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2080 [resolutions]

One of the many songs I love from one of the Live at KEXP compiliations is "2080," by Yeasayer. Simple lyrics, but the chorus seems like a good way to launch into thoughts for the upcoming year.

Thinking about the new year make me also think about what happens for me around holidays like Halloween, or birthdays, sometimes. Some years, I am inspired and have a creative idea as to what sort of costume I'd like to create or how I'd like to celebrate the birthday of a friend or family member. Some years, that inspiration is out of sync with the date, but that's okay. Other years, the sense of inspiration is quiescent, and I cannot force it.

This year, the Holiday Challenge has been a period of reflection, change, and resolution. I am close to completing it - just 11 km to go sometime between now and December 24. In the beginning, I had to just get back on the erg and look at numbers that informed me that I have lost fitness over the course of the year. I had hopes for a solid year of rowing, and it wasn't a complete disaster by any stretch, but there have been multiple frustrations and the struggle to get out of bed and over to the boathouse has not been easy.

But I am doing that one piece - made myself get on the erg and look at those numbers - because one must, to complete the Holiday Challenge. As I have pulled on the erg handle, my thoughts have gone in two directions. There is always the first direction, thoughts present in the very moment, working on working through the meters, counting the strokes in my head, checking my splits against where I want them to be based on the workout goals. Encouraging self-talk, to the degree possible, to finish the piece, finish the workout.

The second direction is the future direction. What will I do with the fitness gained from this exercise of sitting on the rowing machine and accumulating kilometers? What will my relationship with rowing look like in 2018?

Then, so closely related, what will 2018 look like in general? As you know, my personal expectations for 2018 have changed tremendously in the past month - first, plans to go back to Arizona for a while, then suddenly finding myself on the far side of a successful academic job interview.

The deep certainty I feel is that in 2018, I must write. Academic writing. The belabored effort of repeatedly revisiting words and ideas. I must create the time and space for it. I must push down the excuses; I must write loudly. I must write even while I must teach and mentor and move across the country and do research; the vocal activities shouting for immediate attention that want to drown out the whisper to write.

I hope that these two things, the rowing and the writing, can continue to happen together, and facilitate each other. They both involve labored, consistent effort. They look beautiful and easy when done well, but beneath that surface there are a thousand small pieces to work at, put together, and polish.

Wish me luck.

This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1193956.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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