Almost a year to the day I wrote a post called the work/birding paradox, in which I shared some thoughts about my desire to be out birding all the time during Autumn migration and how this was not viable when working full-time. As I also said in this previous post, in teaching, the start of any new academic year is tough. Add to this the fact that I work with challenging young people and you have an even tougher mix to contend with.
I have been struggling with my anxiety and mood since the start of this term and have tweeted about it a few times. A mixture of issues have led to me over-analysing a lot of what is happening in my life at the moment and these overall feelings of worry and paranoia have affected my mood.
This week there have been easterly winds blowing into Norfolk and coupled with the right pressure systems, there have been some interesting drift migrants turning up on the coast. I’d taken to checking my free BirdGuides app and Twitter feed every-time I went to the toilet and then feeling more annoyed when birds were turning up.
Then I had a reality check. I’m at work… I’m doing a job I love, making a genuine difference and progressing my career. The paradox kicked in again and I kicked myself for allowing myself to get more anxious over birds. Yesterday I stopped off at the patch after work to take a calming walk. The warm weather was fading into the evening and the lake looked beautiful and calm. I spent an hour or so watching the wildfowl, counting the numbers, revelling in the increase of Gadwall and the return of a trio of Tufted Ducks.
No they are not eastern vagrants and yes I’m not seeing or finding anything new, but there is so much solace and comfort in the regular, in normality. I’m trying to look forward to the next time I can actually get out and do some coastal searching rather than rue every missed moment and make my overall mental health worse.
Sometimes you really do just need to step back and re-evaluate.