I return to work tomorrow. Sigh…
2016 was a big year for me. Not a big year for this blog, but a big year for getting stuck into seriously difficult work at my current school and ensuring that the work that needed to be done got done. It’s worth a blog post of its own, and I just may write one. There was a lot of learning to be had and, dare I say it, many opportunities for “personal growth”.
Unfortunately, this blog’s growth remained pretty stagnant throughout. I’m not going to declare publicly that this situation is going to change in 2017 because I’m beyond making false promises. If I become more prolific, then that will be a good thing, because I’ve found writing cathartic – cleansing for my soul. But, if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t. One thing 2016 taught me was that it’s OK – essential even – to take care of your mental state when you are working yourself hard. I found solace in my family, in quiet moments with friends, in reading without feeling the need to break it down in a blog post to help others understand it too. I adopted a slower pace, and it’s taught me that caring for me is pretty damn important.
So, for the last three weeks I’ve sat in the sun, enjoyed time with family and friends, read my Twitter feed (that’s a constant), and discovered some great viewing on Netflix. I’m rested.
One of the Netflix finds was ‘Black Mirror‘, a series that explores in single stand alone episodes the potential impact of new technology and the effects it may bring to bear. It’s fascinating and unsettling all at once. While trying to find out more about the series writer, Charlie Brooker, I came across this YouTube clip of him discussing what provoked the series creation.
I was entranced by the first part of the interview, as so much of what Charlie said echoed thoughts I’ve had over the past year. Like Charlie, I’m increasingly concerned about our inability to control technology that is going to have an impact on all of our lives and I worry about future possible scenarios that may play out. Charlie speaks of how he became fed up with writing columns as there was a cacophony of noise with so many sharing extraneous information. I’ve felt much the same at times. There are so many people writing in education spaces and it seems (feels) like my contribution would be pithy so I find myself withdrawing, lacking the drive to contribute, or starting, and creating for the first time ever, unfinished drafts that never see the light of day.
Maybe, as Charlie thought, I’ve already said enough?
Well, I’m writing this post so I don’t really think so. (Heck, Charlie wrote series episodes!) I do have words, thoughts, ideas to contribute. Maybe a few unfinished drafts will see the light of day, maybe I’ll write about lessons learned over the past year. Maybe I’ll write about my concerns around the technology I saw as liberating in 2008 morphing into scenarios not unlike those dreamed up by Charlie Brooker for his Black Mirror episodes.
Time will tell. In the meantime, a return to work beckons. What will 2017 bring? Time to write, reflect, contribute, or a need to find energy from slowing down, caring for the soul?
Like I said, time will tell…