Why, hello there!
If you’ve had off from work or school since Thursday, I hope it has been a most relaxing few days. I, for one, slept for 11 hours on Friday night, finished reading a novel, and even managed to grade and prep a little yesterday and today. As Horace says in Odes 1.11, sapias, vina liques, et spatio brevi/ spem longam reseces: you’d be wise, should you strain the wine, and “cut back” your extended hope in(to) a short span. A.k.a., live in the moment, STOP worrying about the future so much, and enjoy your life right now. I sure am.
As the year wraps up and 2015 chugs along like a locomotive into our sight, I’ve been thinking about resolutions for the new year. I was never really a big “resolutions” fan growing up, and tended to make (frankly) stupid ones: lose 10 pounds, eat veggies, etc. Thankfully, I’ve grown much more sophisticated in my resolution-making these days– mostly because I’ve started to make them tangible: quantitative, without being too hard on myself. All of my goals for 2014 were attainable, and although I didn’t complete a few of them (heck, I only fully completed one), I feel like a better human for having tried. I try to make five or six resolutions, and since they’re not wishy-washy in any way, I don’t feel like that’s too many.
Some of my goals for 2014 were as follows:
1. Read a book a month, and 5 books off of “the list.”
Status: SO CLOSE! 9/12 months’ worth of books, but I did read 5 from the list.
I have a list of great novels, short stories, and collections of poetry that I made in my senior year of college, based off of other lists of “must-reads” (like the BBC’s, NYTs’, etc.). I’ve been plugging away at this list for years now, and take great satisfaction in ticking off another read. This year, I read:
1. The Beautiful and Damned (F. Scott Fitzgerald)– LIST
2. The Year of Living Biblically (A.J. Jacobs, hilarious)
3. Paradise (Toni Morrison; I’m a huge fan of hers and normally fly through her stuff, but I found this tough to chew)
4. A Year in Provence (Peter Mayle)
5. Remains of the Day (Kazuo Ishiguro)– LIST
6. A Good Year (Peter Mayle– sensing a theme here??)
7. The Tempest (Shakespeare)– LIST
8. The Omnivore’s Dilemma (Michael Pollan)– LIST; an absolute must-read for anyone who wants to know the ins and outs of the American food system
9. The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath)– LIST
It would be hard to pick a favorite out of this list of nine, but if I had to, I’d say I enjoyed Remains of the Day the most; I read it in one day. I had been longing to pick it up since my AP English Lit days, and was so glad I finally read it. Kazuo is a master of the slow-reveal (have you read Never Let Me Go? Talk about chills).
I also did something I usually don’t do, which is to start a book and never finish it. I’m a couple hundred pages into Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, so hopefully I’ll be able to finish that this year. Once I do, I’ll have read all of his major works (woo!). August-October was where I left off of reading at all, since I was adjusting to a new job. This year, I aim to be more consistent.
Other goals for the year included…
2. Run the Broad Street Run– check!
3. Run a half marathon– nope. Injured. 2015, here I come! “Ran” a disaster of an 8k instead.
4. Apply to PhD programs in Classics.
The best way to explain this one is that the resolution was “hijacked.” As I was working on applications, I received a call from one of the top schools in the nation, and probably (no kidding here) the top secondary school Classics (Latin and Greek) department in the country. I interviewed last January– in fact, I was stressing about the interview over break last year– was offered the job, and signed in February. So instead of the PhD, I started my masters, and now I teach Greek and Latin to superstars. Win. Best laid plans…
5. Write for 200 hours: again, nope. Part of the reason I started this blog! I’ve probably racked up 50 or so hours, which is respectable for a year in which I trained for a 10-mile race, moved, started a new job, coached for the first time and managed to have a shred of a social life.
Overall, 2014 was– sorry to use a cliche– truly a roller coaster. I finished the longest race of my life, but my knee has been paying for it ever since. I signed with a new school and left behind what was an incredibly stressful work environment for me, but have certainly faced the challenges of adjusting to a completely different school, system, and way of life– all without my usual coping mechanism of running. Overall, I count myself blessed and eager. 2015, let’s see what you have to offer…
Let’s talk: what were your goals for this year? Do you make resolutions? Have any particular successes or leave anything unaccomplished in 2014? Awesome New Years plans? I’ll be on Cape Cod with college friends– seven-hour drive, here we come.
I’ll reveal my resolutions for 2015 later in the week– stay safe and have a blast this NYE!