Monday, December 31, 2007

Theme for 2008, and looking back at 2007's theme

Last year, rather than doing resolutions, I followed the lead of others (see profgrrrl) and set a theme for the year. Last year's theme was Take Back Control of My Life.

So, how'd I do? Well, looking back on the year and judging from my blog posts, I'd give myself a B.

Being on sabbatical certainly helped matters. I was completely burned out at this time last year, contemplating whether I wanted to stay in my job or not. (Hm, some things never change, do they?) The year away from teaching and toxic colleagues and the daily grind of the tenure track was refreshing. I still sometimes let toxic colleagues and situations get to me, but having some distance really helped matters and gave me some much-needed perspective. Not working insane amounts of time per week also was very nice.

Having the kid certainly turned things upside down, but I think for the most part we're all doing a good job of keeping things from dissolving into chaos. We have a routine that works, for now. At least until things really heat up right after the new year. I don't always take the time I need for myself, although I'm working on rectifying that.

So I guess I feel sort of in control of my life, as much as I can at this stage. Which is a good thing.

Now, on to this year's theme. When I look back on what really disappointed me about 2007, the thing that jumps out at me is that I often stand in my own way. For instance, I have 2 (2!) journal articles that should have been sent out for review by now. Yet I am still sitting on them. I had an epiphany the other day about what specifically is holding me back on both articles, and on sending things out to journals in general. (Maybe I'll blog more about that later.) There were also some projects that I really should have done while on leave, but didn't, because I allowed myself to be overwhelmed by the "what ifs" and the thoughts of failure. Again, standing in my own way. And preparing to reenter the classroom has been a bit of a nightmare, because I keep thinking about all of the negative comments from my third-year review, which is making me a bit afraid to do or try anything in my classes.

In light of this introspection, the theme really named itself for the year.

My theme for 2008, then, is FEARLESS. I am going to go right up against my worst fears this year. Stare them down, laugh in their faces. Basically, I'm not going to be afraid to fail and, more importantly, not be afraid to try in the first place. In fact, if my first thought about something is "I can't do this", well then, there's my answer: I'm going to do it.

OK, maybe not skydiving. But stuff related to my career and my personal life and relationships, sure.

I hope you all have a wonderful new year, full of fearlessness!


ScienceGirl said...

Looking forward to reading about your Fearlessness! Happy New Year!

CogSci Librarian said...

Might I suggest a possible theme song for the theme o' the year (great idea, btw ... I'm thinking of my own theme):

The Neville Brothers' "Fearless":

Counting on help from above
Trusting the power of love
We must be fearless, fearless, fearless ...

It's kind of a love song, kind of spiritual. But when I need to be fearless, I try to remember this.

video with "relaid" audio @ YouTube

Happy New Year!

EcoGeoFemme said...

Great theme!

Jane said...

cogsci librarian, I like the theme song suggestion! I'm not usually a fan of the Neville Brothers, but I do like that song. Thanks!

Amelie said...

That's a great theme, Jane. I tend to stand in my own way too much as well, though sometimes it is rather procrastination than fear... Happy new year!