Waste: Finding Balance in a Demanding World

To complain without action or to pour yourself out without reservation: both of these habits are a waste. Not all bad things are worth belaboring. All good things are not you-things that you have to do. Sometimes a desert of exhaustion and despair is of our own making.

Right now, we have a long weekend off school. Part of what I'm doing is to rest and recover! Looking through old journal entries, I came across a poem I wrote on February 24, 2016 entitled “Waste” that spoke to me about the challenge we all face not to waste our lives complaining about what we can't change or pouring ourselves into causes we're not called to do.


There are those who will tell you every wrong.

Listen and they’ll sing their song.

“Woe is me. Poor me – sad me. Everything ill.

So, sit here and hear me complain and I will.”

Crystal spider webs can be woven to make a strong line,

So do grumblers who weave their own straight jacket one tiny complaint at a time.


Then there are those with no boundary

They’ll do their job and others’ without quandary.

But one day they wake up and have lost their art

No thanks. No joy. Just broken heart.

They pour out their pitcher until it dries up

And stare open mouthed at their empty cup.


Oh the happy soul who strikes the chord

Of harmonious balance, each day looking toward.

They don’t whine and complain nor everything touch,

Their life has purpose with some sense left to clutch.

Oh to balance life tween thick and thin, with joy left to put it all in

No binding vest or empty vase, just life to the full with nothing a waste.

By Vicki Davis


I hope you're encouraged to find balance in your life as you seek to make things better and find your purpose. You're called to something but not everything. You're called somewhere but you can't physically be everywhere.

Life is full of choices. The best among us make those choices.

  • They work where they can make a difference.
  • They refuse to complain pointlessly.
  • They steward their lives as the finite and precious resource that they are.

Nobody is making more time and nobody is making any more of you. You've got to make choices about the best way to spend you and your time and nobody can do that for you. But if you burn out and wear out and there's no more of you, you can't really do anyone any good, can you?

Today, examine your past week. Did you complain pointlessly at any time? Are you pouring your time and energy into too many things? Even worse, are you pouring them into things that aren't really a calling for you anymore? Reflect and take action.

This post is day 41 of 80 days of excellence. I've created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere