Sunday, January 1, 2017

Taking Initiative

It's the first day of 2017, and it's a bright, quiet afternoon in Oakland. 2016 was a year of unexpected educations. My son was born, and I learned about myself that I can act only in his interests without feeling like I am gone or utterly changed. I took an ambitious job, and I did not succeed in it, closing down an avenue I thought was going to define my life.

December of 2013, December of 2015, December of 2016 -- all years in which I left positions, variously despondent and hopeful. Januaries are quiet winter mornings that open up possibilities.

What I would like for myself in 2017 is to move from possibilities to acting. From dreaming and ideas to purposeful action.

Taking initiative, not waiting for permission or approval. Being bold. I crave structure, but perhaps in the end that sense of making and completing checklists makes me complacent.

Moving from idea to action will be 2017. Whether in the political arena, or moving from to-do list to completing tasks, to pitching interviews and reviews and articles -- and then actually writing them.

To be a writer, you have to write.

And then, I am a mother -- and this year, with fewer barriers, a much more present and engaged mother. An engaged and active partner.

This will involve challenging myself to make plans, to look ahead, to strategize. To try to anticipate the unknowns, or at least build in buffers. More than just the "swallow the frog" of doing the hard thing first, this needs to be trusting myself to spearhead and develop ideas, to plan out and follow up.

This is more than informational interviews and gathering facts and knowing about things. It's synthesis and action and invention.