About a year ago, I recorded an episode of the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast that I titled:
Similar themes are recurring this year, though I suppose in nowhere near as drastic of a case. I have been dealing with frustrating health challenges (dental work, anyone?), but ones that aren't likely to have any life-altering consequences. Still, my already-packed life resists being “forced” to tap into flexibility. Here are the ways I am attempting to navigate these challenges.
I feel guilty writing about my dental woes, especially after finishing Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved, by Kate Bowler. The author teaches at Duke's Divinity School and researches what is known as the prosperity gospel. She shares the story of her stage IV colon cancer diagnosis and how it impacted her friendships and faith. This book had me laughing and crying from page to page.
I have been enjoying exploring NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert series on YouTube. I am a bit late to the party, but I think the gig is that they all play a concert surrounding a desk somehow. I started thinking it was the desks that were small (they don't seem to be), but I think it is the concerts that are supposed to be small. You can hear The Roots singing Ain't it Fair, Wyclef Jean singing Borrowed Time, and a favorite of mine – Jamila Woods singing Black Girl Soldier and Holy.
My weekly reviews and current projects list have been vital to not having too much fall through the cracks (at least without me knowing about it, in advance and making a conscious decision to let something slip). I write more about the tools I use in my weekly reviews on a post about managing during a stressful season from 2017. In that post, I also link to many of Robert Talbert's blogs about GTD (based on David Allen's book: Getting Things Done).
Another tool I am grateful to be able to leverage is my “trimesterly” goals (based on Robert Talbert's Trimesterly Review process). Instead of being discouraged that I am not as productive as I prefer to be, I can look back at a longer duration and recognize that a lot more has happened than I realize. It is easy to get caught up on a single week's progress, instead of viewing achievement using a broader lens.
Let it Go
Our daughter would be disappointed if I didn't include the name of her absolute favorite song here. I have been in some pain, lately. When my body has had enough, it is showing up in my not being able to concentrate as long as I usually can. When that happens, I tell myself to let it go and to switch gears to something not as mentally taxing. Here are a few items I found on some of these less-structured browsing sessions:
- Five Ways to Use PowerPoint to Edit Images
- A Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning in the Digital Age
- 4 Questions to Help You Start a Successful Blog
- Anchor Turns Itself into a One-Stop Podcast Creation App
After a conversation about the recent Parkland shooting in one of my classes, a student shared this video entitled “Evan,” a gun violence video that is impossible to say much about without ruining it.
What advice do you have for those times when stuff happens?