As is now custom, my year-end navel gazing series ends with my resolutions for the new year.
The eternal, nebulous, unquantifiable
- Continue learning to let go of things that are beyond my control. Most things are.
- Be more patient and charitable.
- Smile more often.
- Exercise to improve health, diet, flexibility and fitness, particularly since my schedule last semester got in the way of these healthy routines.
- Take more time for mindfulness exercises, something that I have only really come back to at the end of 2020 in the form of daily yoga.
The specific, concrete, actionable
- Take at least one day each weekend not working, as defined by no work email, no grading, no preparing for courses, and no academic writing. This was a really important habit for me in 2020 and I want to continue into 2021 or even expand it to, gasp, two days off on weekends.
- I began a daily yoga routine (20+ minutes) at the end of 2020 and will continue that through 2021, as well as taking a daily 10-minute mindfulness/meditation break.
- Lose ten pounds. I aim to accomplish this both by eating a little less and by gradually increasing my activity levels. I just need to get a new pair of running shoes first.
- Complete the book manuscript that I’ve been working on based on my dissertation. I wrote this in as a goal in 2020, too, but I have a deadline now and may actually get it done!
- I completed the two article-length pieces in 2020 even if I didn’t get them out. I want to get both piece out and draft one (1) more, either as a long public-facing piece or an academic article, depending on where it looks like my career is going.
- Find (1) new academic book to review. This is a repeat from 2020, when I had two book reviews published.
- Complete the next piece of my research project on bread in ancient Greece. (re-up from 2020)
- I exceeded my target of reading (12) ancient history or classics books not connected to my research in 2020 even though I fell off dramatically in the second half of the year. I like the practice, so will re-up at at least (12), or one per month even though access might prove as much of an obstacle as time here.
- I exceeded my goal of 52 other books for 2020 along with all of my diversity markers, but will re-up at the same level:
- 33% of those books should be by women
- At least (5) should be by African American authors
- These books should represent at least (10) different countries and (7) different languages
Finally, to conclude this series a message for readers: thank you for following along. I have some ideas of posts coming down the pipe in 2021, including an annual revision to my list of favorite novels, but, as usual, content here will reflect my year, what I have the energy to write about, and the fickle fortune of pursuing an academic career.
Whatever I write, I hope you’ll join me. In the meantime, may the coming year be one of warmth and joy for you as we all work to build a better future.