I don’t put a great deal of stock in either round numbers or random passings of time, such as New Year’s Day. Don’t get me wrong—I’m glad for the holiday—but time is like an ocean; who can say where it begins or ends? Many people use this occasion to correct bad behaviors, but I was raised with enough of a Calvinist outlook that I tend to be self-correcting along the way. I certainly corrected myself at several points in 2022 and still ended up spending a couple of its final days in the hospital with an ill family member. The way I get through is by living in a world that’s largely fantasy. I awake early (even on holidays) and spend the first few hours of the day writing and reading. Without this I fear I might become a monster. A self-correcting one, of course, but a monster nevertheless.
Looking ahead is too scary, so I read and watch horror instead. If recent reading is correct, such activities are taking part in creating modern myths. Who knows what 2023 might bring? It’s safest to take things one day at a time. I am hoping that my Wicker Man book will appear in this, the fiftieth anniversary of the film. I also hope to get some more YouTube videos posted, as well as continuing this blog. As last year unspooled I intentionally did not accept any more academic writing assignments. The stress levels run too high for that kind of thing, and my CV’s not going to get me back into academia at any point soon. Life’s too short, and it is better to spend it writing what I want to write.
Writing one’s future isn’t a bad idea, I suppose. I’ve learned that plans almost never work out the way intended. I’m not sure if that’s because growing up poor plants ideas too high to grasp in your head, or if life is inherently populated by unseen tricksters. It’s best to try to keep them happy in any case. And at least this year begins with a four-day work week. We can be thankful for small mercies. Even as it starts I’m casting my eye hypocritically toward the next Christmas break, for which I save up my scant vacation days, and which I anticipate all year long. In the meanwhile there’s the lion’s share of 2023 to get through. It feels daunting at this point, but with books and those I love, I hope to reach that point unscathed as I write my future.