As is now custom, my year-end 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. I made gains on this in 2021, but age, anxiety, and injury gave almost all of it back.
- Take more time for mindfulness exercises, including both yoga and meditation.
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 has been a really important habit for me in recent years.
- Continue my daily yoga routine that I started back in 2020. Whenever I miss a day I can tell that my equilibrium is off.
- Start running again and get to the point where I can do (the arbitrarily-set) ten miles in one session.
- Lose five pounds. I aim to accomplish this both by eating a little less and by gradually increasing my activity levels.
- Submit the completed manuscript for my first book—due in February.
- Clear the back-work that I owe. Eep!
- Draft one (1) chapter for an edited collection due in 2023.
- Find (1) new academic book to review. I failed in this in 2021, but one book feels to me like the right goal: enough to be engaged and write something; not so much that I spend all of my time writing things that are not appreciated in the academic world.
- I exceeded my target of reading (12) ancient history or classics books not connected to my research for the second straight year in 2021. I like the practice, so will re-up at at least (12), or one per month. I also have a goal to read more articles but hope to get that off the ground before talking about it.
- I crushed my goal of 52 other books for 2021 along with most 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
- I want to engage in more artistic pursuits this year. Writing is too obvious and measured in other ways and while I would like to do more drawing and/or painting, I don’t have a readily-available target. The obvious direction to take this is, then, is photography. In 2022, I am going to set up a Flickr account and use is to organize and post pictures I have taken over the years. This will also give me motivation to sort through my photograph collections and practice photo editing.
Finally, to conclude this series a message for readers: thank you for following along. I have some ideas for posts in 2022, 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.