Anybody seen my flow?

I need to find my flow. It seems to have gone missing.

Flow, as I understand it, is that feeling of everything clicking. It’s when you are so into what you are doing that you lose all self-consciousness about doing it. You even lose a sense of your surroundings and of time passing. You are pure mental energy. You are full of clarity and purpose. You are able to flow through the work without having to stop to think it through very much.

This can happen, I suppose, with any kind of work. It could happen with running on a treadmill or filing paperwork. It’s most likely to happen while doing creative work, though. Flow is the reason creativity can be addictive. You can’t feel too bad about anything while you are in a state of flow.

Flow is the reason I tend to generate lots of projects for myself over and above what I have to do. I need to experience creative flow to be satisfied with my life. I don’t think I’m alone in that. Creative people always try to conjure up circumstances in which they can work in a state of flow.

In fact, most people probably aim for a state of flow whether they are aware of it or not. Some people do this with music. Some people tinker with projects. It doesn’t much matter whether the art is rebuilding an engine, rearranging a living room, or writing a novel. People crave flow.

Flow is missing from my life right now. I want it back. If you see my flow and send it back to me, I will pay the shipping charges.

If my flow was in fact stolen from me rather than lost, I have several prime suspects. Among them is Blackboard, the course management system that I work with all day every day in order to teach my online classes. We went through a major upgrade on Blackboard right before school started. I don’t mind the upgrade itself. Some things about it I actually like quite a bit. The timing of the change, though, was stressful to me. It didn’t leave enough time to properly prepare for the semester. It left me with the feeling of trying to drive around with parts missing from the car I just rebuilt. My friend said it was like trying to pack up a house to move while the house was being pulled down the road.

I’m counting this as a life stressor equivalent to a nasty breakup and rebound relationship. I knew the old Blackboard was leaving me, and I thought I was prepared. I just didn’t know the new Blackboard was going to have so many weird and annoying habits, and now I’m kind of stuck with it.

It’s time to quit worrying and learn to love the Blackboard 9.1.

I need my flow back.

I’ve decided to quit feeling frustrated when things don’t work the way I want them to and just sit down to do them. I will not worry or complain. I will find my zone and float through the tasks…float like a butterfly unconcerned about the sting of a bee.

I’ll let you know how that works out.

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