Happy New Year

Image of a 2019 yearly planner with pen.

January 1st, the day of new beginnings, the day of resolutions, the day of tradition, the day of imagining our best selves.

Over the years I have had many strategies for facing a new year. Waking up to watch the sun rise. Doing only the things I love, and not things like cleaning the house- because what you do on the first day sets the tone for the year, completing the “Unravel(ing) the Year” packet (or attempting to), setting goals and sometimes a reward system or other hack1 to encourage me keep with them, and of course, going back to writing in my journal and/or updating my blog.

This year, however, I’m looking at the new year in a different way. Of course there are things I’d like to improve, but they are the things that I always want to improve: reply to letters more promptly, create and stick to a budget, declutter, reduce time on e-devices, do my physical therapy exercises more regularly. But I’m not setting specific goals to meet regarding these goals, with the exception of an aim to try to write (loosely defined to include all work around writing) every day, and this is a shared goal among my critique group.

With no hard and fast goals, my main focus to reach those improvements will be to reflect more on the decisions I am making, to not see straying off the path or having the direction I am heading changed mid-journey as failure, but rather growth. To acknowledge that I am only human, and that, as my former boss2 used to say, “Change is hard, Barbie.”

There are things that I am looking forward to this year – several concerts3, turning “the answer to the ultimate question of life the universe and everything4” years old, celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary5 – but I want to keep things as low-stress as possible. Not only do I believe that will help with my depression, but also could result in a more productive me.

  1. Some examples of hacks I’ve tried in the past: 38 ThingsThe Least I Could Do List from 2017; and a creating a Points System.
  2. Cathy Martyniak, who was Chair of the Preservation Department at UF Libraries (now at UCLA)
  3. Within Temptation, New York, NY; Weird Al, St. Augustine, FL; Delain, Amorphis and special guest Anneke van Giersbergen (solo acoustic), Tampa, FL
  4. Forty-two (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  5. Photo of Toby and Christy's wedding, along with parents.

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January 2019