A Year on Monday: 1st January 2018

I was meant to write and share this yesterday, but my brain wouldn’t play ball; skirting round wanting to settle down to draft this post, and enjoying a final lazy day of 2017. Delightfully, the end of 2017 was filled with the best kind of laziness; Christmas and Hogmanay were spent in Croy with just the three of us, and in between there was a single trip to visit family. So, yesterday, all I wanted to do was eke that out a little bit further.

My writing cabin. I will be spending much more time in here this year.

This morning, however, couldn’t have been a better start to a fresh, new year; and my body and brain agreed. As I type, the frost is still thick in the garden outside; with a full, assured covering on the cabin roof at the bottom of the garden, and on the tops of the one or two cars which had been left overnight in the car park at the village hall after last night’s ceilidh. When I opened the door this morning, the only sound was the merry chirruping of the small birds; no new year traffic to be heard anywhere. The sky is a pale, ice blue with only the odd slight cloud stretching out over the woods behind the house.

So here we go: 2018. I’ve set myself previous themes for years in general in the past: My Year in Twain, or My Year of Crowdfunding, Music, and Reading. There is no such theme this year, as 2018 will be a pivotal year; wrapping up some projects, and moving onto pastures new. I will hopefully be fully completing my research studies this year, submitting at the end of March; and by the end of the year I hope to have left Edinburgh and be based in the Highlands full-time. There are other potential projects in the pipeline, but all these depend on these first two priorities. Not exactly resolutions, then, but I have decided upon the following for 2018:

  • To disappear from my personal social media accounts until after I have submitted my thesis.  This final push needs minimal distractions, and I really, really don’t want to have to request an extension. I will still be sharing the odd post on Southern and Northern: you can follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  • For similar reasons, I will also be stopping drinking until after I have submitted my thesis (with the exception of two or three pre-planned social engagements).
  • I will be reading more. A tip of the hat back to 2013, I have decided that I want to read at least one book a month just for pleasure. For the last few years I have failed at this, due to feeling guilty about reading for anything other than my research: the irony being that I am not always reading for my research, and reading for enjoyment would compliment my academic writing in any case.
  • Complete the Couch to 5k app programme I have started. Baby steps. I am not one of life’s natural runners.

I will still be adding to my blog monthly; and will also be starting a weekly newsletter by email. I’ve been spending a lot of time recently thinking about the sustainability of social media, and the #AMonthOnMonday blog posts were always intended to move more towards a newsletter format. I have no idea what my weekly missives will contain, but if you’re interested in following along, you can sign up online here.

That’s it. 2018 is set to be a busy and important year, so I’m keeping it nice and simple.

Merry New Year, one and all!

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