It’s midway through the first week of classes and I am feeling burned out. The amount of energy required to be upbeat, friendly, and constantly available makes my little introvert heart feel like curling up in bed for a week. I love working with students. I think they’re fun and they keep me fresh and engaged, but there’s a sense of infectious energy that becomes overwhelming after a few days. I almost feel like I’m catching a cold, I feel so tired and worn. I’ll be fine next week, but, for now, it takes all my energy to make myself perky enough to provide a welcoming atmosphere. Mind you, I work with college students. I have no idea how the primary school folks make it work.
Sticking to a chapter a day reading plan for the draft read-through, so that’s something. Also, planning activities for an upcoming library fair, and scheming to find ways to stretch my budget. Fun times.
2015 is going to be about simplicity and balance. I’ve started by clearing out my closet and drawers (a much-needed task) and removing everything that went unused for the past year, that never quite fit, that never looked quite right, that I received as a present but didn’t really like, and that I own more than one of (in other words, how many scarves and water bottles do I really need?). This amounts to a lot of stuff to be donated. I regularly cull, but it’s been a while since I went for a full-scale de-cluttering of the bedroom and kitchen. My closet and cabinets are so much easier to sort through now that I can actually see what’s available.
Next on my agenda, a serious look at my shelves. I managed to eliminate a lot of grad school books when I moved out two years ago, but books tend to multiply like bunnies in my place… and while the idea of wall-to-wall shelves is lovely in theory, it just doesn’t work for me. I am not averse to weeding and know when it’s time to let go.
To manage the process without becoming overwhelmed, I joined Apartment Therapy’s January Cure and hope to have a neat and tidy apartment by the end of the month.
I’m also making a concerted effort to adopt a new workout and writing routine. I’ve been unhappy with some of the changes that I’ve experienced in the last few months since taking on my new job and I’ve come to accept that there are limits on my time that I just can’t help. I just don’t have the time to workout for an hour and write for two on weekdays. I’m lucky to find the time to workout at all in the mornings, so I’m just going to aim for short morning workouts and 1-2 hours of writing in the evenings. Small steps are better than none. I can’t go back to the amount of productivity and time that I had in the past, not so long as I have a 2 hour commute and life responsibilities. There was a luxury to living at home and working fifteen minutes away that I didn’t learn to appreciate until it was too late.
This month, I’m working on finding little ways to be purposeful and enjoy the little things. This means taking a step back and assessing my goals and ways to meet them, rather than diving in without a plan and crashing headlong into the tangled mess of trying to make sense of it. Simple, balanced, and purposeful, that’s what I’m going for.
I stumbled on The Writer Librarian’s blog a couple of days ago (hurray for Twitter!) and read a fantastic post that she published on trying to have it all and accepting that sometimes you can’t, but you can appreciate what you can have. It made me stop and reflect because I have been trying to have too much. Between work, working out, writing, and juggling “me” time and “Bchan” time, I’m drawing myself far too thin.
I’ve been working on a writing project for far too long but it’s almost at a stage where I can call it a complete first draft. It needs a lot of polishing, but it’s something I told myself I would stick at until I was satisfied. I also gave myself a deadline–I want to finish before NaNoWriMo so I can actually take part this year (as I rambled on about a few posts ago). I’m not sure this is going to happen quite the way I want it to, but that’s something I have to accept. I’ll do what I can, when I can, and plod along until it’s finished. And I’ll give NaNoWriMo a shot, even if I don’t reach the full word count.
Unfortunately, this goal means giving up some things. Realizing I barely have time to spare (writing this post meant sacrificing reading time), I resolved to un-enroll from a programming course on Coursera. There’s no way I can dedicate an extra 6-8 hours a week on learning a skill that will be fun and challenging, but will just fade into memory when the course ends. Until I decide to go for a full tech-related position, there’s only so much I can do to gain new skills and keep them active. I’ll wait ’til January and take the philosophy course I signed up for instead. It’s the sort of “useless” knowledge that’ll help me with all those philosophy questions freshmen tend to ask.
Tomorrow, I will workout. And I will attend a Hell’s Kitchen finale party (with trifle in tow). Tuesday will be writing day.