Mea Culpa

Nothing like posting about a huge life change, getting the most wonderful comments, and then…disappearing before I approved the comments.

I could make the excuse that the week went bonkers after Monday, but that’s just an excuse. (Also, for some reason, I had it in my head that I could not reply to comments if I approved them without replying at that time… I know, this makes no sense, but since I have always replied as I have approved, well… yeah.)

All of that to say I am so sorry that some of you a) thought you had not commented on my last post, when you had, and b) I’m finally taking some time for myself this morning before another nutty day to round out the week, and I’m off to reply to all of your supportive, wonderful comments.

You all are the best.

Intentions, Word(s), and a Question

Happy Monday, everyone. I know that it is a day of reflection here in the US, as we mark Martin Luther King, Jr., day. This is one of those holidays that I do not consider a holiday. Instead, I view it as a prompt for learning more about Dr. King’s life and work, and what I can do to carry his legacy forward. Today, I’m planning to read his Letter from a Birmingham Jail as well as this sermon on loving your enemies.

However, right now I have a few minutes to share my intentions and word(s)for 2022, and I had a question that I hoped to pose to some of the more regular visitors to my blog (few in number, strong in spirit!). I rarely do this but given my desire to take time to reflect on the past several years and explore where I want my life to go from here, it seemed a reasonable option for 2022.

So, what are my intentions? This year, I am keeping it simple: Be Kind. Seek Joy. I know that I can do much more in my daily life to truly be kind. Even if I don’t overtly show UNkindness, I often have somewhat judgmental thoughts, and I’d like to shift that to a perspective of kindness. I will never know what someone is going through when I encounter them in my life. It takes much less energy to simply be kind, than to work myself up to unkind thoughts.

I also really need to up my game in terms of seeking joy. Joy – true joy – has been absent from my life of late, and that’s not good. I need to remember what brings me joy, where I can find that, and then make it happen. I’m talking big joys (travel! time with my family!) and small ones (browsing in a bookstore). If I can find a way to infuse joy into every day this year? That would be awesome. However, that’s a pretty high bar for a currently joy-less person so for now, I’m going to aim to have at least one joyful experience a month. I know, I know, it’s not much, but taking part of a day to focus on seeking joy and feeding my heart and soul will go a long way to making me feel like myself again.

So those are my intentions. My word for the year? Courage. I waffled on this for a while. For a time, I thought “seek” (and variants thereof, e.g., seeking) would be my word. But instead I realized that it’s more of an intention. No, courage was it, although it took time for me to come back around to it.

Why courage? Well, as I’ve alluded to in the past few months, I had a major life change in 2021. One that was kind of anticipated, but also, well, not. And since it seems goofy to just dance around it for the next year, I’m going to go ahead and share that the major change was my marriage ending. I never, ever thought I would get a divorce. And yet. Here we are – divorced.

There aren’t any sordid details to share or anything like that. Just (another) sad story of people growing apart. But just because it wasn’t sordid or even particularly dramatic (there is no drama in receiving an email with a link to the PDF of your divorce decree online…) doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard.

I need courage to remember what it was like to be independent. Single. Me, by myself. I’ll write more about this in coming days, but for now, it seems to suffice to let you know that 2022 will be my year of courage. Of showing up and being brave (a related word I considered, but eventually ditched). It will be an interesting year, to say the least, but I have high hopes for where I will be – for WHO I will be – on 12/31/2022.

Finally, my question. A practical one. For those of you who love your budgets, what software/website/program do you use? I feel the need to migrate from my current ancient method of Excel, but am stymied by all of the options available. Thanks in advance!

And thank you for persisting with me through the past few months. Like I said, I hope to be here more in 2022. Thanks for coming along for the ride.


No, I don’t mean that the blog is / will be suspended. More that I feel as though I am suspended – still – between 2021 and 2022. Between what was and what is.

I’ve mentioned before that my life changed a lot in 2021, in ways that were expected (well, to some extent) and others that came completely out of the blue. It was one of those years that, as Zora Neale Hurston said so memorably, asks questions. It was definitely not one of the years with answers. I don’t know (yet, of course) whether 2022 will differ and manage to provide some clarity and answers, but I’m going to do my darndest to find the answers if they are out there!

Like any good academic, I had grand plans for last week, the Week of No Meetings. The week of trying to catch up on all the projects, papers, grants, and other non-teaching, non-committee work. I actually did pretty well on the work-related goals, getting several things fully or partially crossed off my list. So that was good. What wasn’t so good was that I didn’t get any of the personal reflection time that I was craving so badly. I was able to do a bit at the beginning of the week, but completely fell off towards the weekend. It wasn’t all bad – there were phone calls with two old friends I’ve known since, well, since I can remember. There were texts with friends and family. There was some extra reading time. But there wasn’t the opportunity to do the deep reflection I wanted on the past year – the year that, for me, everything changed.

For me, this is a huge downside of not going anywhere – I have no opportunity to get out of my home routine and really focus on something other than work. If given the option, I will almost always take 10 or 20 or even 30 “found” minutes and use them for work-related activities, in an effort to just keep my head above water. That’s something I need to change – because time spent on myself (not work), getting to know myself, and getting my life somewhat in order is essential to my overall well-being.

All of that to say that I didn’t finish my reflections on the past year+. I didn’t finish several of the tasks (for lack of a better word) that I had assigned myself. But you know what? I think I’m okay with that. There is no rule that reflection on the past year has to end at midnight on New Year’s Eve. The reflection police aren’t going to arrest me for reflecting on January 15th instead of January 1st.

I keep saying that the past year was one of big changes for me, but it’s really been the past 3-4 years. It’s going to take time. I want to dig into what I have learned, what I want to bring forward with me, and what I want to leave behind. I want to really think about how my life has been in the last few years, and how I want it to be as I move into my future. I even want to spend some time thinking about further-in-the-past me, to see how I can bring back some pieces of who I was even earlier in my adulthood that I seem to have lost over time. Pieces that seemed so essential to my identity at the time that seem to have disappeared over the years.

You can see why that might take some time. But the thing is, I want to know who I am know. I want to understand who I’ve been. And I want to figure out who I want to be.

As usual, last night’s tea bag was spot on (side note: Yogi tea and Good Earth tea both have the best sayings on their tags…).

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Here’s to 2022. I hope that the start of the year was peaceful and joyful for all of you. I am eager to be back in this space more… as part of that “time for myself” that seems so elusive some days. Thank you, as always for reading my blathering, and for being here, even when I’m only able to post sporadically.