So, the last two weeks…

…have been insane.

On Oct. 17, I started a new job. I moved two offices west and became the director of Bemidji State’s Office of Communications and Marketing. It’s technically an interim appointment; I’m filling in for my former boss, who resigned in August and left on Oct. 14. The appointment lasts until June 30, 2012, or until a permanent replacement is hired for the position, whichever comes first. I intend to apply for the permanent appointment, but for now this is a temporary position. I’m just trying to figure out everything my former boss had going on, and try to stay afloat. Eight days in, and I think I’m doing OK so far. Not great, but OK.

I’m getting into a comfort zone, but I’m finding that my biggest challenge is going to be getting my to-do list worked through while dealing with the dozen people every day who want/need my attention for something. Sometimes those requests for attention are legit; sometimes they’re not. It’s going to take some more experience to learn how to sort them out on the fly.

Take today, for instance. I sent 50 emails, had four meetings, was on the phone for a significant chunk of the afternoon, met with both of my student writers, worked on a budget situation with our office manager, and during all of that I checked off exactly zero items that were on my to-do list at the start of the morning.

Between this job keeping me busier than I’ve been for years for the last week and a half during the day, having kids-wife-family, etc., in the evenings and then grad school stuff to worry about once the kiddos are in bed, I haven’t had much time left over for, well, much else at all.

Grad school has been particularly difficult. For the last few weeks, I haven’t been as good about as I need to be – I’m doing what needs to be done to get my grades, but it’s becoming difficult to make it a priority. It’s just difficult to muster the energy for it. I am probably getting back to the point where I need to take a day or two off of work on a Friday sometime so I can concentrate on getting caught up again.

TL,DR version: I’ve got a lot going on, and I’m finding things difficult to balance. I’m keeping up for now, but I sense that Christmas break is going to feel like an actual “break” for the first time in a long, long time.

Andy Bartlett

By day, I am the executive director of communications and marketing at Bemidji State University. The rest of the time, I'm a husband, father of three, and proponent of super heroes, lasers, space ships and explosions.

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