"You can't see the picture if you're inside the frame."
The above was said by a junior boy in my AP US History class, or as Hannah and her friends now call it, "A-PUSH." I'm sure Erik would be shocked that I remember it, as I'm sure he doesn't. I can't remember the context, but we had the best discussions in that class, and it could have been about anything. But that football player with the twinkling eyes said it, and I wrote it down, and remember and think of it often.
Because how often are we too close to the problem to be able to see it clearly?
I work with three different organizations outside of my full-time job and parenting responsibilities. I have high-ranking positions in each, and I'm proud of the work I do to support them. But it is volunteer work, and is often outside of what I'm professionally experienced in doing. I have to leave my comfort zones to give input and support, and the time I have is often limited, but I do the best I can. Sometimes, that doesn't live up to what others expectations may be, and that's tough to hear and accept. But sometimes, I may be too close to the issues at hand, and getting feedback from someone more on the outside can be really helpful. It's hard not to be defensive and even overprotective of the group, and to take the comments in. That balance can be a difficult one to strike, but it's worth it.
Deep breaths. Listen and absorb before responding. Dive in again.