Happy New Year! Wishing you a happy 2019!
I feel as though there ought to be a summing up, resolutions, and observations, so here goes. In past years, I've mentioned mindfulness and being kind (although being kind backfired this year). Here's my question for this year:
What has made you happy or content this last year, and what would you do differently?
What I'd continue:
1. Staying away from the advice columns, on the "shun/unshun/reshun" method imposed by Dwight Schrute on The Office. I shunned them beginning September 1 and only unshunned them over this holiday. Conclusion: they really do waste time, and they don't make me happier. Reshun.
2. Another month's hiatus from Facebook, shunned on December 1. I went on this morning and was immediately deluged with happy news for others: book contracts! happiness at going to MLA! finished articles! I dutifully liked posts and congratulated people, because I am happy for them. Same thing on Twitter, except with bonus notices about articles completed, books read, fellowships gained. But I don't have a new book contract, or a fellowship, or a new article, due to slothful ways, and although I'm grateful to be going to MLA, I am not exactly happy about it. Staying off FB is a lesson I learn over and over again, Groundhog Day-like, but maybe like Bill Murray, I'm getting there. Reshun.
3. Reading the news that counts. Dave Barry's year in review reminds us that every time the cable pundits get all excited that this is the piece of treasonous malfeasance that's going to lead to the Republicans doing something about the massive corruption at the top, it never happens. It's like Carrie Fisher in When Harry Met Sally, who keeps coming up with evidence for why her married lover is going to stay with his wife, and Meg Ryan says, "No one thinks he's ever going to leave her." In political terms, Spouse gets excited every time Rachel Maddow proclaims this, and we have a "this time they'll do something/they're never going to leave him" conversation a few times a week. My take: When Mueller's done, call me. Reshun.
These all sound so negative--sorry! Also happiness: being outdoors, walking, breathing morning air, family, cleaning out rooms and closets, teaching, reading things I'm excited about, and also those precious times when the writing is really flowing.
What I'd do differently:
1. When truly stuck on a piece of writing, do what I've done before and move to a different piece. This fall I decided to gut it out and keep hammering away, and I swear to you that my mind completely shut down on the topic. Write every day, even if it's junk, or notes, or something. Bonus: when I got well and truly stuck this fall, my solution was eating more to quell the anxiety over it. (Hint: not a solution, and you feel miserable and stuffed as well as inadequate and stuck.)
2. Be more bold in calling out rudeness, in meetings and elsewhere. No, it's not men doing this, although I now realize that my last 6 or so posts have been about horrid male behavior. It's women. I've been trying to be kind, and it backfired. My new resolution: if it's my meeting, I'm shutting it down, sisterhood be damned.
3. In general: do more of what makes you happy. I know that's a platitude if there ever was one, but that doesn't mean it isn't true.
1. More: outdoor walks, Frasier while doing laundry, books that I really want to read, regular writing, sleep.
2. Less: social media, putting up with nonsense, eating while stressed.
That's about it for me. What about you?