Monday, January 12, 2009

Being tired makes me blue

During some blog reading this morning, I posted the above message to Twitter. For some reason, I'm especially tired today. There's no good explanation for this. I went to bed early. I really didn't do much exhaustive work this weekend. I have no idea. But apparently, when I'm tired, I'm more prone to dips in self-esteem. Partly, I was feeling this way because of where I am now compared to where I was before. Where I was before, within the confines and structures of an institution, I mostly knew how to succeed. In doing work for my institution, I often found recognition for that work outside of it and I did things like write important blog posts and presented at conferences and even published in online venues. It's not that I'm not doing those things now. I am. In fact, over the last few days, I've been working on not one, but two conference presentations and a day-long workshop. But those presentations have made me think pretty long and hard about what it is I'm doing as opposed to what I was doing. And I think the realization of how much of a transition I'm in hit me this morning. It's not a bad place to be at all. It's just that the what comes next part isn't mapped out completely (and intentionally so). And that makes it a bit harder. I have no idea what is going to bring me success. Will the presentations be good? Will they bring new opportunities? What else should I do to find those opportunities? What opportunities do I really want?

In my conversation yesterday with the fearless women, we had all been talking about various issues related to technology adoption within institutions, circling such topics as assessment and accountability and quantifying learning. Except Barbara G., who piped up to say that she's just not in those places any more and not thinking those thoughts at all. I knew what she meant. But I'm also still ensconced in the educational endeavor in ways the BG isn't. And I'm still trying to decide if I should completely let that go or if that's going to be part of my life just from a different place. I am ever so glad to not have to be fighting the fight of whether to use Blackboard or WordPress or if Twitter belongs in a classroom or not. But I do have strong opinions about technology use for the benefit of education. But I've lost my captive audience. Where do my opinions go now? They could go, in theory, just to this blog, or out into presentations or into print publications or online publications. And maybe they will, but I have some anxiety about not having the institutional credentials behind me anymore. That anxiety reared its ugly head this morning, I guess, as I thought about what I'm *not* doing rather than focusing on what I am doing. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm just beginning. I'm not there yet and it's okay to take it slow. Also, maybe I just need more sleep.