I woke up this morning at 5am. I tried to go back to sleep but my mind was racing and I couldn't seem to slow it down, so I decided to get up and work. This was a common occurrence when I was teaching, but I've gotten used to being able to sleep pretty well in the mornings and have started going to bed later. So when it happens now, it means that I've only had about 6 of my necessary 8 hours of sleep. I will be tired today but at least I don't have to entertain several classes of 10-14 year olds.
As a teacher my mind was always busy when I was going to sleep and throughout those 6-8 hours. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night playing my lesson plan over and over in my head to make sure I knew exactly what I was going to say and how I was going to say it so that I clearly got my message across. Other nights I awakened to a great idea on how to shift my lesson plan to help my students better understand. I'd look at the clock and think, "It's 4 am and I have to get up at 6am. Ugh. Go back to sleep!" Most of the time, as much as I tried to will myself back to dreamland, I could not return. It made for a long day in the classroom.
Now, as I follow my many creative curiosities, I wake up thinking about the phone calls I need to make, my schedule for the next day, and my plan for how I am going to fit in all of the meetings and still make art. I am getting in more of a routine as I plan out my weeks. Mondays and Tuesdays I work at my online teaching job most of the day, Wednesday are my fun days off with my son, Thursdays I exercise with a friend in the morning and then fill the rest of the day with phone calls and appointments. Fridays used to be more open but they are starting to fill up with meetings too and I am planning to volunteer in the classroom of a friend to help with his maker space. When the weekends arrive, I look back and think "That week just flew by! I got a lot done and I'm not falling over emotionally exhausted. I must be going in the right direction."
I recently told a few people that I feel like I am going in 5 different directions right now. And I'm okay with that. I read Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic last year as I was thinking of taking this year off and resonated with her idea of simply following your interests and seeing where they lead. I am furthering my art career, so I am planning to write a Professional Development Grant to help me with my business skills promoting my art and enhancing my website. I'm interested in design education so I am talking to designers and educators about designing a curriculum and a workshop and even dreaming about a design school for middle and high school students. I have really enjoyed using the laser cutter, so I'm exploring options on how and where to become more of a maker. I have more time to invest in my online teaching job so I am challenging myself to better the curriculum and find more art options for students in this school environment. All of this, along with spending more time with family and friends leads to a busy but joyful life!
No wonder I can't sleep.