I was recently reminded by one of my dearest friends in higher education that I needed to be certain that I was doing things that made me happy. The good/bad part of this job is that there is much ability to frame the job and career in ways that you want. It is so easy to get caught up in all sorts of things (such as the day-to-day grind of administration, habitual movements, the cultural forces that always seem to be saying do one more thing, etc.) that it’s just as easy to forget about us.
In other words, as my grandmere would say, we get so caught up in life that we forget to live it.
So for 2019, I’m going back to living life and focusing my time and energy on those things that bring joy and comfort and contentment and peace. Many of these things will be (as they have before and have been now) done offline in the space of my everyday life, but some will be made more public and visible as they are directly connected to my job and things that I would like to accomplish or things that I would like do.
Guiding this change of outlook are the keywords for this year: intent/ion and space.
I came to intent and its related forms because for me the connotation is more subject driven, with more agency than related words (such as purpose). Intent seems to suggest that I may have more control over the initial action. Whether that’s wholly true or not is definitely debatable, but I like that there is also the adjective explanation of resolved and attention.
Space has been a term and an idea that I have long been fascinated with. Much like place and time, space affords various definitions and interpretations that run the gamut from philosophical to material. Feminist geographer, Doreen Massey wrote a book-length love letter to space in which challenges us to think of space not as something we move or go through but to re-instill space with imagination, chance, and the unexpected. I like these ideas as ones to help guide a (re)engagement with life since spaces envelop us. Why not imagine those spaces differently and encourage an embracing of chance?
These keywords are what will guide 2019 as ideas in the background and the forefront to help me live life and embrace the moments.
Bonne chance and bonne année.