For a while now, I’ve been trying to make sure that I arrive at work in a good frame of mind. When I manage it, the day is definitely brighter and more productive. There are times when I arrive and begin my day feeling pretty good and optimistic, and then something happens to wreak my carefully created mindset. An email from administration or a student or the dean or simply hearing some news about a program/project on campus. Pretty much anything that brings reality crashing in too early can wreck a mood immediately. I have one colleague who is very good at maintaining a sense of optimism and hope in the face of things that appear to spell doom. I am trying to follow her example and maintain an optimistic, or at least not totally pessimistic, attitude.
Granted, this is all work-related and does not affect the rest of the world outside of campus. Nevertheless, it winds up indirectly (and sometimes directly) affecting my life and tends to create a negative cascading affect. This cascading effect then leads to me having a bad attitude towards work (as I do recognize the source of the bad mood), which means I don’t want to go in the next day, or I spend the next day phoning it in. Neither of these are useful attitudes, nor do they help to make me feel any better.
This week was not a particularly bad week. I gave exams on Tuesday and Wednesday, which meant I only had to teach one class Monday, and the usual load of three on Thursday. Pretty easy, and not nearly as tiring, compared to a normal week. But, it was also one of those weeks where a number of threads and pieces of information came together and a more complete picture started to form. This is not a pretty picture and foretells of more chaos in the coming weeks and months.
However, I’ve managed to maintain my good attitude towards work. Why? Well, the picture that is taking shape is reminding me and emphasizing for me that I am making the right decisions going forward. In fact, I feel like I will be followed by others. Still others will remain trapped of their own volition (tenure tends to remove your ability to recognize when you should jump ship).
So, my attitude today is one of refining my route and moving forward along it. I will keep moving forward and work at keeping my attitude positive and resilient.
Go have a positive weekend!