Call it pre-Thanksgiving ruminating, but this week I've been thinking a lot about time outs--taking five for breathing, as I wrote about in the last post, and taking time to reflect.
Running up to Thanksgiving break, everything can feel like it's going a mile a minute and we lose track of, if not our priorities, then then at least the small things that support us and make accomplishing those priorities possible.
Over the past two weeks, I have had occasion to talk with friends who mentioned that they noticed I hadn't been posting in the blog very much of late. I had to confess (and I do so again now) that this semester is one in which I never really found my groove, never figured out a good schedule for myself.
As a result, lots of the things I do to support myself have gone by the wayside this term. This doesn't mean that I haven't done my writing, teaching, and service, but it does mean that I haven't always done the little things that make me feel sane as I do my job from day to day.
On Monday of this week, I took one to two minutes and made a list--what are the practices that make me feel at my best when done regularly. My list looks something like this:
Deep breathing before teaching/meetings
Quality time with B&B (husband and dog)
Gratitude journal before bed
Looking at such a list, I find myself anxious that this might seem self-indulgent--What does she think this is, a spa! This is real life!
And I know that many of these habits do not fall under the category of "the productive." However, what I've been reminding myself lately is that my best, most productive work self is actually not sustainable without at least some of these habits in place.
So, as we find ourselves in the busiest of times, perhaps it is nonetheless worth carving out the time for the "non-productive" but ultimately nourishing practices that sustain us.
Get a Life, PhD
The Professor is In
The Thesis Whisperer
Tenure, She Wrote