Sunday, December 17, 2006

2006 in review

2006 was probably not the best year I ever had. I was sick most of the time. Some of the time, maybe a total of two months spread over the course of the year, I was sick enough to be home in bed. The rest of the time, I was well enough to be going to work, but that was about it. Just dragging myself to work, trying to stay peppy long enough to do my work, and not having the energy to do much more. I did much less of the things I used to do, like go to concerts, go on walks, ski, go on trips, hang out with friends, etc. It seemed like on top of being sick, I also had nothing going for me in my life -- no friends, nothing interesting going on professionally. But that probably had a lot to do with the fact that I was too tired to see people or do anything interesting. I've felt cynical and jaded over the past year, about my work and about friends. In my work, it used to be like faculty and staff all worked together to serve students. Now it's like the job of faculty is to write proposals and the job of staff is to serve faculty, and students are useful when they work on research, but otherwise, they are an interruption. As for friends, I'm done with them. I've been too tired to go out with people, and too tired to put up with people behaving in any way other than exactly how I want them to. If they're not going to help me when I'm sick, I just don't have the energy to waste on doing whatever it is they want me to do.

But now I'm not feeling so sick any more, so I find myself in a more positive mood. And looking back on the year, I find that although I thought it was a year of disillusionment, dullness, desolation, and sickness, there were actually many bright spots.

Good things about 2006:
  • I managed to go skiing a couple times before I got sick.
  • I took Nia.
  • I had a radio show. I'm thankful to the station members who have made me feel welcome and/or showed me the ropes, including Howard Jack, Mickie Lynn, Richard Berkley, Sean McLaughlin, Harry Carter, Robert Otlowski, and Allison Guidry.
  • I helped my father move.
  • I volunteered at the Clearwater festival.
  • I went rollerblading a few times.
  • I rented a kayak once.
  • I had some nice times with Meisha.
  • Jesse lived with me some of the time, and now still lives in my town.
  • Jesse helped me when I was sick.
  • Stephen visited me.
  • Daisy and Jake visited me.
  • I talked to Nathan.
  • I got to know Ethan.
  • I had a good conversation with Nate.
  • I talked to my mother on the phone a lot.
  • I found a sense of direction for my professional development.
  • I started three blogs.
  • I grew a garden.
  • I went to Maine.
  • I read some enjoyable books by Tamora Pierce, thanks to Ethan's recommendation.
  • I read some interesting articles in The Chronicle of Higher Education, thanks to Bob passing his old newspapers on to me.
  • Speaking of Bob, I have a supervisor who shares my student-oriented view of my work.
  • I will be spending the holidays with family.
Some of the things I did, I did in a more tired way than I normally would have. For example, I rented a kayak, but I didn't paddle vigorously. I paddled some, drifted some, paddled some. When I went to Maine, I spent a lot of time sitting by the ocean. Normally, on such a vacation, I would spend my time hiking or rollerblading. Over the past year, I've had to live at a slower pace. It was frustrating when I thought of all the things I couldn't do, but eventually I slowed down my expectations and found pleasure and peace in the things I could do.

For 2007, I'm hoping for better health. Assuming my health cooperates, I plan to keep up with some of the activities and people that I found worthwhile in 2006, including my radio show and Nia. I hope to do a bit of skiing and rollerblading too. But I'm hoping that my main focus of attention will be on professional development. And if I have the time and energy left, maybe I'll try going to Quaker meeting. Other stuff, like dance classes and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, will have to wait. And I'm not planning on having a very active social life. 2006 was a year when I was forced to turn inward, because I didn't have all the outward stuff that used to be part of my life, and now that I'm there, I want to stay a while. I want to build up some inward stuff before I turn outward again.

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