So 2017 happened. It was a mess of crazy international politics and Simpsons predictions coming true.
Lots of good stuff actually happened, and that’s really important to focus on. It’s easy to get caught up in the negative stuff, but actually, the human race made great strides towards being even more awesome: The Women’s March in Washington DC drew three times as many people as Trump’s inauguration. The “caliphate” of the Islamic State was defeated and destroyed. Roy Moore lost. Australia legalised gay marriage. Women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive. The new Beast in Black album came out and basically made life more bearable. (The Washington Post and Noisey has some more good stuff)
For me personally, 2018 was the busiest and most demanding year of my life in terms of work and writing and life projects. As you might’ve been able to tell by the amount I’ve blogged (or haven’t blogged) this year, shit’s been crazy. I’ve spent almost half my weekends last year (21 out of 56) with at least one night away from home. I’ve worked 60-80 hours most weeks including most of my free weekends since March. We scrimped and saved to pull together the money we needed to finish our house (still not quite finished, but achingly close).
By the time I had my last day at work for the year, I was officially burnt out. I haven’t been this burnt out in a long, long time. It’s a horrible feeling, like your brain is made of rubber. I keep forgetting things and dates and appointments and crying randomly and mixing words up and forgetting what I’m talking about halfway through a sentence, and stupid things like noticing a typo in a published article make me feel like a tremendous failure. I’m tired all the time. I’ve been insensitive and haven’t been there for people I care about the way I should.
But no more! That’s enough of that. I’ve just had a long break away from the computer and it’s been so, so beautiful. The photo at the top of this picture is me on Stewart Island over new years with my wonderful friends – and is one of my happiest moments from last year, which says a lot, really.
I’m making some changes at work (more on that in a month or so), and in my life. Last year I started with a big list of goals and – although I achieved most of them and that’s great – the idea of staring at a giant to-do list all year makes me feel tired.
I decided instead that for 2018 I’d create “themes.” I have three themes for 2017: “novels”, “health”, and “home”. Basically, the first one is the thing I want to do for the rest of my life, and the other two are things I badly neglected last year as I struggled to balance all the other shite. I intend to run everything in my life through those filters and make some changes and say no to the stuff that doesn’t fit with them.
And I want to blog more. I miss blogging 2-3 times a week like I used to back in the good old days of 2009 (yee gods, is this blog really eight years old?). Blogging these days is so regimented. It’s so IMPORTANT to have great content that I feel as though if I don’t have something really profound to say – and the time to write a full, polished article about it – then I shouldn’t do it. It’s all so polished so I have to be polished, too. And actually that’s not true. I’d love to get back to blogging just to talk about cool stuff I find or – like this piece – to say nothing really at all.
So I’m going to try a bit of that, and we’ll see how we go.
What about you? What are your plans for 2018?