Week 1 — Dazed and Confused?

It has been a week.

Today is Friday and I have a full day ahead of me, but I feel like I can already write this post because I’m already feeling what I’ll likely feel more of by the end of the day.


It is a little early in the semester to be exhausted, but I am pretty darn tired, and I think that the main reason for this is that this semester involves so much shifting of gears.  While I am not a super fan of regularity, some structure is helpful and this semester, the place where I’m most structured (taking a class twice a week) is also the place in which I’m more cognitively challenged (learning a new language in an introductory undergraduate class).  So, there’s been a lot of dissonance and discomfort this week, a lot of adjustment and some instability.

This week, there’s also been a lot of balancing of many great things: mothering, running, working on multiple research projects at multiple stages (with multiple forms of analysis), coordinating supervision meetings for my student teachers, serving my department and college in a variety of ways, being a student again, etc. Each is individually a part of who I am, but taken together and switching off between them constantly leaves my head spinning.

I suppose that soon this will become the new normal.  It is hard because with all of the switching of gears, I feel like the writing and reflection which provides me such solace and connection is more labored, with less voice and less presence. Protecting not only the time to write, but also the ability to focus my thoughts on the task in front of me has to be done mindfully and intentionally when my mind is pulling me in a million different directions.

However, this may be exactly the challenge that I need.  A challenge that is grounded in purposeful action, that acknowledges just how much it can wear me down, but that focuses on having the presence of mind to come back to myself, to let go of what hasn’t gotten done and to choose what else must be let go, that sees myself wandering into the wasteland of mindless social media, and pulls myself back to the path, back to the breath, back to the next thing through refocusing.

Suddenly, I feel a little less tired. Soon, I will leave to begin a next project, but now, I can breathe, look at what needs to get done before then and take it one step at a time.  Right now, in the stillness of this moment, I can pause and regroup.

I’m ready now for the day ahead.

Present and grateful.

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