This time of year I find it hard to be motivated, productive, or light-hearted. I don’t know if it’s the chill or the long nights … but I want to hibernate … to sleep and to dream. Instead, I work on my projects and make lists and push myself to check stuff off the lists and keep our household running as if the weather and the thin winter light didn’t exist.
I blog less when I’m in this state.
One reason so many people become giddy with snow that closes everything down is that most of us are pushing too hard. It’s not good for our bodies. It’s not good for our spirits. But there’s the mortgage to pay and achievement to show at the end of the day.
I love to work … but most work I’ve been asked to do over my lifetime has not felt like real work to me, but like something I do to promote someone else’s agenda and to bring in life-maintenance money. As long as I sort of agree with the agenda, I’ve been able to pull this off. With every passing birthday, however, I increasingly tire of wasting time that I won’t get back – that’s why I’m pursuing a PhD. I’d like to spend my life doing the work I love to do … writing and research and teaching writing and research … and get paid enough, maybe just enough, to provide food, shelter, clothing, and soul-sustaining cultural experiences for me and my family.
It’s a simple goal. I’ll see it more clearly as the days get longer and the nights shorter.