I have been fighting a funk this month. I don't quite know where it comes from - it usually sneaks up on me - but it has been happening more often lately. I think some is probably the weather. January in the Midwest is cold and can be grey and dreary. I am longing for spring and for sunshine and warmth.
Some of it feels like "burnout," too. And it's really far too early for that. I just had a three day weekend and a two week break not long ago. There's too much school year left to feel burned out in January. But the feelings are reminding me of the frantic, manic pace I kept last year as I tried to hide from grief. I worked almost all summer and didn't truly rest between school years - and this after a summer of funeral and estate business which was also draining.
The first thing that has helped the funk is coming across a Bible verse I already knew (in song form) - "Why so downcast, O my soul? Put your hope in God." When I notice the funk, I am trying to keep that in my head - change my focus from the bad mood to hope in God.
The other thing that helped, strangely enough, was cleaning out a file cabinet. For a year and a half now I have had a completely full file cabinet in the library work room full of materials from the last 13 years. I was so tired of prepping new books for the library, I didn't even want to think about them. But I remembered that I have this file cabinet that needs attention. It is easily tackled in small chunks of time (and I often have just that available to me) and any progress is better than no progress.
I was able to go through two file drawers and whittle them down to one so I could move some things out of my desk.
I know I'm going to have to go through things again - there are all sorts of lesson plan ideas that need to be reviewed and evaluated to see if I can use them - but it feels great to make progress on something that has been waiting for attention for a long time.
The other thing that made me happy about this task is that I was thinking it would be something I could only tackle over summer break - and I don't want to work this summer if I can help it. Now I can make some progress during the school year. Any time I can bring order out of a bit of chaos, I feel better about life in general!