Hello my dear friends, hello! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? What can I say? It’s been one hell of a busy, awesome, crazy, messy, frustrating, stressful, fabulous year … a year that didn’t leave me much time to blog or do some of the more creative, personal things that I wanted to do. Instead, I spent much of my time on my teaching and academic work, getting accustomed to being a full-time professor at a colossal R1 university, and working on ways in which I can contribute to the university’s 2017 goal of “Lead by Example.”
Personally, I’ve been in a weird place — not good, but not bad either … a personal limbo of sorts. I haven’t been talking care of my physical or spiritual health like I’ve done in past years. However, I’ve made some major breakthroughs in my mental and emotional health. I feel more secure, more grounded, and a lot less depressed and anxious. I finally came to terms with the death of my mother and I’m no longer angry about the horrible family craziness that followed. I’ve moved on. Don’t get me wrong, I miss her terribly, but it’s not the daily, gut-wrenching loss that I was feeling. Now it comes in nostalgic and melancholic waves, usually stimulated by quiet, daily moments and familiar things. It’s a good kind of mourning rooted in loving memories of a woman who taught me so much, who loved me deeply, and who was deliciously flawed.
I’m happy to say that I survived 2017. I’ve met many of my academic/professional goals and achieved extraordinary and life-changing things like this new online teaching gig. However, I’ve fallen short of accomplishing my writing and publishing goals. Forget about my health goals! That, my friends, was a wash. As I reflect on 2017, I can honestly say that it’s been a pretty balanced year … not overly horrible and not super awesome.
I don’t have resolutions for 2018. I have goals:
- READ. It’s strangely common to find professors and academics who don’t seem to have time to read. I can go days and weeks without reading something for my research or even for pleasure. Instead, I read — and grade — students’ work. I read to plan my lessons. I read short essays. However, I haven’t actually read anything challenging or “deep” since I submitted my dissertation. This year I’ve decided to set a reading goal of 1-2 books a month and an unlimited number of professionally significant essays.
- WRITE and PUBLISH. It’s time. I have an essay to revise and resubmit, another essay on pedagogy due March 1, a supplement to a RTTP game due immediately, my own RTTP game to write, a book proposal to get together … and chapters to write, and a new essay to write.
2018 is going to be the year of reading and writing. It’s going to be the year when I fall in love with being an academic again.
3. TAKE CARE OF MYSELF (BAT FIT 2018): I’ve been debating whether to launch an official Bat Fit for this year. Unlike past years, I’m feeling somewhat protective of my personal space, including my body. Normally I would lead the charge of “let’s get healthy this year! Who wants to exercise? What’s your goals?” This year, I’m moving into the new year quietly embracing my personal fitness and health goals. I’ve had a few scares this year: my thyroid, my fibroid growth, high blood pressure, high glucose, and most recently, urinary retention caused by constipation (caused by my thyroid) and alcohol consumption. As much as I want to get on my soap box and proclaim that I’m going to lose all the weight I gained since my Mom’s death by “x day,” I don’t think it’s a proactive or responsible way to take care of myself. Yes, I would love to lose the weight. Yes, I want to work out to get stronger and more toned. Yes, I want to eat smaller portions of wholesome food lovingly cooked by me. However, in 2018, I am going to embrace a more generic idea of “taking care of myself,” including scheduling time to fully relax and to be creative. Goddess! I miss knitting and drawing! Sure, I’ll be exercising and eating better, but I will also be spending time in ritual or meditating. I’m finally giving up alcohol for good because I had two health instances that were alcohol-related and I know that the third one won’t to be so generous. I’ve gotten plenty of hints from my body and the universe this year to take care of myself, and I’d be stupid not to listen.
My goals for 2018 are relatively simple and somewhat personal, though definitely not easy. I guess what I’m really trying to do this coming year is to learn and apply new habits that will make my personal and professional life better and more productive … and much, much happier.
Happy New Year, my friends. Do you have any goals for the next year? Would you care to share? If you are interested in Bat Fit 2018, I’ll be posting my progress, recipes, etc. and encourage each of you to do the same. Do you have health goals this year? Please feel free to use the new Bat Fit 2018 icon, mention my blog, and share your goals and progress throughout the year.
Onwards and Upwards!