So, what’s next?

After a low key debut a day ago for this latest blog effort, what’s next?

Many different thoughts are jumbled together in my head at the moment, and because of COVID-19, each day seems to blend into the next one without a whole lot of variation.

I’m thinking, for example, of how my living room window has become my TV, especially in the early morning as I sit in an armchair next to it, sipping my coffee and assessing the day ahead. We live on a hill with the living room on the steep side. This means that the view is over the rooftops of neighboring houses and showcases the many mature trees in our area, primarily large oak and pine trees. We are blessed (?) with many squirrels and raccoons, as well as a wide variety of birds, which are what I particularly like to watch. It all makes for interesting viewing, a mixture of drama and comedy and everything in between. The featured photo for this post was taken from that living room window on a recent gloomy and foggy day. The word ‘atmospheric’ comes to mind when looking at it.

Another thing on my mind at the moment is the amount of work I need to do to finish the class I’ve taught this Spring, and the constant weight of guilt I feel about how the class went. Even before COVID-19 hit, the semester seemed a mess. It was the first time teaching this particular class, however, and even in the best of circumstances, the first time is always extra challenging and difficult. Then, too, I don’t have much time to prepare for the next class I’ll be teaching over the summer, which starts in just a few short weeks.

Some days, difficult situations at work and at home get to be too much, so I decided to take Thursday and Friday as vacation. However, Thursday was spent trying to cope with a migraine, and Friday, I accomplished pretty much zero other than a long nap and creating this blog. The concept of productivity has also been on my mind a lot lately, and I’ve appreciated and learned from various articles in the news advising us to think differently about productivity during the time of the coronavirus. Actually, it seems to me that the coronavirus has nothing to do with it, or shouldn’t. By this I mean that the time is ripe for reimagining what accomplishments and productivity really mean, and whether they should have such an important place in our daily lives, regardless of living in a time of pandemic.

A final thought in closing is about the value and experience of counseling. I began counseling late last year with some trepidation, for the first time in my life. My reasons for seeking counseling are many and complex, but I think the most valuable aspect of it is in helping me to develop and strengthen good and healthy relational habits. Counseling is also helping me to come to terms with many long term and painful past experiences.

So, what’s next? My desire for what’s next is a more thoughtful and balanced perspective on life, and one that is also more redolent with peace, hope, and joy.

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