Happy New Year?
I don’t know if the start to your January has been anything like mine, but it definitely feels like we’ve been back much longer than… four days? Is that possible?
There always seems to be a bit of an adjustment period when coming back from a break, but this seems different from the usual adjustment. The spike in Covid cases, the uncertainty, and the fatigue of two years of pandemic teaching and living is… well, it’s getting to me. I’m thinking it might be getting to you.
My school had a professional learning day on Monday, and one of the things we talked about was well-being. We had some great conversations, and one of the major takeaways for everyone I talked to was that we find our work really meaningful and that We. Are. Burnt. Out.
I don’t have a solution for that (sorry), but the other major takeaway from the conversations I had was that we all found it affirming to know that we were not alone in experiencing this.
One of the things I was thinking about during these conversations was this great Twitter thread from Jennifer Lynn Barnes, sharing something from Nora Roberts.
I’ve been trying to carry that idea with me this week, as I try and juggle all kinds of balls. And what I find most useful about this analogy is that it is built on the assumption that YOU WILL DROP BALLS. We all will. And thinking about it this way has made it easier for me to identify which of the tasks on my list are plastic, and which are glass. And knowing that the status of a ball may change from day-to-day.
- A new January book display? Plastic.
- Getting a lesson on evaluating popular science sources done? Glass.
- Finding the “just right” image for that presentation? Plastic.
- Meditating? Yesterday it was plastic. Today, it’s glass.
- Finding a place for my parents to get a PCR test? Glass.
- This blog post? Was almost plastic (but glad I was able to catch it!)
I have other things I’m working on and wanting to share, but putting them in a form that is comprehensible to other folks is, frankly, a plastic ball right now. Luckily, they’ve already called a snow day for tomorrow, so I might be able to pick up some balls I’ve dropped – the most important one being a good night’s sleep.