Friday, January 1, 2016

Change is in the air

2015 was a year of big change for me.
Most of the changes were not external. I did not move, nor change day jobs. My relationship with my significant other did not change. There were no births or deaths within my immediate inner circle.
Yet internally, there were earthquakes. I'm a planner, goal-oriented, organized. For years, I have given my time and energy to certain goals and activities. Sometimes my progress was fast and usually it was slow, but I kept moving forward and I never doubted what I wanted or where I was going.
In the past year or so, that turned upside down.

One of the amazing things I've found within the writing community is that many of us go through the same things at the same time. I was blessed to experience the excitement of my debut-novel year with other debut novelists. When I was having second-book doubts, I had other sophomore novelists with whom to compare notes. When I suffered a period of burnout, I found I wasn't alone there either.
During the past year, I've been reassessing my goals and commitments, and trying to figure out what's next for me. It's not just a case of trying to figure out a new road to reach longstanding goals. I've reached some of my goals, and others I'm not so sure I want to pursue anymore. It's the goals themselves that I'm questioning.
And then I see this post from Becky Levine in which she says, "I’ve been feeling as though my antennae are out, [scanning] ... for the next big thing on my Life’s To Do list." And I see this post from Natalie Whipple on a much rougher change in direction, a post in which she says, "It's funny, how you can accomplish all your goals ... and yet not have any of the expected results." And this from Jody Casella on letting go and making changes, in which she says, "Shedding stuff from my house had a weird ripple effect. Once you shine a spotlight on things you've had for years and ask yourself: Do I need this? Do I want it? Really? You might find that everything, potentially, is a candidate for the recycle bin."
Change is in the air: good, bad, and in between.

I do want to acknowledge that there were a couple of external changes that also had an impact: some health challenges which are still ongoing, and a change in one of my closest friendships, in which my friend has had to step back to deal with her own health challenges. I've had to face the fact that time and energy are not inexhaustible, and so my incentive to spend them wisely is even greater than before.

I don't know what this new year will bring. I have more unknowns in my future than I've had for a long time. But I'm starting to see this as an opportunity, and I've also been reassured to remember that I'm far from the first to undergo a time of upheaval, reassessment, and exploration.

May we all have a good year, wherever it takes us.


  1. Interesting patterns. I wish you the best for 2016!

  2. Wow, wow, wow! I am going to head over in another minute to read those other posts. It is amazing, isn't it, how we do often land in similar places (except Facebook and Twitter!).

    The thing I loved about Levine's book is that the stories she tells are about women who got to this place by so many different paths. For me, it's obviously linked to going back to work and having my son head off to college. But she makes clear that we all get here for different reasons, and not all of them are external. If I'm remembering right, we are actually going through some chemistry and brain changes that sort of lay the groundwork. I'm also very clear that my ability to feel this way, and to explore it, are part of my privilege--my son is doing well, I only have to work ONE job, which actually gives both me and my husband a little extra financial freedom, and I essentially have my health. For lots of women, I'm sure many (or all) of these things don't apply, and they don't have the luxury of even getting this feeling, let alone looking into where it comes from and where it means.

    Still, I'm going with it for now!

    1. I suspect that if one is busier, these changes still occur and these questions still nag, but one either works them out in different ways or shoves them farther down the crowded to-do list.
      I know I never expected to undergo such change at this age!

  3. Sometimes when life gets less predictable, I tell myself I should remember to write this down later, in case I ever write a memoir and need to throw in some plot twists.

  4. I wish good things for you this year!