Hello, you

Hello, new year, and hello again to my blog. I hope that January and 2011 are finding all of you well, my kind readers.

Today I am having lunch, listening to the dryer finish off a load of laundry, and was just writing in my lovely, cheap, available notebook with a pen that was given to me by a friend, early last year. I’m remembering today that I like writing, and that nobody can keep me from doing it but myself, but that I still keep myself from doing it pretty often — mostly simply from neglect and forgetfulness. Hence, I’m doing both some private scribbling today, and also writing here.

My friend Sandi has just finished a challenge to herself to post every day, which started out as a goal for Advent and then stretched to Twelfth Night. I’m proud of her for her success, and it has also been instructive to watch the progress of her blog and her writing, how one day connected to the next and how her writing and her topics came up out of her life, day by day. I’ll confess that a lot of the time, I hesitate to post here because I’m too worried about having something clever to say first, and if I don’t feel like I’ve got anything clever then I don’t post — worse, I don’t even write. Not so good. It’s like any kind of skill or tool: if I don’t practice and write and find words to say regularly, how am I going to have the skill I need when something clever needs to be said? How am I going to be sharp at this craft, without sharpening myself by use? So, I’m thinking about that, and I need to write more. I’m not making a hard commitment right now, like Sandi’s, but I want generally to do more writing. Maybe a commitment in more solid, accountable form will follow. A couple of other friends have suggested to me the idea of “daily pages,” of taking time every day to just write, about anything and everything, even about nothing, but just writing. Not for public consumption, no pressure to do anything smart, but just write. Make words happen. Every day. I think that could be a useful exercise for me to undertake.

The other big thing on my mind is about my work, or maybe my career, or maybe my vocation. I’m not sure which yet. I started making noises around these-here parts last fall about wanting to change jobs or go to school, and I let those plans go by the wayside — it wasn’t time, maybe, and I realize that I was tired and fighting off depression, and change was hard to face. Between Christmas and New Year I had a week off to rest, and now I’ve had a week back at work, and I’m realizing and recommitting to this idea of change: I need a new job. Staying in the place where I am isn’t doing me any good, I’ve been stagnant for too long, stuck in a place that’s become too easy and comfortable, and it’s smothering me. So I need to make a change.

The thing I’m torn about right now is whether it’s better to seek a quicker change for the sake of having a new environment, new things to think about, new sights and sounds and people and work, or whether I need to take more time and thought about what I want to do long-term and start moving purposefully in that direction. Because regardless of which I need, I do want to have long-term purpose; I want to do, not just good work, but the best work I can do, for myself and for the people I work for and with, and I don’t feel like I know what that is yet. I’m only just starting to think in those terms, and I don’t know how long it will take me to uncover answers; and the longer I keep myself in the same old environment, I’m afraid the more I will continue to be smothered and not really pursue better things. Changing my work environment could help me to see with new eyes, but it could also be a distraction from clarifying my long-term vision. I’m not sure which is better or worse, or if it’s just a choice between alternates that’s up to me, not good or bad, just different paths to take. If any of you have any ideas, or have moved through similar choices, how did it go? What did you choose, and why? I’d like very much to hear about other people’s experiences.

Whoops, there goes my dryer beeping. Laundry is done; lunch is done; now I’ve got family to visit and give hugs to, my normal Sunday afternoon routine. Blessings and good wishes to everyone for the new year!

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