Today I’m starting a new notebook, the one I carry around with me to make lists of To Dos and catch thoughts before they escape. It would feel more neat if I could start the new book on January 1st matching my books to the calendar years, but I’m out of pages and I have things to keep track of in the two weeks left to this year. So I launch into my new book ready or not. The primary task of starting a new notebook is to decide what to carry over from the old one. Task lists are easy to copy over, no thinking there. But which of the quotes that I jotted down in the margins do I want to carry with me into the next book? Which tracking processes should be created anew and which should be abandoned?
In considering this, I am confronted by a list titled “Reaching for in 2022” that contains things like “teach 5-6 times” and “write 12 pieces of short fiction.” I didn’t call them goals, because I knew some of them were a stretch that I wouldn’t achieve. And in fact, I did not reach most of them. Some of them I barely reached for. My first impulse was to copy the list over, give myself another chance to reach for these things. Except the fact that I reached so few tells me something. These goals / hopes / reaches are somehow misaligned with the life I’ve been living. If they weren’t misaligned, I would have grasped more of them. Instead of assigning them to myself again, I think I need to take this space between now and the end of the year to assess what I’m really focused on and what it makes sense to reach for in 2023.
When I make my new list, I won’t even look at the old one. If I forget to put something onto the new list, that means it is no longer a high enough priority to be alive in my thoughts. After I’ve made my new list, I may compare them, just to see how I am different and how I am continuous. Perhaps when the new list is settled and feels right I’ll share it here as well as writing it into my new notebook.