“Re” Times 3

It’s a rainy final day of the year here where I live. (Maryland.) My one prospect for a New Year’s Eve gathering has become tentative. I’ve not been a regular presence on my own blog in months, and I’ve not laid out a grand plan for 2019.

Actually, I have no official plan at all for 2019. I think I probably will in a few days, but it won’t be anything like the last few years. Those plans were longer, more complex, thought upon more deeply than a mere “to-do list.” And while I hope to rise above “to-do,” I don’t foresee my list of goals for next year rising to the level of specificity or depth as last year and several years previous.

Why? Of the years I’ve composed goal-specific lists for throughout an upcoming year, 2018’s was by far the least checked-off. I don’t mean I’ve accomplished nothing; I’ve gotten some important things done. But compared with what I declared, my completion percentage (to borrow football terminology) was lacking.

I ask myself if the list was too ambitious, and I’ve concluded it was not. It was comparable to lists of other years in terms of amount of goals, short and long term, and requirements for achieving them. Not to mention particular perennial goals that are always difficult for me personally to achieve. I put them on the list in hopes of breaking that pattern, but the lists never revolve around those, and it didn’t this year either.

No, it just didn’t happen this year, on various levels. The current novel is sapping more energy than I thought, the year opened with some unusual and trying circumstances, (carry over from the end of the previous year), employment and economic issues, even some artistic depression. All these things and more would also combine at times to create a soup of apathy as well, which I’ve talked about here a few times; why keep up the pace if my work isn’t reaching people and making them happy?

I’ve tried not to beat myself up over this, and have partly succeeded. A few stray blows land here and there, but I’m holding my own against…myself. One way I plan to regroup is to make a less specific, perhaps shorter list for 2019. Pay a bit more attention to quality of action, as opposed to quantity of activities.

It was a slow year. It happens, I suppose. If it happened to you in 2018 as well, I encourage you to follow the same advice I gave myself; don’t be hard on yourself. What happened, or did not happen, is behind you and me both. 2018 is a done deal. I’m going to regroup, reevaluate, and recover lost productivity for 2019. Join me?

Happy New Year.

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