Lots of my bloggy peeps are doing the reverb writing prompts thing. I signed up for it, thinking it was a good idea that might spark some new blogging topics. I quickly realized that self-reflection is disturbing and distracting, which can be a real problem when I am trying to meet the writing and research goals I set out for the sabbatical.
I mean, the first prompt asked you to come up with one word that described your year. My instantaneous thought? Disappointing. Followed closely behind by devastating. Are we having fun now??
And yet, after some reflection, I thought those characterizations were unfair, as I have not only had the worst experience in my professional life, but also the best experience in my professional life, in the same year. (The best experience would meet the needs of prompt 3: a time when you felt most alive). The two experiences occurred within 1.5 months of each other, the good one coming later. And yet, even though it has been more than 10 months since I was so bitterly disappointed, I still find I am wrestling with my feelings about the event, which sucks. I am ready to move on, both figuratively and practically.
So, here is what the reflection prompts have led me to write: something of a New Year's Resolution... or perhaps a New Year's Hope for 2011.
I hope... to box up the disappointment and devastation from the event and package it anew as a learning opportunity, a time when I realized that hard work, success, and commitment don't always yield the desired results. My disappointment is a small event in the scheme of things, and I am ready to put it behind me. I will forgive, if not forget, and I will move on.
I hope... to slam the door on 2010 and walk boldly into 2011 as a blank slate professionally. I will go back to my job at the university as a faculty member without an administrative assignment, and I will see how that feels to me: working at home or in my work office, depending on what suits me; participating in committees only when they interest me; and being less involved with the department. I will try to maintain the publications and research, look at the job ads for anything interesting, and have some fun with work peeps.
I hope... to enjoy myself more in 2011. I will get out of the house and out of town. I will take time for lunches, dinners, and movies with friends who live nearby, and talk on the phone and visit with others who live further away. I am especially looking forward to an international trip (part work/part play) planned for Spring to somewhere I have never been.
So, my reverb reflection is all about moving forward in 2011 towards a more fulfilling and content life. Less than a month to go!