Good evening good friends!
I’m breaking the radio silence this evening to bring you greetings from sunny Orlando. I have a great deal to say about what’s been going on down here, but frankly the much-needed break has been so good for my semester-addled brain that I’m having trouble convincing myself that breaking the sanctity of “vacation” is worth the amusing blogal anecdotes. Don’t worry, I’ll get around to describing my antics at some point, but for now, I’m going to rest up, spend some time with my family, and forget that I’m an educated person.
I’ve read four books since the end of the semester, all of my own choosing, and I started on a fifth this morning. None of them have anything to do with theatre, Shakespeare, or my comps list. This, if anything, means “vacation” to me.
I wanted to take a moment at the dawning of a new year to reflect on how far the past 365 days have taken me. Last year at this time I was just finishing up my PhD applications, struggling to steel myself for the final semester of my MA, teaching ballroom dance in New Jersey, karaoking several times a week for lack of anything else to do with my time, and in utter and complete life limbo as I couldn’t plan anything until I heard back from my programs. Though I knew my life was about to change drastically, there was no way I could have any inkling as to how and where those changes might lead me.
This next year, I have a much better idea of the trajectory of the next twelve months. That being said, the past year has been a reminder that even when one has plans, one still needs to allot for drastic change in them. As much as has happened in the past year (and more!) could happen in the next year. The illusion of consistency (the hobgoblin of little minds) is limiting at best and devastatingly crippling at worst.
I do have some plans for the next year. I have at least one conference lined up, my first ever academic publication forthcoming, and another year of coursework ahead of me. I will be learning another language over the summer to fulfill degree requirements. I will be ramping up for Comps. Next fall, I will be teaching at least one class.
I’ve never taken much stock in New Years’ resolutions. To me, they mostly wind up being over-rated hype that more quickly turn into empty words than fulfilling promises. Then, at the turning of 2006 into 2007, I realized my problem.
Start small. That year, I resolved to finally finish reading Pride and Prejudice. It worked.
This year, I’m resolving to memorize a better toast for next year. Inevitably people look at me at midnight and expect something witty or wise or funny or some combination of the above… inevitably I come up short (either because I’ve had a few too many glasses of champagne or because I’m tired). Somehow people are aghast and agog that the Shakespeare scholar can’t think of a single set of sage words to ring us into the next year.
Next year, I won’t be stuck fumbling around for such things. For now, though, you’ll have to count yourself satisfied with this:
What is love? ’tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What’s to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty;
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.
Have a happy, safe, healthful, fulfilling new year folks! I’m going to go bury my head in the sand for another week. I’ll catch you back in Boston!