End of a Year

The snow is coming down steadily here in Charlottetown. We’re at about three inches and counting.

I’ve been having a delightful break at my parents’ house and doing very little work for the last ten days, and before that I was busy with my end-of-term activities (marking . . .).  I still have a few days before I get back to work, but I’m starting to turn my gaze towards it with pleasant anticipation.  You can tell because I’m back on the computer and writing an Inn post, having been most desultory about it for the past . . . three weeks?

I have to say I think I needed the break and the longer sleep and the general company and small (and big) tasks of a larger household than my little apartment in Halifax, but I’m close to wanting to go back and dig into real work.  I start off with Descartes and thirty papers to mark.  I can read Descartes in advance (and will), but the papers will come when they come and not before.  Ah well, it will be a good start to the new year.

Last year I decided 2012 was a year of a ‘relentless plunge upwards’ — and in retrospect, it rather has been that.  I took a number of breathers along the way, but on the whole it has been a push through to a new level for myself, a place where I can see to my path a bit farther ahead.

The thing about hiking in the mountains is that the summit is almost always not where you think it is.  What you’ve been aiming at for the first while is only a shoulder of the mountain; the real summit is much father away, possibly not even visible yet.  I don’t think the summit of this journey is visible; I’m not ever sure I’m going to be climbing it.  (How far does a metaphor go, anyway?  I don’t like heights all that much.)  I think I’m heading towards a pass.

I’m not at the pass, not yet; I think that will come next summer when I leave this present life and livelihood towards one much more uncertain but exhilarating in prospect.  I’m at a traverse of some sort, an upper valley or a col, something like that.  One full of good things, like glacier lilies, perhaps, or boreal toads on migration. (My dad and I once were hiking and found a whole band of them along a counter line.)  This semester takes us from Descartes to Samuel Beckett, and me through the stages of planning.

For the last year I was writing a weekly blog on personal finance for Gail Vaz-Oxlade on Fridays.  That’s finished now, but I intend to ride the wave of that habit and write Friday posts on my trip planning here.  I will try to do more as well, but I am going to commit to — well — four months — of Fridays — once I get to the end of the semester my routine will change again and I’m not sure what I will be doing.  But trip planning Fridays I think I can do.

A happy new year to everyone who reads this!  I hope you will find its evolution over the coming year intriguing.  Possibly even entertaining.


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