In September, 2013, I staffed my 33rd NWTA weekend. I am considered a senior staffer, one who knows the weekend quite well. I was asked by the weekend leader to step onto the leader track for the weekend because he didn’t think there were enough experienced men. I have staffed with this leader before and it worked quite well, so I stepped on as a leader in training (LIT)… for this weekend only.
There is a deep conundrum here. I have been on the leader track twice before but bumped myself off both times. The first time I was looking to be seen and the second time I was seen as too old. Both were good reasons not to bust myself off the track. But truth be told, I am a leader on the weekends (and in my life), but I prefer not to have any portfolio on weekends so I can step in where needed and fix what needs to be fixed without any big fuss.
For this weekend, I was also the Elder Coordinator, responsible for assigning tasks and roles to the various elders on the weekend and for supporting the weekend’s Ritual Elder.
I had lots on my plate this weekend, and I dropped that plate several times. I created extra work for the Ritual Elder because I was focusing on the LIT responsibilities. Then I muffed a process on Thursday evening, another on Friday and yet another on Saturday. It was not a good weekend for me.
On Sunday, I sat with the leaders and took feedback. This is warrior work and their cuts were deep. “Jones, you had a bad weekend” said one leader.
Their cuts hurt. A few years ago I would have melted into a whimpering ball of self pity and withdrawn from the field of battle for a long time; but this work has transformed me. I found myself taking the hits without taking them in. They were about losing conscious focus in certain moments… about taking on too much… juggling too many plates.
I journaled about their feedback the next day and realized there was a beautiful gift in it. I had been trying to do too much and that was driven by an ego that wanted to be seen as shining. Shit! That keeps tripping me up.
Well, the next weekend is only five weeks away and I am staffing again. But this time, I will keep my roles to a minimum and take it easy. After all, I am an elder and not a young pup any more. And I can take a few hits and bounce right back, older still, but maybe a little bit wiser too.