Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
The first thing I let go of this year was the idea of trying to do the best job I could at preparing for each class I taught, each sermon I gave, or each project I worked on. Toward the end of this year, as I added a sixth part-time job to the five I already had, it became clear that, even if I gave up sleep entirely, there just wasn’t enough time in the day to make that happen. Now my goal is to do a “good enough” job at each that I won’t be wasting people’s time but will still be able to get all the work done.
The other thing I’m conscious I gave up this year was the expectation that there would come a time in the near future when I would be able to work one full-time job of my choosing rather than all the part-time jobs I’m currently doing. For a good number of years now, I’d made peace with having the “ever-increasing number of ever-decreasing salary” part-time jobs by believing that, once my youngest child had graduated from high school and headed off to college, I’d be free to take a job of my choice anywhere in the world that I’d like to move. I’d talked with Kathy, the one person who would then be affected by it, and she was more than happy to move wherever such a job might take us. Toward the end of August I began to look for such a new job and found a possibility or two that looked intriguing (and, though long shots, might even possible despite the denomination’s position on lgbt clergy). But then the youngest left college and came back home, making such a move much less possible. And in November Kathy’s younger child, who lives in New York City, had her first grandchild, which makes a move away from the metropolitan New York area even less desirable. Now “following the ideal job” seems very unrealistic. I’m doing the best I can to let go of that expectation and beginning to rethink what life for the next ten or fifteen years of work might be like.