31 December 2010

Breaking up in/with 2010

I began 2010 standing in the snow in Wisconsin, overlooking a pond, thinking about how I had arrived at that particular place at that particular time. Travelling home always does that to me--makes me introspective about the choices I have made. This year I am not home. I will likely end 2010 sitting in my office and preparing for a year which is pretty much already laid out for me, with a couple of big wild cards.

This year, at the end of the day, was about positioning myself for the next five to ten years of my life. It was full of considering the options and hopefully starting to move towards a sustainable life after I finish my PhD. When it comes down to it, I think I decided that my life will go one of two ways: either in Japan or not. Perhaps this sounds pretty useless or obvious, but for me it was useful to understand it in those terms. Other than that, I'm not sure I have resolved much. I still don't know what is the best for my family, for my career, for our quality of life. Of course, it's less dramatic than all that: we'll, as Yoko said at one point this year, do something and we'll live with it and she will be happy. It's as simple as that.

This year was a lot of things, but it was not a happy year for me. It's not something I like to reflect too much on, but perhaps it's worth thinking about. The metaphor I keep coming back to is being on the edge of a wave on a surfboard, trying to stay ahead. It's an exhilarating feeling, but when was the last time I relaxed... It's been a while. This is largely the result of my context, particularly a grey winter and another hard first trimester of pregnancy. These things will pass — I think the Beatles said that. 

I have a rather simple set of goals for the New Year:
  • To shave every day and get my haircut every 4 to 6 weeks. This is simple enough, but a step forward in my effort to be more presentable.
  • To keep up my practice of weighing myself every day and keeping my weight within my goal range of 74-76 kgs.
  • To be nearing a first draft of my PhD thesis by the end of 2011. 60-70% drafted
  • Something about being a better person. I'm not sure how to word it this year. Blog posts in January about it, I'm sure.
That's a bizarre list, but I think it's reasonable. 31 December 2011: what will I be reflecting on then? So many things to happen between now and then.

Happy New Year, everyone. Stay well this next year, hey?