January 1st, 2012

after all


I never developed the habit of intentional retrospection and resolution that so many people tie to this time of year. I felt it was a cheat of some sort - why should such an important action be limited to just one brief (and usually ineffective) burst of activity each year?

But I'm starting to come around to the idea. Thinking back over the last several years, I don't spot many times where I *made* that time for introspection, and acted on it. Perhaps rather than being open to assessment and commitment at all times I've been avoiding them at any time.

2011 was, in many ways, a really terrible year for me. For us. We dance on the edge of losing our house, we have dug our giant pit of debt a little deeper, and we're facing the "Vime's Boots" dilemma with several major expense decisions. The kid is now out of high school, with a crisp new graduation certificate, but no real prospects that include living here on the outskirts, and no particular call to move elsewhere. I've stopped active efforts to find a "real job", even though I crave the routine and support it would provide, as there continues to be a 100% no response what-so-ever to my dozens of applications.

But 2011 had several high points as well. I started a second part-time job that, like the first one, doesn't pay enough to be a major support to the family, but helps with the little stuff. And the work is fascinating, challenging in ways that already have me making mistakes, learning from them, and hopefully improving (or at least making *different* mistakes). Everyone here is healthy and our attitude continues to be upbeat regardless of the sometimes distressing realities.

So, resolutions. My main one is to embrace, rather than tolerate, the multiple streams of effort that my work life has become. To say "yes" to new projects when they don't conflict with current responsibilities. To start actively charting and anticipating upcoming opportunities and commitments.

On the personal side, I want to push myself to make contact. To write blog posts. To comment on other people's. To pick up the phone. I've let my social interactions settle into a quiet background hum of skimming LJ and FaceBook, and just drifting through the rare convention or gathering I get to. I want that to change. I want to be more of a part of the conversation, and know better who else is there and doing things.

So here's the first post of the new year. May there be many more!