January 1, 2020

From Gerald R. Lucas

Happy 2020!

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Wow, another year gone. 2019 was a big one: I turned 50.

Professional highlights included a great conference of the NMS, the submission of a chapter for an upcoming Cambridge University Press book Norman Mailer in Context, Works and Days winning the Lucid Award, lots of great work done on Project Mailer and Wikipedia, and a potential shift that will likely have me back in the English department.

Personal highlights: Henry is growing up, and it’s mostly a joy to see. I started intermittent fasting to help with my weight that grows increasingly more difficult to control; it seems to be effective. I’ve been a regular at Orange Theory, so I’m doing HIIT about four times a week. I got a new (used) car that I really like. I started to be more financially responsible. I also read more for myself.

So that leads to the requisite resolutions. Let’s call them aspirations.

  1. Get back to mindfulness. When I regularly meditate, I think I’m a better person with a healthier outlook on the world. I want to get back to my reading and practicing Buddhist approaches to life. Don’t stress about that which I cannot control. The world is what it is, so stop being so negative and critical. This also includes being more present with my family, friends (like I have those), colleagues, and students. Get rid of distractions and clutter. Simplify my surroundings.
  2. Continue to be healthy. This includes OTF and intermittent fasting. I’m doing the latter today. Also, I want to cut the drinking way down. I think I’ll lay off the booze totally through January at least (I might try to go longer), and then only drink on Saturday. I think it’s mostly just a habit anyway. I really should just give it up, but I’m not sure I’m ready go there. Also, try to eat better.
  3. Make progress to eliminate debt. I will have my only credit card paid off by the summer, as well as our two iPhones. I might sell my motorcycle. Then I can snowball that money into paying off the car. I think by 2021, I can have a lot done here. In all, I have to stop making stupid financial decisions. Stop spending money on crap I do not need. Simplify.
  4. Continue to grow professionally. My research has been pretty solid lately, and I want that trend to continue. I have a chapter on Mailer’s short stories in the works for volume 13 of the Review and Lipton’s Journal already in the works. I also intend to continue to work on Wikipedia.
  5. Go somewhere. With my family. Somewhere I’ve never been. (We might already have this lined up.)

That’s about it. Nothing too groundbreaking, but definitely five challenging-but-doable goals. I’m going to try to also keep a daily journal again. I did OK last year, but I can do better.

Here’s to 2020!

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And Henry drew me a robot today. We’ve been watching the current Star Wars movies. Can you see the influence?

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