Wanting to Want

Depression can be a most curious thing. We have in our minds the conception that depressed means sad, but in reality, the opposite of depressed is alive.

No, that might be hyperbole. It’s more proper to specify vitally alive.

Allow me to explain.

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Back in the Habit(ica)

Here’s how I got through my last two years of undergrad: I used a website called Habitica.com to gamify my to-do list. I added assignments, personal goals, and generally good habits to my list of habits, dailies, and to-dos, and getting gold and experience points for crossing things off the list helped motivate me to get it all done.

Then I started working full-time, and my daily routine became so routine that I didn’t need to keep track of things in the same way as I did before, and my use of Habitica dropped off.

I’ve tried to go back to it a few times, but it’s just never worked…trying to codify my entire life in it was just not realistic anymore. But I think I’ve got a new approach that’ll help me keep to it better, and I think I’ll need it just to get through the summer.

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Long Term Goals

Isn’t it ironic that after I post about ending blogging, I get inspired to blog more? It’s actually not surprising, though: it’s summer now, and I have free time again.

So maybe I was a little hasty to say I’d stop blogging forever–but I needed to write that last post to process the possibility. Now that I have, I can look at things more holistically: The problem with blogging, no, the challenge preventing me from blogging is work.

And in the summers when I don’t work, I can blog more. So much like how beloved TV shows have seasons and off-seasons, maybe that’s my approach to blogging: I’ll blog in the summer when I’ve got time, and I’ll go on hiatus when the school year starts.

But what’s any of that got to do with my long-term goals? Since the start of my blogging career, one of my most returned-to topics has been my goals, so it makes sense that my first new post of this summer’s season is, yet again, about goals–but bigger and better.

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The End…of Blogging?

A few weeks ago I was talking with a friend and mentioned I was writing more. “Oh, how’s the blog going?” she said, and somewhat awkwardly I explained I hadn’t been blogging at all, but was instead spending more time working on my book series.

Since then the thought’s been festering in my mind: Is this the end of blogging?

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To 2022: What I Need from You

It’s been a long tradition to make my first post of the new year about my goals and ambitions for the year ahead. My goals have been growing and expanding for years…and over the past few years, I’ve yet to actually fully achieve all the goals I’ve written about.

Goals, I thought, were a better way forward than resolutions. The latter, I claimed, sought to fix what was broken about the previous year, but I didn’t buy that brokenness approach. Goals, I thought, would provide a north star without subscribing to that mindset.

Turns out there may yet be a better approach than all of this.

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Progress: Failure

My last post began with the words “I’m overwhelmed, exhausted, and terrified.” That post was published eight months ago. It’s a testament to how hard the year has been that I’ve not managed to write a single new post since then. I had such hopes, such dreams.

Today, I want to talk about failure.

Normally, around this time of year, I look back on my goals for the year and reflect on my progress. This year, my progress toward those goals all ended in failure. So I want to spend less time talking about where I’m not and more time talking about how I got here. Maybe that’s a better use of my time than listing off failed accomplishments. Hopefully, it’s a better use of yours, too, as you read this (if anyone does…I’ve been such an inconsistent blogger, I feel like I’ve failed all those who were active readers before. I’m truly sorry).

With my preamble out of the way, what the hell happened this year?

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Back to School

I’m overwhelmed, exhausted, and terrified. Who knew going back to school could be so uncomfortable? I thought I’d eagerly await this day. I was wrong.

Let me back up for a moment, like a sentence or a short paragraph. I’m a high school math teacher. We’ve been teaching virtually (in multiple formats) since March 2020. This past week, teachers started back in the building. On Monday, students return. And all of this transitioning to something new has me feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and terrified.

Okay. That’s my headspace. Let’s proceed.

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I’ve realized what ails me: I was listening to a podcast by Brene Brown and it occurred to me that I haven’t felt truly connected for an incredibly long time–possibly even since before the pandemic started, so I’ve felt disconnected for more than a year–maybe longer.

So what’s the problem? What am I disconnected from?

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