Saturday, December 30, 2006

Resolved: Create and Reconnect

I'm not really one for New Year's resolutions. However, it's become clear to me that I need to get my shit together in oh so many ways.

Since turning in the dissertation and aborting my academic job search, I've been letting things slide a lot. Pretty much everything, in fact. I'm not exactly sure what I've been doing in place of the stuff I should be doing (aside from spending time with Lucas), but my procrastination has become pretty damn bad. So bad that I think Mr. Trillwing is about to stage an intervention. (If you want to learn about my brand of procrastination, listen to Merlin Mann's short podcast The Perfect Apostophe. He nails it.)

So here come the resolutions. Specific resolutions aren't going to cut it because it's clear I'm not going to magically start doing the things I'm supposed to be doing, and they're too many to list anyway.

Instead I'm going to take a page from communicatrix, who has established a theme for her year in lieu of what she calls "gonnas"--you know, as in "I'm gonna vacuum more" or "I'm gonna send two articles to academic journals." Her theme, which I love but won't plagiarize, is "expand and focus."

My theme, I think, will be "Create and reconnect."

On creating: Prior to throwing myself into the dissertation, I was an intensely creative person. I like to paint on canvas as well as customize my little model horsies. I have a sewing machine on which I'd like to become more proficient because I've always been interested in textiles but never really had the time or method for experimenting with them. I want to rekindle my creative energies.

On reconnecting: In addition to being a creative person, I used to be on top of things. I don't mean I had a sparkly clean abode or that all my shit was in order, but I was considerably more organized, particularly as regards our future plans and finances. For example, Mr. Trillwing and I finally drafted our wills this fall, and I need to type them up and get them notarized. In the past, I also set up automatic deductions from our bank account for investments in mutual funds and a few stocks. I did pretty well, but I had to cash out the accounts to pay for medical expenses--Luke's birth, for one--and vet bills. I didn't mind that, because that method of saving, where I can cash out quickly if need be but to which I don't have daily access to funds as I would in a personal savings account at a bank, is a good way for us to save for emergencies as well as for larger purchases, such as the house we'd like someday to own. I also need to be more on top of our debt situation since my student loans come due soon.

By reconnecting, then, I mean reconnecting with the trillwing who was a planner and an organizer. Mr. Trillwing married that trillwing, and she's been on hiatus at least since Luke was born if not earlier than that. He also married a version of trillwing who was considerably more fit and introspective, who took long walks and used them to think through the big things and to inspire herself to further action.

I don't think those two impulses--rekindling creativity and become more organized--are in tension with one another. Rather, I see my theme for 2007 as a way to engage both my right and left brain and, just as importantly, to balance them out. Too much right brain and I forget about the bills. Too much left brain and I burn out, get distracted, and start procrastinating.

What's your theme for 2007?


susan said...

I have no idea what my theme is, but this is a great way to think about such issues. I'll be tossing this one around for a while.

This also reminds me of the Ally McBeal episode about personal theme songs (another issue I've yet to decide for myself, but I love in theory)

Jane said...

Oooh, what a great idea! I love your theme, and wish you luck in achieving it (well, as much as you can achieve a theme, anyway :) ). My theme for this year is Take Back Control of My Life. (Mostly meaning my personal life, but there will be a bit of professional life examining in there, too.)

Anonymous said...

My theme is get a new job and be happier.