My last pay period from teaching will be the end of August. I have stressed myself lately trying to figure out how to make money when that source runs out. I know I want to try self-employment. I also know I have never worked for myself, so the change in lifestyle and financial security will be difficult. But I am excited to attempt – no, do – it. When I left my classroom for the last time, I decided to re-introduce a technique I used last year to stay productive: to-do lists. During the early stages of the pandemic when schools were shut down, I made to-do lists every day to stay productive and to feel positive. I stopped doing that when the 2019-2020 school year ended.

It’s June 2021, nearly July. The first week of summer, I made 3 goals each night for the next day. One goal focused on business (writing, photography, whatever else). Another goal revolved around personal (what I wanted to do). The last was house related (simple cleaning or big projects). I have also started working with a deck of Tarot cards my girlfriend gave me. I am amazed at how they can feel so relatable. I never imagined these cards to actually have relevance.

Creating this simple list and trying new things have given me the drive to keep pushing during the day. That and 1 or 2pm coffee. Real game changers! Near the end of my teaching time, I was extremely depressed. I had a hard time going into school and feeling unhelpful. Hell, I didn’t even feel like an educator. Every day felt like the same: go in with as positive an attitude as I could, try and get kids into video, and fail. I didn’t have any energy at the end of the school day. I stopped meditating and making the list.

I know there’s the chance of failure ahead, if I decide to branch off and work for myself. But I also know that I will be doing things I enjoy. To keep myself going, this 3 task to-do list is crucial.

With my writing: I struggle to finish. I can sit down and start to write. I could write for a couple hours straight. But if I go pee or grab a snack, I lose my focus. I can’t resume. So I am going to be marking contest deadlines on my calendar to motivate myself externally. Until I can find the passion deep down again, I will remind myself of deadlines. I am going to stop saying “I can’t” too. I know I can. I need to do what I enjoy and I think I still enjoy writing.

I should push myself to start writing and finishing a short story every two weeks. Anyone up for a writer’s group?

Published by Nick Bucci

Videographer. Photographer. Writer.

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