A short note as we all look ahead to a New Year, and I look ahead to a new decade later in January.
It’s New Year’s Eve 2021. I’m sitting at home waiting for the ball drop feeling luckier than many who have contracted COVID—essentially symptom-free by day four of 10 in my isolation.
Quarantine has forced me to sit back more than I was hoping to this week. It’s also led me to look ahead to my next big milestone after this 10-day isolation:
My 30th birthday.
When I was in high school and college, 30 was an endpoint. Those discussions about careers and life always led to some statement of “By 30, I will have done X and accomplished Y” and it felt arbitrary and pointless to set, but it provided some semblance of purpose.
Every New Year’s Eve, we set resolutions and dream up big, hairy, audacious plans for the year to come. While these are more short-term ideas, these resolutions look similar to the expectations I had for life at 30.
Dreaming big is fun, and it gets us to a better place, but it leads to expectations that are rarely met.
So I stepped back this December and made a list of professional and personal goals that are meaningful and tangible. I’ll stick to those for 2022. We’ve seen for years now how many outside factors there are that can break our plans, our dreams, our expectations.
This year for me, it’s just goals, and work to reach those goals at home, at work, and in my day-to-day life.
[And guess what: one of those goals is to establish a writing practice and publish weekly. Here I am, two weeks in a row, we’re calling that a start.]
I’d like to treat my 30’s like that too. No burden of unrealistic expectations. No dreams in the clouds that can’t be tied to work on the ground.
Just making an impact for myself and the people that matter in my life.
We’re all writers, and every new chapter is a new opportunity for us all.
Happy New Year to you and yours! I hope 2022 brings you everything you’re working for.