After taking a real break from work for the Christmas-to-New Year’s stretch (one that began earlier than intended thanks to the Corpus Christi WATER CRISIS of December 2016), it feels good to contort my body back into desk mode (#beastmode?) and get started on 2017-ward tasks. Reviewing articles, pushing out emails, developing material for new courses, scribbling notes to fill into Digital Measures later this week, checking off Habitica tasks, and all the other attendant things that go with sitting down in your chair for the first time in a… while.
2016 has been a dramatic year in many ways, but I’m not talking about national politics or the death of Carrie Fisher. (i will not take a tangent on obsessions with mortality in pop culture, i will not take a tangent on obsessions with mortality in pop culture, i will not take a tangent on obsessions with mortality in pop culture.) 2016 has been a year of intense personal and professional change. (I feel like I should quote “Burning the Christmas Greens” at length here, but somehow the lines
At the thick of the dark
the moment of the cold’s
deepest plunge we brought branches
cut from the green trees
to fill our need,
seem overdramatic. And did I just put a blockquote in a parenthetical aside?) Regardless, I don’t like change. Ask anyone. But this year brought self-imposed upheaval to a person who has never ever liked big changes. It’s been hard—harder than I thought it would be and in ways I didn’t expect—on myself and my family. And I don’t know if I can say that it’s easier yet, but there are good things. Great things. New relationships, new friendships, new opportunities, new mentors. New taco recipes. New habits and approaches to tasks. New students that I love (I love the old ones too, don’t worry!) and new work yet to be done.
I’ve succeeded (or at least feel like I’ve succeeded) at some things, and failed at others (whoa, vaguebooking much?), and am painfully aware of the ways I still need to figure out the whole research / teaching / service balance of my new professional location. But I’m feeling great about work / life balance. And seriously: Habitica, y’all.
Goals for 2017? Still working on them. They’ll probably amount to some version of the following: More writing, always. Try new things. Get less fat. Resolutions? Nah, no resolutions, because like you I always break them.
Mostly, it’s just time for a new notebook for 2017. Even if there are still a few too many blank pages left in the old one.