2018: Year of New Beginnings

It’s been a while.

That seems to be how I start everything I write when it’s personal.

The problem with working as a (copy)writer is you just don’t feel like doing any more writing outside of work hours, even though writing for work is completely different to writing for and about myself.

Long gone are the days of several-times-a-week blog posts. I keep a private journal, but at last count I think I clocked nine entries in a year. And I’m not sure I’ll ever show those to the world.

I want to go back to writing this year. Not as a day job but for me. I’ve said that before, but 2018, what I’m christening the Year of New Beginnings – maybe this will be the year it finally sticks.

I read somewhere that the key to writing is to just write. And if you chip away at it long enough, eventually all the nonsensical crap and glorified rambling will give way to better stuff. I hope it’s true because this, right now, this is the crap.

Also, hardly anyone reads blogs anymore and if they do they’re certainly not browsing my collection of quotes and YouTube videos so I feel like maybe it’s okay for me to leave this here.

With a bit of luck and a whole lot of determination, there will be more where this came from.

Back in 2008, I decided to give each year a theme as a way of setting the direction and tone for the coming months. Some years it worked great, some I found myself reflecting and changing themes when the year was over and done.

Last year I didn’t even have one, but I’ve posthumously appointed it the Year of Gratitude. Gratitude was (and still is) a big thing for me. Ask my daughter and she will tell you my loudest lectures are those that relate to gratitude or the lack of it.

This year I’m calling it: 2018 will be the Year of New Beginnings. I was hoping for something catchier and less of a mouthful, but this stuck. Here’s the obvious one: if all goes well, I will graduate with a Master of Primary Teaching in July. This not only (potentially) means the beginning of a new career as a primary school teacher, but also the beginning of life not as a working writer. I’ve been writing professionally since 2005 so it’s a little bit of a change.

With that I’m also hoping to start a new chapter with my writing, literally and figuratively. Perhaps, with the burden of writing for work lifted, I will find the desire and inspiration to write about other things. Even if it is all just rubbish at first. The Man and I were talking about writing 1000 words a month. It can be anything and of course it will be absolutely hideous, but we just need to get back into it.

Along with new beginnings, I want to try new things. I’ve always preferred having experiences to buying stuff anyway, and I already have a maiden trip to Koh Samui (in January) and my first mud run (in March) lined up. I’m also hoping to make a trip to Tasmania at some point.

Every year brings change and new discoveries, but I guess the point of this year is to be more mindful and deliberate about the journey. To embrace the changing seasons, to not shy away from attempting the unfamiliar, to jump even though I might be afraid. It’s sometimes bloody hard to tell the difference between intuition and wishful thinking, but I feel like this is going to be a big year.

Fingers crossed it’s also going to be a good one.

Kinder than is necessary

“Kinder than is necessary,” he repeated. “What a marvelous line, isn’t it? Kinder than is necessary. Because it’s not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed. Why I love that line, that concept, is that it reminds me that we carry with us, as human beings, not just the capacity to be kind, but the very choice of kindness. … If every single person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary – the world really would be a better place. And if you do this… someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognise in you the face of God.”

– Mr Tushman, in Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Bono describes my kind of religion

If I could put it simply, I would say that I believe there’s a force of love and logic in the world, a force of love and logic behind the universe. And I believe in the poetic genius of a creator who would choose to express such unfathomable power as a child born in “straw poverty”; i.e., the story of Christ makes sense to me. … As an artist, I see the poetry of it. It’s so brilliant. That this scale of creation, and the unfathomable universe, should describe itself in such vulnerability, as a child. That is mind-blowing to me. I guess that would make me a Christian.

– Bono, Rolling Stone interview (2005)

Grit: the power of passion and perseverance

Grit = Passion + Perseverance

Growth mindset = The belief that the ability to learn is not fixed, that it can change with your effort.

I’m thinking about what I can do to cultivate grit in my 7yo. Entitlement and lack of follow through (i.e. grit) is one of the things I’m observing in kids around me – smart, talented kids. Their (our) lives are simply too comfortable, too privileged. And I have decided probably the best way I’m going to be able to teach my kid grit is to model it for her. Not tell her, but show her and do it with her. How?