I got my annual planner in the mail yesterday. Yeah, I’m one of those people who still uses a paper day planner, because while I do put appointments into my phone’s calendar app, I still find that when I physically write things down and cross/check them off, I feel a sense of organization (or at least control). That it follows the academic year is fortuitous, and that I order it every July is also fortuitous because it gives me a chance to reset things.
But as I put the book together (there’s cool stickers you can use to delineate months in the book–yes, I’m a total dork for them), I couldn’t help but think of how many times I’ve declared a “reset” on things since the beginning of the year. It seems like every time I turn around, I am looking at what I do and my bad habits and am deciding that something needs to change or I need to put more effort into this, but within a week, I’m backsliding. These last couple of months have been particularly bad for it, and while I know that the shift from virtual to hybrid school was a huge contribution to my negative mental health, I’m frustrated that I’m still feeling that stress despite a week at the beach and another week off after that. Granted, I’ve been dealing with having contractors in the house to repair drywall, so that’s thrown things out of whack a little, but that shouldn’t upend things completely.
That’s what anxiety can kind of do to you, I guess. You get so used to your routine that one change, or a deviation from the path you had set for yourself over the course of the day can throw you completely off your game. I feel like I got through last week but also feel like I gave up five runs an inning and barely recorded the outs along the way. Because, as I’m learning, stress and anxiety don’t operate on a schedule. Just because my work year ended a few weeks ago doesn’t mean that calm is going to be allowed to come in and take over. Anxiety still wants to hang around. Plus, adulting doesn’t stop for the summer, either. In fact, I don’t think it ever stops. I enjoyed putting together my book this morning but couldn’t help think of the winter of 2021-2022 and how everything is going to just … keep … going …. And that’s not even touching on the constant march through political hell that is the morning paper and my social media feeds.
But if I toss my hands up and say, “What’s the use?”, I’ll wind up writing this exact post six months or a year from now. I guess that actively paying attention to things and then trying my best to not get thrown off by minor changes is a good place to start, then I’ll look a little harder at the goals and adjust them to be realistic. Which means that I probably should stop writing this blog post (seriously … it’s taken me an hour to write this because I keep getting distracted by the Internet) and figure out where to start.