May 25, 2011

I need to be fed

There is no doubt about it, this school year is one for the books. It has been the most emotionally challenging year of my career. I have learned a lot throughout the last nine months, but I also am feeling pretty burned out and exhausted. In the early part of this semester, my coworker told me about a conversation she observed while at church. Here's a mini version:

A woman who had regularly taught adult classes at the church decided to take a semester off. Instead of teaching classes, she decided to take classes. When a church member asked her why she wasn't teaching, her response was so simple and poignant, "I need to be fed."

This is exactly how I feel.

Right now, I don't feel like I have the spark I normally do in regards to teaching or education in general. What is bothering me the most, is that I'm sad over not being even a little bit sad about this school year ending. This time last year I was so sad to leave my students as we had grown such an awesome bond with one another. I felt respected by them, and I respected how much they had grown up and became young adults in the short time that I knew them.

 I know I have some great students, but for some reason I can't seem to remove this haze of negativity that is blinding me. I walk into my school every day with an optimistic frame of mind and am constantly trying to urge myself to "stay positive", but I'm frustrated because, by the end of the day, I'm miserable. The drama of colleagues and the disrespect from students is overwhelming to me.

Will summer break help? Definitely. We had a very short summer last year and I did not feel rested at all when it was time to return to work.

I think, bottom line, I just need to be fed right now. I need some good. I need optimisim and positivity to really melt into my bones and daily atmosphere. I need to feel some rich, quality time with friends. I need to enjoy the company of my husband. I need to be able to go at my own pace.

In effort of "feeding" myself, I picked up a book while in the airport in Baltimore waiting for my plane to San Francisco.

I really enjoyed Rubin's concept of realizing that in an average, day-to-day life, you don't have to be "un-happy" in order to want to be "happier." I admire her boldness in reaching out and trying to make the most of life by focusing on just a few traits a month, ultimately leading up to one heck of a December.

I think this theory is something I would like to incorporate into my own life at the beginning of sumer. I also think that her experience with meditation is something I deeply crave. I want to feel more serenity and calmness in my every day emotions; the only way to do this is to begin mediating on a regular basis.

So, as I came to the completion of the book, I felt like I had fed myself a little, but I am still needing more. I am open to anything. Books, movies, activities, etc. to try to enrich my state of mind.

Since I'm feeling so empty right now, I think I'm just going to look at it as starting from scratch. Therefore, I am open to any/all recommendations.

Do you have any suggestions for me?


  1. Hey Liz! I am reading Happiness Project too! I'm in "October". But I have to say the best book for good mental health and happiness I think is Zen and the Art of Happiness. I read it 3 times and feel like it helps me through a lot. I highly reccommend it if you've never read it!

  2. Have you ever checked out The Artists Way creativity book series? Your post reminded me of the author's belief that we need to regularly "fill the well" of our lives with creativity, sustaining enriching experiences if we are going to have anything to give. She has a lot of good suggestions even if you don't follow the whole 12 week course the book is designed around.