Struggling


cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by Jenny Kaczorowski

Is it a natural consequence, following an intense and engaging experience, to feel a bit of a “drop off”?

I spent the weekend at the ConnectEd Conference in Calgary, and it was a very exciting but also a bit taxing. I helped facilitate a couple sessions and spoke briefly at the reception, which required some focused preparation, I attended a number of great sessions and I spent some time connecting with colleagues from my school. The learning was constant and considerable, and the planning (and dreaming) my co-workers and I did had my head spinning.

When I returned to work, I felt a bit off. I was still vibrating from all of the learning, and while I shared some of the highlights with some members of our staff, it seemed like I couldn’t satisfy my desire to connect and learn the same way I had for the three days at the conference.  When I went home I went on Twitter, connected with a few people, and wrote a blog post, but it still didn’t seem enough.

Today when I went to work, I was spent the entire morning working independently, in my office with the door closed. I was starting to tackle some of the timetabling for next year and the task required a quiet environment and a great deal of focus. In the afternoon, I popped on Twitter a couple times, had a great meeting with a couple people from my division, and an intriguing meeting of our school’s Design Team after school, but it wasn’t enough. I even had a colleague text me this evening to check and see if I was ok, which meant my struggles were clearly visible to others.

I went for a drive tonight to clear my head. I know that part of it is a number of important projects I need to take care of before the end of school, and I am sure that is common to many people this time of year. The issue I kept coming back to though is the struggle of trying to recapture that high of being engaged, excited, and actively participating in learning. Like some kind of learning junkie, I have been looking for my fix. I guess that is the only downside of being at such a great conference, leaving all of that learning and returning to the routines of daily work.

What do you do when you return from a conference? Do you ever feel like the firehose has dwindled to just a drip, and do you find returning a little difficult? Has anyone else ever felt the way I do? I’d love to hear your thoughts on what life is like for you after a great conference or learning experience.