Writing a life

At the end of the last few years I have written about what I accomplished over the year. This year, I wanted to talk about my plan for this space in the coming 12 months.

I entered the last quarter of this year absolutely shattered. Suddenly, almost out of nowhere, the previous 9 months caught up with me and wham! I was exhausted. It has been a pretty busy year, old 2018. I traveled for work extensively in the first quarter of the year. Then I actively sought a new job because my research contract was coming to an end. I started my new job in July. We did a lot of travelling over the summer, including a totally magical week in Sicily. And then suddenly, when the new academic year started in September (post-conference season), I was done. I had used up my allocated energy resource for the year and have mostly been treading water ever since.

I say all this because that exhaustion, that deep feeling of tiredness down in my bones made me stop and think about all the different projects I was taking on. A new book, two more in development, three journal articles in various stages of thought process and writing. My actual job. Yoga training. Spanish lessons. Swimming. The allotment. Not to mention actually hanging out with friends, seeing family and the like. It all became far too much.

So I cut it right back. One yoga class a week, maybe two. Wrapping up Spanish lessons and deciding to take a break in the new term. Not growing things over winter in the garden, but covering the beds and waiting until spring. A specific and intended slowing down.

That also meant thinking about what I wanted to do here, how I wanted the space to function, and what writing I could do here that would make me feel good about writing.

In the end, I’ve decided to convert one book project into a blog project, and use this space to write what I thought was going to be a book of essays. I cannot write that and write here so I decided to write those essays here.

The essays are all going to be about how I am working to define my ordinary-extraordinary life outside work. There is a lot of backstory to this, which we will get to in time, but mostly it is about learning to value my life and its gifts externally to how I pay my rent. Those two things (my sense of self-worth and my job) were intimately connected for a long time, and I am in an on-going journey to learn how I can value myself and my life separately from my work. That is what I will be writing about here from now on.

There will be no reading list anymore. Instead, once a month (when I have figured out mailchimp and set up a newsletter), I will be sending a monthly round up of things I’ve written and read…

Each post will have a particular theme, and I am hoping to post weekly…. I do hope you will stick around and join me on this new adventure. x

PS: End of year I did that! list coming tomorrow.