One foot in front of the other

Well, that didn’t take long.

I have been at my new job for just over a month, and already I feel a little like I am struggling to keep up, and swimming in self-doubt. Intellectually, I know that is just a function of the new job territory. As usual, though, knowing it doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to live through.

The cuddle monster

The cuddle monster

Moshe usually does a pretty good job of helping me live through it. He is generally pretty attentive to our moods, and is a wonderful snuggler.

My to-do list, which I know is currently no more than it was at my last job, feels overwhelming. Consequently, I have spent the last week beating up myself up for not getting enough done, while I find ways to keep myself from doing the things that would make me feel like I had accomplished something. Yes, feeling overwhelmed makes me less productive instead of more productive. We all have our silly ways of making ourselves miserable, and this is mine.

Typically, this is about the time in every semester, when I go through something like this. This time just feels bigger than normal, because I am also feeling the pressure to prove myself at my new job, to adapt to life in a new region, a much smaller town, and to support the DH as he tries to do the same and look for a new job. Do I have a conclusion for all this?  Not really, the only thing I know to do is what I do all the time.  Just get through it.

I know this is something that many people go through when they take a new academic job. I would guess also that people working other places go through it too.  There is always a point in the first year when the reality of a new job starts to wear away the shine on the possibilities of the new job, and that is why I wish I could say, “I did these five things, and it helped me through this funk.”  The reality though is that I don’t have anything better than I just get through it because I have to. Sure, I have tactics to help me get back on track, but mostly they just involve tricking myself, and faking it until I make it.

The primary way I trick myself is by abandoning my To-Do list in favor of recording things on my Emergent Task Planner. It helps me focus on what I got done instead of what I thought I should get done. Usually, this tactic allows me to feel a little less overwhelmed, which helps me ease back into a productivity that I am comfortable with.

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