Anna Koop

December 24, 2013

Many New Years

Filed under: Personal

The actual start of the year seems oddly arbitrary. And it doesn’t make any sense in the academic year, at least in North America. The start of a new Winter term is vaguely relevant, but I feel like Winter Solstice would be a better start to the calendar year. The time when the days start getting longer. Technically the shortest day of the year, but I prefer the more optimistic framing. Maybe that’s why it’s later though? Because starting the year out on the shortest day of the year seems a little depressing? On the other hand, it’s only up from there.

So these are the early days of my personal new year. The other new year is September, of course—the start of a new term. That’ll be a time for academic reflection (or panic)—unavoidable really, with deadlines and progress reports due then.

But in terms of personal life, this is a good time to reflect. It’s been an interesting year—as they all are—with everything being much the same (still in school, still in Edmonton, still myself) and everything being different (new nephew, new career possibilities, new adventures with Joel). I don’t know what to expect going forward—the same simultaneous states of all-the-same and all-new, I imagine.

I’m considering writing more. Which: A) tautological at the moment and B) nothing to consider, just write. (Relatedly, I’m continuing to work on mindfulness and living more in the moment and less in my head. It’s an ongoing process.) But yes. I don’t always default to the things I care about—long term or short term. It’s very odd (I went on a random internet search about akrasia, but more about that later). So there is some thinking or planning to be done that isn’t just endless empty promises. It takes deliberate action to be doing what I love and not just distracting myself or worrying about all the things I “should” be doing and which one should be at the top of the list.

I am lucky enough this year that the things I have to do/should do/want to do are pretty much all aligned. With enough micro-decisions required that I can still get myself in trouble, of course. And all the fears of failure and success and disappointment and inadequacy that make doing what I love to do difficult. But hey, the days are getting longer now. Light is increasing, and I have tools to make up for shortfalls.

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