I don't really do resolutions. I do make plans, though, and I do a lot of reflection on the previous year. That's what I've spent the first few days of 2019 doing.
This morning, I dreamt that I was still at Auburn, but it was also USM and also UCA. As is typical of my college campus dreams, I couldn't find where the stairs started and it took me forever to get to the department office, where I was going to check my mailbox for the first time in a long time. By the time I got to the department, though, the door was locked.
In the past, I've made it to the mailbox to find piles of things, a whole mail carrier bin full of books, notes, and other items left there by phantom students and colleagues. When I've made it to the mailbox in other dreams, I often find things like the coffee mug I had forever from some thrift shop visit. That mug is long gone, of course, replaced by a much newer thrift shop purchase. Of course, the one in the dream is the one that I used when I still taught on ground.
In the most recent version, I started popping my head in people's open office doors. I met up with an old undergrad and master's mentor from UCA who listened as I gave my plans for a couple of big projects (one being my dissertation). He didn't seem to really hear me, just nodded and I moved on. Eventually, I found my way down to Scott's office and I woke up once I got there.
When I woke up, I knew what the dream meant (not hard to figure that one out), but I still took a few moments to think about what might have happened if I never left Auburn, specifically. Things would certainly be different, and I can't say there's any tiny piece of me that thinks I should have stayed.
The same is true of leaving my last teaching job. Yesterday, we had lunch with Allison, whose fiancé is leaving teaching. She wondered if he could find the right job if it would put everything right for him, or if he is simply too burnt out. For me, there's no question that it was time for me to quit teaching and move on to something else. Even if I am still figuring out what constitutes the "something else."
Here's what that something else consisted of in 2018:
So, not a bad year at all. My plans are to continue to work with Physician Family, to continue to write and be involved with indie publishing, as well as to begin to pay more attention to my scholarly side. I suspect that some of my old websites will be coming down (or at the very least not upgraded or updated at all) and I'll start to focus more on some nonfiction projects. Definite goals include: