The quarter didn't work out quite as planned. Something about the morning schedule (I've rarely taught morning classes), the course for teachers that was outside my area of expertise (grammar? rhetoric? not my fields), the independent study that expanded into 1.5-3 hours a week of meeting and conversing: all of those ate into my blogging life, and into my professional life more generally. I felt overwhelmed all winter, and got much less done--aside from those required teaching jobs--than I'd hoped or planned.
Now that spring has sprung, I'm trying out a few "hacks," as they say, in my everyday schedule, not so much in order to free up time to work as to carve out room to think, and read, and play.
You see, for whatever reason, I found myself spending more and more time this winter caught up in digital media: reading a handful of political blogs, reading (though not really posting on) Twitter, window shopping at guitar sites, etc. That was where my downtime went, such as it was--and it's a self-reinforcing habit, such that other modes of relaxation grew less and less natural and immediate.
My goal now is to trim back that digital life, and to fill my time (and my head) with more enjoyable material. I've deleted the personal Twitter account, @EricSelinger, although I still have the professional one, @JPRStudies. And I've been editing my Facebook feed to take out the posts that tend to preoccupy me without really adding value or pleasure to my day. I've also swapped my iPod alarm clock, which woke me to music, for an old fashioned travel alarm--not because I disliked the music (it was quite lovely), but because looking at the screen right before bed to turn on or reset the alarm made it all-too tempting to check email, or Twitter, or Facebook, or YouTube, or any of the other sites right before turning in.
I'm not worrying about bit professional or personal goals at this point--rather, step by tiny step, I want to bring my everyday life a bit closer to the happiest periods I had a few years ago, when I read more books and played more music and didn't worry quite as much about things I was reading on line. I was also blogging more then, rather than posting on the other social networking sites. Not sure whether we're talking about a causal relationship, or just a correlation, but it can't hurt to try doing a bit more of that as well.
I've also started doing handstands, but that's a topic for another post. :)