I’m losing weight! I really am! Of course, I really have lost a few kilos because I have had to walk everywhere since my car broke down again, and I am very grateful for that. Both my sister and my Partner, two of the people whose opinions of me I value most have paid me compliments about my improved appearance. However, the real celebration that I share with you today is my joy about the mental shift that I have experienced yet again, the growth in emotional resilience that has caused me to be able to (i) take on only the things that I can do without killing myself with stress, (ii) not accept blame for everything that goes wrong around me and (iii) accept the blame where I am genuinely responsible.
There is no doubt that this has been a hard week. Again, I am not speaking about the need to re-pipe my home, instead I refer to the difficulty that I have experienced with getting students in the programme that I administer on this year’s graduation list. I have reflected about this a great deal. I have wondered to myself what has gone wrong this year and I have come up with many reasons.
I know now of some new areas where I need to improve my management of this nearly impossible system. I cannot change the need for others to control the systems that would make the university operate more efficiently. They feel that they alone are the guardians of the standards of quality that the university embraces. Of course, they are wrong about that, and the failure to recognize this fact is inimical to the organisation. It causes frustration that is eroding the goodwill that the University has among other members of staff, but Jamaican stubbornness is a hell of a thing.
This post can’t be completed now for many reasons, not the least of which is that I must see what crises await me at my desk. What I can say though is that while I congratulate the graduates this year, I won’t be joining them because the UWI no longer enjoys the type of goodwill that will cause me to use my discretionary time on something like that. The truth is that were I to go it would add to the weight of my resentment against the organisation since, yet again, I would have taken the high road in a situation that I do not believe merits this. Being able to look myself in the eye when I brush my teeth after my next meal is helping to shed the weight of my world from my shoulders.