Well, as always, I’ll start with my numbers for the month …
Media consumed # (remaining/total)
Comics Read: 9 (346/355)
Trade Paperbacks/Graphic Novels Read: 8 (66/74)
Books Read: 7 (141/148)
Movies to Watch: 2 (76/78)
TV Shows Completed: 0 (17/17)
Podcast Episodes Remaining: 47
Man, I did not come out of the gate this year with the same energy as I did last year. December and the holidays were surprisingly relaxing, but even though the season went well, I got a week or two into January and was feeling more burned out than usual. Maybe it was because the amount of reflection and overthinking in the name of reflection that I have been doing has used up more energy than I thought.
Does anyone else feel this flat-out exhausted as regularly as I have these last few weeks? Moreover, does anyone else ever hit those points where they what they usually find joy in isn’t doing what it needs to?
I started and did not finish two reflective blog posts. One was about backsliding; the other was about cheating or what might be cheating (literally, is checking a book out of the library cheating on this endeavor?) I didn’t finish them because as I was writing them, they seemed like a tired lament: t he malaise of the middle of the long-term task. And the task, which are more immediate than the long-term task taking over everything to the point where it gets overwhelming.
I have a saying about my job: teaching is getting in the way of my getting work done. In case you don’t get what I mean, it’s that sometimes my task list is so big or the deadlines are looming so closely that the time spent teaching classes interferes with me getting my work done. This, by the way, is what often leads to teacher burnout. We have a passion for our craft but there’s an overwhelming amount of work to go with it and it’s easy to let it completely overtake you.
The same can go for blogging, podcasting, and the hobbies or creative passions that I have. I get these mental roadblocks that make reading a particular comics run or making my way through a TV series a chore. Or writing about it a chore. So I guess I’m glad I haven’t monetized any of this.
But there is positive, definitely. While the lists go as they go, I’ve found some great entertainment, and I’m fortunate enough to be part of an at-work book club that looks for new voices to teach students in English class. Yes, it means that instead of finally reading the copy of Anna Karenina that is collecting dust on my shelf, I’m reading Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X. It’s still enriching, and it’s a nice low-stakes break in the action here. It also makes this feel less like a job, and can even be re-energizing. I just hope that it makes February feel less stagnant.