Hi readers– if you’ve been following my recent posts, you’ll know I was in northern California for nine days, traveling with my sister Elizabeth and also giving a talk at a conference (the Public Philosophy Network). So, this past week was my first week of fall teaching, beginning a day after shifting to Eastern Standard Time from Pacific Time. I have to say, the jet lag made me very drowsy and also hungry at inconvenient times.
In addition, I recently decided to quit taking my medication for ADHD (I was diagnosed at age 55!) because it was causing me more anxiety and energy level drops. I did this in consultation with my doctor and therapist. This means that I don’t have the chemically-induced increased focus and concentration that Ritalin gives me. However, in the past few months I’ve been developing some behavioral strategies to help me be more productive and on-task, like setting alarms on my phone to help with transitions (there’s that word again) during the day and also making micro-lists of no more than three things to do, broken down into small tasks. Then lather, rinse, repeat during the day if needed.
Of course, keeping to a regular meditation schedule also helps me enormously with calm and focus and perspective. As does regular exercise and time in nature.
The seasonal shift to fall is always huge for academics, even though in many ways we welcome it. I’m enjoying getting to know my new students and I like my classes so far. It’s nice to see colleagues and students on campus, too. But it means big changes in my week, from sleep schedule to eating to exercise.
I’m also still in physical therapy for sciatica, which I can happily report is getting better. But I’m not done yet, and we’ve entered a more physically demanding phase of exercises. Fitting that in during my work week has been challenging.
All that said, it’s Sunday morning, and I’ve made it through the week. Another week is coming, and it won’t be so transition-y. That’s the way these things go.
Readers, are you in the midst of fall transitions? What sorts of changes are you going through? Are they hard, easy, new, familiar? I’d love to hear from you.