As I sit on the train wending my way home from a lovely couple of days with friends to celebrate the new year, I’ve been thinking a lot about messages. I just spent 30 minutes or so reading banal happy new year wishes on LinkedIn and more interesting ones of facebook. Twitter just depressed me with more talk of U.S. politics and the loss of democracy, the middle class, and sanity. The newspapers are full of articles on the science of resolutions and advice on starting the new year.
Chasing new year’s resolutions has never been my thing. They seem to fail much too often and even when I’m successful, they seem to be so … trivial. So I’ve been thinking about the new year as a time of becoming. Just being, engaging with friends, and settling in. Sharing what is important to me with others. If they like it, great. If not, so be it. My mantra these days is to make a difference, in small and not so small ways. Whether it is to encourage a student who underestimates herself, to encourage business professors to reflect on their bias, or to encourage my colleagues in my writing group to keep going, making a difference can come in many forms.
I am blessed. The skinny professor told me the other day that he thinks that I’ve found my calling. I think he is right. But my calling isn’t to do research or to teach (although I have found through experience that I love both of these activities). My calling to to make a difference, especially for women. Although I might do it differently, I do it with intent. So for those of you who have been reading this blog occasionally, you may notice a slight shift in the topics it covers, and occasionally its tone. I hope it challenges some of your thinking along the way.
Happy new year to all of you.