Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Happy New Year...now get to work
Look at that. We've all got a brand-new, shiny year to play with.
The triskaidekaphobics will probably have a rough time of it but, you know, you can't please everyone. Years aren't like buildings; you can't just rename the 13th year of the century the 14th year and go on like nothing happened.
Well, I guess you could, but it would just confuse everyone.
This is the day that people traditionally make resolutions for the year ahead, promising themselves to behave themselves and quit doing the things they think they shouldn't be doing and to start doing the things they think they should be doing but don't really feel inclined to do.
I don't make resolutions.
There are a couple of reasons for that. First of all, the track record of humanity, collectively, for keeping resolutions, is not that great, and I don't like to set myself up for failure. I'm good enough at it without building it into the plan for a year. But, more important, I've always believed that if something is important enough to do, there's no good reason for waiting until an arbitrary day to start doing it.
What I do try to do every year, on the first day of the year, is to sit down and think about what direction I would like to go during the year.
First and foremost, I hope to get work this year.
I've proably mentioned here that I've been out of work. At this point, it has been a little over a year since I've worked at a paying job. This is not my choice. I was let go from my previous job as a result of the economy and, although I've been looking faithfully, there really hasn't been anything out there.
This is something I don't have complete control over. I can apply for job after job after job, but that doesn't mean that I'll get an interview, much less a job. The official jobless numbers in my county are still above 14 percent; the unoffical numbers are just about universally agreed to be close to 10 percentage points higher than that. But I can continue to look and to apply and to hope for the best. I can also continue to do volunteer work at Central Valley Professionals while I look for work. The things I do there, including writing and presenting workshops for other jobseekers, are helping me develop new skills that could help me get work.
While I'm looking for work, there is no reason for me not to continue to work on ongoing writing projects that can eventually become revenue streams for me. And so I will do that, and look for other, smaller projects that can pay off more quickly than the two big, ongoing projects that I'm currently working on.
There is also this blog. I intend to continue blogging every day, or as close to that as I can manage. I want to continue writing the Music Sunday and Movie Monday posts. I would like to do more social and political commentary here, as well. Previously, I tried to stay away from politics, especially, here, but the lessons of the recent presidsential campaign included, for me, that it is important to keep the conversation going on the issues of the day, rather than expecting our elected and appointed officials to do the right thing. Because, you know, it isn't a foregone conclusion that they will know the right thing, much less do it.
So, I plan to focus on two things this year - looking for a job and trying to create my own job through my writing. Neither one is mutually exclusive of the other, and even if I am successful in finding a job, I will continue writing. Continuing to write implies also continuing to read. And I will do that.
All that should keep me more than busy this year.
Well, that, and trying to nuture a social life, and keeping up on popular culture, and coping with the things that come up and make life interesting and, occasionally, frustrating.
Watch this space. We'll get through 2013 together.