In one month, my nephew is getting married in New York. How I would love to attend his wedding! Unfortunately, I’m conflicted about whether or not I should go. You see, I am a school principal, and this is such an unusual year! How can I possibly leave my office when there is so much to stay on top of because of all the COVID regulations? In addition, after arriving in New York, I will have to quarantine for two weeks before the wedding date, significantly extending the length of my trip.
If I go, I can do a lot of work virtually. But obviously, there are limitations to what can be done long distance.
To complicate the scenario even more, I still have school-aged children who are counting on me to help them stay on top of their own school journeys. Is it responsible to leave them? They, too, are struggling with the many strange COVID limitations and definitely depend on my input.
Before you advise me to prioritize my own children and then my job (which, when it boils down to it, also equates to prioritizing my family) here is one more facet of the picture. My nephew’s father, my brother, of blessed memory, passed away two years ago. So, this wedding carries a tidal wave of emotions. With my presence at the wedding, I feel like I would be helping my brother by giving his wife and son the support he can no longer meet out.
What do you think? Do I go? Stay home?
I welcome your suggestions and input,
Dear Principal Diane,
When there are valid supports for both sides of a dilemma, how can a person choose the right course of action?
You can choose the old-school, but still effective method of writing down a list of pros and cons and weigh in from that perspective. But your issue appears to be much more than a practical dilemma. To me, it seems like your heart is heavily invested.
As a conscientious principal, you want to do what is best for your students and staff by guiding them in our new COVID-centered world. As a devoted mother, you want to be on hand to help your children. As a loving aunt, you want to be present for your nephew and support him as he begins married life without the tangible warmth of his loving father. And as a caring sister-in-law, you want to be available if she wants to lean on your shoulder.
Perhaps we can take an imaginary trip and whisk you into the future. Which picture will engender the strongest regrets? Missing the wedding? Or being absent for your children and students during this incredibly challenging year?
Now let’s use some visualization and flip it to the positive side. Imagine the wedding and being together with your nephew and sister-in-law. Picture every detail and how you think it will play out. Can you see the preparations before the ceremony, the actual wedding with all its poignancy, and the aftermath?
Once you have carefully assessed your feelings about each situation, I think you will be in a better place to make a decision that is right for you in every aspect.
One word of caution, Diane. Once you make up your mind, please don’t torture yourself with continued indecision and guilt feelings. You can only be in one place at a time, and you are trying to put your best foot forward.
Mazel Tov on the wedding! And I wish you a successful, healthy school year, for your family, staff, and all of your students.
All the best,