In Kelly McGonigal’s book The Willpower Instinct, she talks about how tapping into our want power–the drive we have towards the things we desire–can help us draw forth our willpower reserves when we’re feeling low or defeated.
This week also happens to be the longest week of the school year: Over thirty hours of teaching, plus zero prep time while at school. In a typical week I teach only twenty hours and have about ten hours of planning meetings and prep time, so this shift is intense and can be quite exhausting. There’s no better time than right now to find my want power.
Polarity is an interesting animal. We think we know opposites–day and night, sun and moon, light and shadow–but then we’re faced with nuanced categories that defy perfect dualism–male and female, black and white, good and bad. Here there isn’t so much a binary system as much as a continuum, and it’s easy to get lost in the grey matter.
So lately I’ve been longing, lingering, languishing…and I’ve been fighting against it, feeling frothy and shameful, and it hasn’t gotten me anywhere. So I’ve been perusing TED Talks, because they’re awesome, and sometimes a little awesome makes you awesome, too.
And in a way, somewhere in this mess of chaos, a new story began.
The dog days of summer are upon me, but instead of howling at the moon, I’m lying curled up in my bed without the energy or motivation to get to all these things I want to do. I’m making steady yet slow progress, but I can’t seem to get into what’s most important.
I watched a brief video the other day by Josh Davis, talking about “When to Skip Something On Your To-Do List,” and his advice is simple: If your mental energy doesn’t match the task, then stop. Put that energy where it’ll be most effective and come back to the other tasks when you’re mentally prepared to efficiently work on them.
But, see, this is where my mind starts to malfunction.
Before I got caught up on a chocolate high yesterday, I mentioned coffee has somehow become a staple of the ASB trip I’m going on. Now, I know you all know of my persistent, practically lifelong love of tea, but I have a confession: I had coffee the other day, and I liked it.
I know. Really. I couldn’t believe it myself.
So it only seems fitting I celebrate coffee for today.
Today began early voting in North Carolina. I’ll be voting on Monday, but that’s besides the point: What matter today is that you can now take your voice and make it heard–locally and nationally.
I’ve been debating a long time with myself if I want to “go political” or not. It’s a part of me, and I can’t deny that, and it’s certainly been a part of this blog–none of us can deny that. However, I’ve worried about alienating readers, offending people or making erroneous claims that will hurt me in the end.
I’ve decided today that all of that? It’s stupid. It’s our obligation–yours as much as mine–to “go political,” and given the start of early voting, there’s no better time than now to do it.
Lately I’ve been watching controversial documentaries. I love documentaries. It’s like a miniature lesson on all sorts of topics in a living room turned classroom for ninety minutes. The perspectives, the visuals, the ideas. I ingest them like ice cream, each flavor delicious in its own way, but even better with toppings.
Lately I’ve been watching controversial political documentaries. I like politics. So much I’m adding a minor in political science. So much I’ve considered running for office or working in government at some point. I’ve aspired to teach to change the world, but hey, I’ll say, maybe I can make a bigger difference somewhere else.
In one such documentary, someone commented with distaste how, after 9/11, President Bush told the people to go shopping. Although it seems this statement actually originated from media commentary on his speeches (and therefore, is more likely rumor than fact), when I heard this, I shut my eyes, ruffled my brow, and shook my head. Such a stupid thing to say! I thought, and thinking further, I wondered
I’m at a loss for words. It’s not because I have nothing to say–there’s always something to say, and it’s the obligation of the artist to say anything in the most elegant way just because he can–but because I have no energy with which to say it.
It’s a strange concept. Yellow wallpaper and casks of Amontillado and roses make me weary with words and passages on past events elude me entirely. Heroes converse daily, and creation occurs now in its place. From driven snow to western apocalypses and fallen angels and odd-ball superheroes to clones with no memories.
I said my mind is chaos. And these are only my homework assignments.
It’s a little early for Thankful Thursdays, but sometimes, inspiration strikes like lightning–and today, tonight, whichever it is–that’s exactly what I’m thankful for!
We’re having a lightning storm this evening, a lot of wind, not a lot of rain, and so when I went forth to pull up the plants (they could use the watering, but not if it means being blown across the yard), I stopped in wonder as lightning flooded the sky and turned night into day–I literally cast a shadow by the flash alone. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw the entire sky lit up the brightest white I’ve ever seen. I walked onto our driveway, looking skywards, and just said to myself, “This is the wonder of God.”