The point of mental fatigue

As part of a Writers Retreat offered through St. Mary’s College to faculty, I am spending Sunday in Napa at Mt. Lasalle Conference and Retreat Center. In the night, there are frog songs from the nearby lake. In the day, there are bird calls from all around the mount. I am surrounded by cascading greenery, perfect blossoms, the beauty of California mission architecture, and gnarled, old vines… but I cannot write, at least not what I want to write. There is an article that has been begging for my attention for months now, another that has only a page and never went anywhere beyond that. I have a tenure prompt to complete, just 4-7 pages, an IRB application on educational technology use among preservice teachers to complete, a grant letter to write, lessons to review, rubrics to write … My brain is mush. Understandably, I should be alright to be mush. I completed an abstract on restorative justice in higher education yesterday to send out to colleagues for review and approval. I completed an essay and lesson on race and poetry to be published by the University of Georgia in the coming months. I revised the letters between a mother and daughter in the academy article and submitted it to a journal. I revised an article on the first year professorial experience and submitted that. And today, I wrote a lesson plan and answered some student letters (part of a class assignment). But now, I find myself looking longingly at the couches here. Although I could pick up my room key and nap for a while, I do not. The couches … but how unprofessional would that be, I think. I should be writing. I should be doing something exceedingly scholarly. There is so much to do! Instead, I am writing this blog in the hopes that I can become re-energized. Instead, I know this: I am zapped. I don’t want to write anymore. I want to rest on those couches or down by the lake or on the veranda. I am tired, tired, tired with so much work yet to do.

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