Summer Refill: Reconnecting with Your Joy

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During these lean summer months, most adjuncts and Collegiate Gigsters are put in the position of having some extra time on their hands. However you see this, I personally take it as an opportunity to review my Summer Plan, read over my Be Kind Portfolio, and reconnect with what fills me back up, both intellectually and spiritually.

I love school. Always have and probably always will. If I every have to learn something new, I either take a class or structure my independent study to mirror a classroom experience. As a result, I love learning new things, and stretching myself intellectually to make new and unique connections between ideas. These intellectual exercises feed my mind and bring me joy. Yes, I’m a bit of a school geek, I know.

Feeling a little stressed out and in need of some motivation, I decided to do something that doesn’t cost me any money but will help me reconnect with my joy. This summer I decided to take an aspect of my dissertation and see if I can create a journal article out of it. I chose to work on a new concept that grew out of my findings and develop it more fully as an article. Using my Summer Plan template, I broke up the steps of read-review-revise and plotted them on my summer calendar. I also included time researching relevant academic journals to which I can submit my article.

I do this work about 30-45 minutes each day and it helps me reconnect with the one thing that brings me a lot of joy. The goal is to get my article accepted for review by one of the four journals that I have identified so far. If it doesn’t work out this time, I will take their feedback and keep improving on my work. This is how I live out my personal mantra: education is a process, not a commodity.

It is my hope that you take some time this summer to reconnect with what brings you joy and fills you back up. Whether that means committing to a daily walk, volunteering at a local shelter, trying a new recipe, or working on your TED talk. This will allow you to continue doing your best work in other areas. This reminds me of the instructions you receive on the plane just before take-off: in case of an emergency, please put your air mask on before you help someone else put theirs on. This is an important life lesson, especially given the human-centered work we all do. Fill yourself up, reconnect with your joy, so that you can help others.

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This blog post is part of a newsletter I publish weekly called The Gigster 'Zine. It is a production of the Colégas Group, an organization that seeks to offer new opportunities for anyone with a college degree. To learn more about us, to receive valuable strategies for improvement, and to find innovative employment opportunities, sign up for the complete newsletter at colegasgroup.com.