Identifying the curriculum helped. For a day. Yesterday. I washed the floors and dusted, read one chapter from each of the three books I have on the go, wrote a blog post, ran out-of-door errands despite the rain, bottled kambucha and downsized my kambucha-making station, and marked student assignments. Sufficiently productive.
I awoke this morning to the paralysis caused by anxiety I am sometimes familiar with. Already! I don’t do well with large pockets of time. They loom over me, suffocate me, hold me down, render me unable to start. And, as much as « people, not a fan » is my mantra, the lack of social interaction is also taking its toll. A troll in a cave. The minutes slip by like more quicksand as I sink deeper in the mire of my mind.
I found the gumption to call a wise friend, but when we got disconnected, the fortitude was used up and calling back felt daunting. She called me back, thankfully. I liked her phrasing, « What helped me, was… » No use of the word « should, » no unsolicited advice, just something to consider, without telling me to consider it. Brilliant.
So in addition to the curriculum, a syllabus might help. Identifying all the things I can and want to do is not enough. I need a schedule, a daily checklist. Keep it simple and attainable. Here it is:
- read one chapter from each of three books
- write one blog post
- go for a one-hour walk (or longer) (or the stairs) (or a home workout)
- play the ukulele for one hour OR watch a film from your carefully-collected collection (or both)
- mark five student assignments
That’s it. Let’s start with that. Despite my struggle, I am still appreciative of this pause in time. And even though I know it’s okay to do nothing, it’s simply not how I’m wired. I’m feeling better, I’m up, breakfast has been eaten, a second cup of coffee nearly finished, and I am the press-of-a-button away from the first tick on the syllabus for today…