A new semester starts tomorrow. In this semester, I will do the following professionally:
- Take the last class required for my PhD,
- Hopefully finish and defend the proposal for my dissertation,
- Continue work on my research team providing professional development workshops for elementary and high school teachers,
- Teach an online class in composition (which means grading about 20 essays every week), and
- Prepare for and present at a professional conference in April
Along with the required professional above, I’m hoping to keep up with the following personal things:
- Intentionally pursue relationships with girlfriends,
- Get back to church and small group with some regularity,
- Get back to spending regular time with the Lord,
- Cook Whole 30 Paleo meals for my family and also eat enough food to be able to feed my daughter,
- Manage to keep up with dishes and laundry,
- Do some form of body weight and flexibility exercise at home since I decided to temporarily cancel my crossfit membership,
- Write one post a month for a social justice blog,
- Keep up with monthly baby and parenting blogs,
- Everything that goes along with feeding and caring for my four-month-old daughter who hasn’t yet figured out consistently sleeping through the night, and
- Go on some form of monthly date with the Husband.
This is…a lot and not completely exhaustive, but when I list it out like this, I feel very overwhelmed. However, I know plenty of people have more demanding lists that have no end in sight. I only have to keep this up for four months, and pretty much all of this, whether personal or professional, brings me some sense of joy. I have friends facing much sorrow and loss right now, and there are plenty of people out there living in such dire circumstances that I have no place to even start to complain. I’m lucky to have multiple sources of help if I need it, and most things required of me are there because of my privilege. I’m mindful of that and need to remember I need to be responsible with that privilege. My ultimate focus is to remember that I do not need to be perfect because Christ is perfect for me and that in light of eternity, almost everything on this list doesn’t matter. What matters is how I pursue Christ and live missionally. I need to remember that more often. It’s slipped my mind far too much the past few months.
So on the eve of this new semester, as husband and I watch a movie and get ready to give AB a bath, I am thankful for this list. Though it makes me feel overwhelmed and spread thinly, each of these is an opportunity for refinement. When I feel overwhelmed, or when I feel like I’ve got it all together, I need to remember the Gospel and the One who sustains me.