Saturday, December 31, 2011

Taking stock at year's end

All around the blogosphere, there are fabulous and funny roundups at this year's end. If I take stock the way I do after a class is over, what do I want to see more of or less of in 2012?
1. More acceptance and fewer regrets. By nature I can't make decisions, and when I do, I second-guess myself for literally decades. What if I'd done X or said no to Y? What if I hadn't resigned from Z task? Logic doesn't enter into it, and reflecting on the decisions just leads to pits of regret regardless of the reality that my decision may have been the right one. This year, I said no to more invitations and felt all right about it. That's progress.

2. More recognition of the fact that writing may be easy, but thinking is hard. I'm paraphrasing something profacero once said about writing being easy, because while certain kinds of writing are a real pleasure, others are tough. I'm thinking of some pieces I wrote that were based on archival materials, and the writing of them was just a joy--like writing a narrative--whereas what I've been wrestling with this year are ideas that reconceive some important things in my research area, and in that wrestling match, the ideas got the better of me more than once. I haven't written as much this year, but I've thought my way through some things that should prove fruitful (they'd better!) in 2012.

3. More attention to things I can do something about, and less attention to things I can't. Example of where attention matters: I lost about ten pounds just by paying attention to whether I was really hungry when I ate something. Example of where it doesn't: Watching the contest of political candidates vying for attention by appealing to the lowest common denominator of stupidity in the American public. Paying attention to what people call themselves or profess to be when their actions are what count.

What else? High hopes for more exercise, more writing, more energy, more good spirits-- and wishing the same to everyone else on New Year's Eve!

1 comment:

Ink said...

Wishing you a very happy new year!