Adjusting to Stability
I have opened this Word document at least four different times in the past two days, hoping for inspiration to hit. I wondered to myself and to friends what I should write about--what can I contribute to the world of the in-betweeners? I told myself that if I went out and did something, I would have a story to tell. I thought if I had a crazy night or stayed in and read something new, I would magically acquire new insight to bring clarity to my blurry view of the world. Any break from monotony, I naively thought, would bring about new life lessons.
The first blog post I wrote for That First Year was entitled “The Art of Sitting.” I wrote it at a time when I did not have a full-time job or any indication that one was around the corner. I continued applying to jobs and sat in hopes of any sort of response. Stability would be nice. Predictability and a promise of somewhere to go in the morning was what I sought.
I now sit at my computer, post-work, with the clock counting down to my next obligation. Once again, I ask myself to curate some kind of wisdom in my schedule. Instead of sitting, I feel as though I am constantly going. I must be on at all times and my head spins until it finally hits the pillow, if I am lucky. I have gone from sitting to standing to running and, still, I have trouble figuring out what exactly I am learning from it all.
I suppose I never realized that monotony and stability sometimes come hand in hand. My alarm clock goes off at the same time during the week, I greet the same students at the door, I wave goodbye to the same busses at the end of the day, and I drive the same route to to work and back. This tedium makes it easy for me to assume that I must break from routine to learn more about myself. But, until now, I haven’t given stability a chance to teach.
In school we are used to changing schedules every few months. Our learning environment changes, our relationships evolve, and our capabilities blossom. Now, I am not saying that none of this happens in the “real world,” but the uniformity of each day, each week, each month does make it difficult to track such progress. Although we are growing, our development is camouflaged in the daily rat race. I think it’s time to give ourselves credit.
Looking back at my first year out of school, I can identify a few courses I have aced and some I have struggled with:
Waking Up Before The Sun Rises 101 — a solid C-
Nodding and Pretending I Know What I’m Doing 101 — definite A
Maintaining a Social Life Instead of Excess Napping 101 — a generous D
Laughing at My Daily Mistakes 101 — A++
Not Comparing My Progress to the Progress of Others 101 — B (I’m getting there.)
Finding enlightenment in the daily grind is not an easy task. But I refuse to ignore the daily lessons I am learning, no matter how minute. So for my next elective course:
Valuing My Daily Achievements and Eagerly Collecting Experience — Bring it on!
[Photo by Julie Bloom.]
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