will not be blogging about my professional life. But suffice it to say that I'm dancing as fast as I can to wade through the challenges of my learning curve and feeling a bit intimidated about having some very big shoes to fill in the position I've recently stepped into. I've gone from being very much behind the scenes to wearing the hat of Grand Poobah of a complex department with 65 people who answer to me. GULP.

Life is busy. I long for simple days.

But for now I will keep putting one foot in front of the other - balancing my full time job, my teaching, my personal life, my church life, my family relationships and all the rest with as much sanity as I can muster.

It's never so simple or clear as the the theories seem to depict.


Mimi said...

Have a wonderful time, my friend! And, so true about our roles in family.

Rozel said...

My dear belladonna, you are wonderful at everything you touch! I am simply amazed at how much you have on your plate and how you still are able balance your professional and personal life. . .something that I have not yet been able to conquer. Your many words of wisdom will be with me always. Enjoy your new challenge!

Ruth D~ said...

Ah . . . families. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. I've been fortunate with mine and all its permutations, though.

Tristi Pinkston said...

It's probably good that the theories don't give us all the details, or we would never do it.

I think a Grand Poobah hat would look grand on you.

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